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Nutrition

Biotin

General Information

Biotin is part of the B complex of vitamins and plays an important role in growth and the maintenance of good health. You can get it by eating foods containing biotin, usually as part of a balanced diet.

Dietary sources of biotin include organ meats (e.g., liver, kidney), cooked eggs, cheddar cheese, legumes (e.g., beans, lentils), and vegetables.

Dietary sources of biotin include organ meats (e.g., liver, kidney), cooked eggs, cheddar cheese, legumes (e.g., beans, lentils), and vegetables.

Common Name(s)

biotin, biocytin, coenzyme R, rhizobium growth factor, vitamin H, W factor, vitamin B7

Scientific Name(s)

cis-hexahydro-2-oxo-1H-thieno[3,4-d]-imidazole-4-valeric acid

How is this product usually used?

Biotin is available as a supplement taken by mouth in different forms, such as tablets and capsules. The adult (14 years and up) dose of biotin ranges from 1.8 μg to 500 μg per day. In children and adolescents (1 to 13 years), the dose of biotin ranges from 1 μg to 500 μg per day.

Biotin is also commonly found in multivitamin supplements.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Biotin plays a role in maintaining good health. Biotin is important for the breakdown of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates from your diet.

Biotin supplements are used for biotin deficiency, which is rare. Symptoms of biotin deficiency include, depression, irritability, fatigue, hallucinations, skin rashes, thinning of hair, and tingling in the arms and legs. Cigarette smoking may be linked to mild biotin deficiency.

Biotin supplements have also been studied to help improve hair loss and brittle nails.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Biotin is essential in the body to help breakdown fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. For example, this vitamin helps regulate an enzyme that is required for the metabolism of sugar in your body. It also helps your body make substances that are coded in your genetic material.

Biotin is safe for most people when taken within recommended amounts and as a treatment for biotin deficiency.

People who have kidney disease and undergo dialysis may need to take biotin supplements.

Biotin supplements may interact with anti-seizure medications such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, and primidone. These medications prevent biotin from being absorbed in the digestive tract. If you are on long-term treatment with an anti-seizure medication, talk to your health care provider before starting biotin supplements.

Another possible interaction for biotin is related to eating raw egg white. One of the substances in raw egg whites prevents biotin from being absorbed. However, you would have to eat at least 2 raw egg whites every day for a few months in order for this to cause a deficiency in biotin.

Avoid biotin supplements if you have a known allergy to it or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients found in any of the product formulations.

When used within recommended amounts, biotin is likely safe during breast-feeding and pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider before staring biotin supplements if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

Source(s)

  1. Health Canada. Licensed Natural Health Products. Biotin. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=41 (accessed March 3, 2014)
  2. MayoClinic – Drugs and Supplement: Biotin (Oral Route). Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/biotin-oral-route/description/drg-20062359. Accessed March 2, 2014.
  3. Medline Plus. Biotin. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/313.html (Accessed March 2, 2014)
  4. Oregon State University. Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrient Information Center: Biotin. Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/biotin/. Accessed March 2, 2014.

All material © 1996- MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.