You have probably heard of the B complex vitamins, but I’m betting that you don’t know about each individual vitamin. Of all the B vitamins, one of the least talked about is Biotin, also known as B7, which was only discovered 6 decades ago. There are also hardly any cases of biotin deficiency, largely due to the fact that it is found in many foods and there are very few compounds that block its activity.

Biotin works as an enzyme to help your body turn food into energy. It breaks down proteins and amino acids into smaller chunks so that they can be metabolized easily. If you have heard of biotin before, it was probably as a result of hearing how it promotes healthy fingernails, can relieve newborn scalp problems, and is capable of controlling blood sugar problems in diabetics.

Some other, more interesting ways in which biotin operates are:

  • Creation of fatty acids, which help to fight free radicals and regenerate body tissue
  • Breaking down fats so that they can be eliminated by the body
  • Help you have more energy during heavy exercise, particularly aerobic exercise
  • Help to remove Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from the lungs
  • As an overall hair and nail product additive that can help treat or prevent damage

Biotin isn’t really all that interesting of a vitamin, but it has a long of very important functions. The average daily recommended dose is around forty micrograms per day and can be found in a variety of foods. Some of the foods with higher doses of Biotin are:

  • Legumes and soybeans
  • Tomatoes
  • Certain types of lettuce, such as romaine
  • Vegetables, such as carrots
  • Dairy foods such as eggs and milk(particularly egg whites)

As you can see, you can find Biotin in a variety of whole foods. However, there are cases when the diet just isn’t enough, in which event you’ll need to turn to a B complex or Biotin supplement. These supplements are usually easy to find and are relatively inexpensive as well. The most common reasons for needing Biotin supplementation are those in which part of the digestive system has been damaged or removed. Pregnancy, lactation, and smoking are also causes of biotin deficiencies.

If you have a Biotin deficiency, you will most likely suffer from hair loss and rashes on the skin. You might feel constantly exhausted, depressed, or just out of sync. In extreme cases, people suffering from Biotin deficiencies will experience hallucinations, impaired vision, and numbness in the hands, legs, and feet.

Still, unless you eat a lot of raw egg whites (can cause a blockage of Biotin absorption in the body) or have a hereditary condition, there is a very small chance that you will suffer from a Biotin deficiency in your lifetime. However, this doesn’t mean you can go wrong with a B vitamin supplement. You certainly don’t want to take more than you need, but taking a daily supplement will generally do more to help than harm your body.

If you have any questions, you can read the label on your supplements, ask a doctor, or continue to research your condition. You can never be too safe with your health, especially if trying to add new supplements to your diet. You’ll find Biotin in a lot of beauty products designed to promote healthy hair and nails, so now you’ll know exactly why it is listed on the label and in the ingredients. If you are simply looking for healthy hair and nails, then you will love how Biotin can improve the way you look and feel.

Last updated on Sep 10th, 2009 and filed under Vitamins and Minerals. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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