Vitamin B7 - Biotin

vitamin b7

Biotin, also known as vitamin H or B7, is a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, so daily intake is necessary.

Health Benefits

Biotin is essential for the body’s metabolism. It acts as a coenzyme in a number of metabolic pathways involving fatty acids and essential amino acids, as well as in gluconeogenesis – the synthesis of glucose from non-carbohydrates. Although biotin deficiency is rare, some groups of people may be more susceptible to it, such as patients suffering from Crohn’s disease. Biotin deficiency symptoms include hair loss, skin issues including rash, an appearance of cracking in the corners of the mouth, dryness of the eyes and appetite loss. Vitamin B7 promotes appropriate function of the nervous system and is essential for liver metabolism as well.

Biotin is commonly advised as a dietary supplement for strengthening hair and nails, as well as in skin care. It is suggested that biotin aids cell growth and the maintenance of mucous membranes. Although biotin may be present in certain cosmetics, it is important to remember that it cannot actually be absorbed through skin, hair or nails.
Vitamin B7 can aid in caring for thinning hair and brittle nails, especially in those suffering from biotin deficiency. However, research so far has shown no conclusive results to back up the claim that biotin is directly related to the improvement of skin and nail condition or in increased hair growth.
Some evidence has shown that those suffering from diabetes may be susceptible to biotin deficiency. Since biotin is an important factor in the synthesis of glucose, it may help maintain an appropriate blood sugar level in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Signs of Deficiency

A biotin deficiency in the U.S. is rare, as most people eat enough biotin in a varied diet. Alcoholism can increase the risk of biotin deficiency and many other nutrients as alcohol can block their absorption, and also because alcohol abuse is generally associated with a poor dietary intake. About a third of pregnant women show a mild biotin deficiency despite eating adequate intakes, though the exact reason is not clear.

Symptoms appearing with a biotin deficiency

Thinning hair

Scaly skin rashes around eyes, nose, mouth

Brittle nails

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