Biotin is a water soluble B-complex vitamin, also known as Vitamin B-7 or Vitamin H. It is important in a number of metabolic functions of human body including cell growth, the synthesis of fatty acids, and the metabolism of the amino acid leucine. Biotin also assists in the Krebs cycle, through which the body converts food into energy, and in the transfer of carbon dioxide within the body. Biotin promotes normal immunity and plays a critical role in skin health. Intestinal bacteria naturally produce biotin, and its deficiency is thus rare.

Most people have no need for biotin supplements, as sufficient biotin is either consumed through a healthy diet or produced by intestinal bacteria. Dietary sources of biotin include dairy products, shellfish, chicken breasts, cauliflower, and organ meats. There is no daily recommended intake of biotin in most nutritional guidelines. However, biotin supplements have been found to be helpful in treating some specific conditions.
Biotin may help prevent hair loss and can improve certain skin complaints. Children with the congenital disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) often suffer from skin problems like eczema and seborrheic dermatitis, more commonly known as Cradle Cap, and in such cases biotin supplements are extremely helpful. Recent studies have suggested that biotin may also be helpful in improving insulin synthesis and release in patients suffering from diabetes, leading to improved blood sugar control.

What is Biotin?

5-[(3aS,4S,6aR)-2-oxohexahydro-1H-thieno[3,4-d]imidazol-4-yl]pentanoic acid

Biotin is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin (vitamin B7) that is composed of an ureido (tetrahydroimidizalone) ring fused with a tetrahydrothiophene ring. Biotin is a coenzyme in the metabolism of fatty acids and leucine, and plays a role in gluconeogenesis.

Where is it Found?
Biotin is found in many foods, but generally in lower amounts than other water-soluble vitamins. Egg yolk, liver, and yeast are rich sources of biotin. Large national nutritional surveys in the U.S. were unable to estimate biotin intake due to the scarcity of data on the biotin content of food. Smaller studies estimate average daily intakes of biotin to be from 40 to 60 mcg/day in adults. The table below lists some richer sources of biotin along with their content in micrograms (mcg).

Food Serving Biotin (mcg)

Yeast, bakers active

1 packet (7 grams)


Wheat bran, crude

1 ounce


Bread, whole wheat

1 slice


Egg, cooked

1 large


Cheese, camembert

1 ounce


Cheese, cheddar

1 ounce


Liver, cooked

3 ounces*


Chicken, cooked

3 ounces*


Pork, cooked

3 ounces*


Salmon, cooked

3 ounces*



1 whole



1 cup


Artichoke, cooked

1 medium


Cauliflower, raw

1 cup


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Product related PDF file
Biotin - Vitamin B7
Biotin Basics
Biotin Reweiws
Effect of Biotin Deficiency

Benefits / Uses
Biotin is a necessary vitamin for our health and the growth of our body. It plays a vital role in converting fatty acids and glucose into fuel to produce energy. It also helps to metabolize amino acids and carbohydrates to produce certain enzymes. Creation of glycogen can also be attributed to the presence of biotin in the human body. It's useful in alleviating muscle pain and preventing exhaustion. Biotin is essential in formation of nucleic acids, RNA and DNA.

Biotin helps the sweat glands; nerve tissues and bone marrow remain healthy and work efficiently. It also helps in treating acne and eczema. Hair and nails are strengthened due to the presence of biotin, in right amount, in a body. Very often biotin supplements are recommended to tackle problems like hair loss. People suffering from type 2 diabetes are, very often, found to have low levels of biotin. Studies have suggested that biotin can help to keep diabetes in check by improving blood glucose.
Including biotin in diet can prove effective for the treatment of a skin disorder in adults, known as Seborrhoeic dermatitis and skin disorder in infants, known as cradle cap.

When To Take / Type to take

Biotin supplements are best taken with a meal. Biotin is commercially derived from the organic fumaric acid (which is found in fruit).

For many nutrients, the International Institute of Medicine provides Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and Tolerable Upper Limit (UL) guidelines. However, if there is not enough information to determine RDA and UL guidelines, only general guidelines, called Adequate Intake (AI) guidelines, are provided. For biotin, only Adequate Intake guidelines are available. The following table provides age wise AI guidelines for biotin requirements.



Biotin Adequate Intake

Infants (0 to 6 months)

5 mcg per day

Infants (7 to 12 months)

6 mcg per day

1-3 years

8 mcg per day

4-8 years

12 mcg per day

9-13 years

20 mcg per day

14-18 years

25 mcg per day

19 years and older

30 mcg per day

Pregnant women

30 mcg per day

Breastfeeding women

35 mcg per day


Biotin Deficiency
Some symptoms of a biotin deficiency may be dry skin, fungal infections, rashes, fine and brittle hair, hair loss, high cholesterol, heart problems, and other symptoms. If one experiences any of these symptoms, a physician must be consulted to check for biotin deficiency.

Possible Side-Effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions
Although researchers have not yet been able to provide any concrete proof about side effects of biotin, it is assumed that this vitamin has some minor side effects. In a solitary case thus far, it was observed that high intake of vitamin B7 and vitamin B5 lead to a life-threatening condition called eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion. It was assumed that consuming both vitamins together leads to this condition. Another test conducted on pregnant rats given high doses of Vitamin B7 was observed that the placenta of the fetal rats decreased in size thus increasing the probability of miscarriage.

Although, it's a very beneficial vitamin, intake of biotin needs to be kept in check. Basically anything that is taken in excess is bound to affect your body in some way or the other. A daily adequate intake (AI) of biotin, for different age groups, is recommended by U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine. If taken specifically for biotin deficiency its intake should be strictly under medical supervision.

Research Studies / References
arw Henry JG, Sobki S, Afafat N. Interference by biotin therapy on measurement of TSH and FT4 by enzyme immunoassay on Boehringer Mannheim ES 700 analyzer. Ann Clin Biochem 1996;33:162-3.

arw Hochman LG, Scher RK, Meyerson MS. Brittle nails: response to daily biotin supplementation. Cutis 1993;51:303-5.

arw Said HM, Redha R, Nylander W. Biotin transport in the human intestine: inhibition by anticonvulsant drugs. Am J Clin Nutr 1989;49:127-31.

arw Bonjour JP. Biotin in human nutrition. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1985;447:97-104.

arw Krause KH, Bonjour JP, Berlit P, Kochen W. Biotin status of epileptics. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1985;447:297-313.

arw ^ Merck Index, 11th Edition, 1244.

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arw ^ a b Otten, JJ, Hellwig, JP and Meyers, LD., ed (2006). Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. The National Academies Press. ISBN 0-309-10091-7.

arw ^ National Health and Medical Research Council: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand

arw ^ Zempleni J, Wijeratne SS, Hassan YI. (2009). "Biotin". Biofactors 35 (1): 36-46. doi:10.1002/biof.8. PMID 19319844.

arw ^ Hymes, J; Fleischhauer, K; Wolf, B. (1995). "Biotinylation of histones by human serum biotinidase: assessment of biotinyl-transferase activity in sera from normal individuals and children with biotinidase deficiency.". Biochem Mol Med. 56 (1): 76-83. doi:10.1006/bmme.1995.1059. PMID 8593541.

arw ^ Laitinen OH, Hytonen VP, Nordlund HR, Kulomaa MS. (2006). "Genetically engineered avidins and streptavidins.". Cell Mol Life Sci. 63 (24): 2992-3017. doi:10.1007/s00018-006-6288-z. PMID 17086379.

arw ^ Holmberg A, Blomstergren A, Nord O et al. (2005). "The biotin-streptavidin interaction can be reversibly broken using water at elevated temperatures". Electrophoresis 26 (3): 501-10. doi:10.1002/elps.200410070. PMID 15690449.

arw ^ Zempleni J, Mock DM. (1999). "Biotin biochemistry and human requirements.". J Nutr Biochem. 10 (3): 128-138. doi:10.1016/S0955-2863(98)00095-3. PMID 15539280.

arw ^ "Biotin". DSM Nutritional Products. 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2010-02-19.[dead link]

arw ^ Gropper S.S., Smith, J.L.,Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. Belmont. ISBN 0534559867.

arw ^ a b c d Combs, Gerald F. Jr. (2008). The Vitamins: Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health. San Diego: Elsevier, Inc. ISBN 9780121834937

arw ^ Bowman, BA and Russell, RM., ed (2006). "Biotin". Present Knowledge in Nutrition, Ninth Edition, Vol 1. Washington, DC: Internation Life Sciences Institute. ISBN 9781578811984.

arw ^ a b Higdon, Jane (2003). "Biotin". An evidence-based approach to vitamins and minerals. Thieme. ISBN 9781588901248.

^ a b Wolf B, Grier RE, Secor McVoy JR, Heard GS. (1985). "Biotinidase deficiency: a novel vitamin recycling defect". J Inherit Metab Dis. 8 (1): 53-8. doi:10.1007/BF01800660. PMID 3930841.
arw ^

arw ^ Murray, Michael; Pizzorno, Joseph (1997). "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine" (Revised 2nd Edition) Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0761511571

arw ^

arw ^ Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Research

arw ^ Combs, Gerald F. Jr. (1998). The Vitamins: Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health. Ithaca: Elsevier Academic Press. ISBN 360