February 10, 2014

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Vitamin B7, also known as biotin or vitamin H, is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. With enough vitamin B7, skin will glow and hair will be healthy. This vitamin promotes the normal health of sweat glands, bone marrow, gonads, blood cells, nerve tissue, skin, and hair. 


Functions of Vitamin B7 – Biotin

  • Body needs biotin to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids, the building blocks of protein. 
  • Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails and it's found in many cosmetic products for hair and skin.
  • Biotin is also important for normal embryonic growth, making it a critical nutrient during pregnancy.

Sources

  • Meat Sources - Organ meats, such as liver and kidney, are some of the best sources of biotin. Poultry, such as chicken, also contain some of the vitamin.
  • Seafood Sources - Fish and seafood, including clams, mackerel, salmon, tuna, and oysters.
  • Nut, Bean and Legume Sources - Nuts, including almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, and walnuts are all good sources of biotin. Also, beans and legumes, including lentils and soybeans are a good source.
  • Whole Grain Sources - Whole grains, like brown rice, bulgur wheat, barley, oat bran, and oatmeal, and products made from grains, contain vitamin H.
  • Vegetable Sources - Mushrooms are a good source of biotin. Cauliflower also contains some.
  • Fruit Sources - Bananas are one of the few fruits that contain significant quantities of the vitamin.
  • Dairy Sources - Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese, and eggs are all good sources. However, raw egg whites contain a protein that creates a strong bond with biotin that can prevent it from being absorbed by the intestines. Cooking eggs inactivates this protein.

Daily Recommendation

  • 19 years and older: 30 mcg
  • Pregnant women: 30 mcg
  • Breastfeeding women: 35 mcg

Deficiency

A deficiency of vitamin B7 can result in disruption in the normal functioning of the central nervous system. It can also lead to various problems of the tissues in and around the mouth. These problems can include cheilosis (cracking of skin around corners of mouth), glossitis (inflammation of tongue), stomatitis (sores in and around mouth), and cracked, painful lips.


Symptoms

Symptoms include hair loss, dry scaly skin, cracking in the corners of the mouth (called cheilitis), swollen and painful tongue that is magenta in color (glossitis), dry eyes, loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia, and depression. Neurological symptoms of biotin deficiency in adults are depression, lethargy, hallucinations, and numbness or tingling sensations in the extremities.

Overdose

No toxic side-effects of biotin have been reported in humans at dosages of up to 10 milligrams per day. Just as with the other B vitamins, vitamin H is water soluble, and extra amounts are readily excreted in urine. Even very high dosages which are used to treat problems with hair and nails (2,500 mcg), there have been no reported side effects.

References

                           Vitamin Mineral Info
                           UMM,
                           Mytopform,
                           Picture

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