VITAMIN B7 (BIOTIN)

FUNCTIONS

The beneficial effects of products rich in Vitamin B7 (biotin):
  • They keep the skin healthy, because they incite the proper production of fats;
  • Help the body to use the sugar effectively;
  • Maintain energy supplies in nerve cells.
Which indications require more products rich in Vitamin B7 (biotin)?
  • Depression;
  • Anxiety;
  • Problems with memory;
  • Red or painful tongue;
  • Numbness or tingling in the legs;
  • Heart palpitation.

IMPACT OF COOKING, STORAGE AND PROCESSING

The biotin is relatively stable when exposed to heat, light and oxygen. But if the conditions are too acidic, this can lead to its denaturation. Raw eggs contain a compound called avidin and the biotin is usually part of this glycoprotein molecule. The body can absorb the biotin only if the egg is boiled because during this process it separates from the protein avidin.

PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS

In 1998, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences established a set of age-specific Adequate Intake (AI) levels for biotin. These are summarized in the chart below. These AIs are as follows:

  • 0 – 6 months: 5 mcg
  • 7 – 12 months: 6 mcg
  • 1 – 3 years: 8 mcg
  • 4 – 8 years: 12 mcg
  • 9 – 13 years: 20 mcg
  • 14 – 18 years: 25 mcg
  • 19+ years: 30 mcg
  • Pregnant women: 30 mcg
  • Lactating women: 35 mcg

FDA has determined the declaration reference values for the biotin – over 300 mcg. This is the    recommended value and is the basis for calculating the daily intake of biotin, which appears on the declarations. There is no established Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for biotin.

WHY DO WE NEED PRODUCTS RICH IN BIOTIN?

The biotin is important for the metabolism of fats, sugar and amino acids. Although it is known that bacteria in our digestive system produce the biotin, the scope and the reliability of this process is part of controversies. That is why it is important to take it with food. The biotin was discovered in the late 30s and 40s of the 20th century and in the beginning it was called vitamin X. The yolk is one of the greatest sources of biotin, but if you want to take the maximum advantage of it, you should not eat the eggs raw. The avidin, which is a glycoprotein molecule, binds with the biotin and prevents its absorption. Many products which contain the biotin, are sources for the pantothenic acid as well.

THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF BIOTIN ON HEALTH

Energy production

Biotin takes part in the metabolism of fats and sugar. In the sugar metabolism it converts the sugar into useful chemical energy. Cramps and muscle aches during physical activity can be a sign of biotin insufficiency.

Synthesis of fatty acids

The most classical symptoms of biotin insufficiency are the skin problems, and its role in the synthesis of fatty acids is often listed as a reason for this connection with the skin. Biotin is needed for the functioning of the enzyme called acetyl CoA carboxylase, which is the foundation for fat production in the body, and whose membranes should contain exact level of fatty components to ensure proper function.

Proper function of the skin

Fat production is especially important for the fatty acids. When the fat components are not produced properly due to biotin insufficiency, the skin cells are the first to bear the consequences. The most common symptom of biotin insufficiency among infants is skin inflammation on the top of the head, on the eyebrows and behind the ears. In adults this is called seborrheic dermatitis, and it does not affect only the top of the head, but it can be seen on different parts of the skin.

Supporting the function of the nerve system

Given the fact that the nerve system uses the glucoses and the fats as a source of energy, vitamin B7 even here acts as a support. It is considered that a large number of symptoms connected with the nerves, are in fact a consequence of biotin insufficiency. Those symptoms include nervous attacks, disruption of movement coordination (ataxia) and decreased muscle tone (hypotonic).

ProductSize of a servingCaloriesAmount (mcg)
Peanuts1/4 cup20726.3
Swiss chard1 small plate3510.5
Goat's milk1 cup1688.5
Yoghurt1 cup1557.3
Tomatoes1 small plate387.2
Eggs1687
Carrots1 small plate536.1
Onions1 small plate615.6
Avocado 1 small plate2355.3
Skimmed milk1 cup1214.9
Walnuts1/4 cup1644.8
Salmon125g2624.5
Cashews1/4 cup1974.5
Sesame1/4 cup2064
Banana11093.1
Almonds 1/4 cup21324.2
VITAMIN B7 (BIOTIN)