Biotin Properties and Health Benefits

Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that works synergistically with pantothenic acid (also known as vitamin B5) in producing many crucial enzymes. We normally obtain this vitamin from food sources such as liver, nuts, oatmeal, rice, and legumes, but therapeutic doses can be incorporated through supplementation.

Most people receive the needed amount of biotin necessary to stay healthy from their daily diet. However, instances diseases, while uncommon, can leave people with an unhealthy dietary deficiency of biotin. Also long-term antibiotic use can interfere with biotin production in the intestine and increase the risk of biotin deficiency symptoms such as dermatitis, depression, hair loss, anemia, and nausea. Long term use of other medications may also cause biotin deficiency. Lower than normal biotin levels have been reported with alcoholics, people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, and those suffering from other stomach disorders. Low levels of biotin might possibly be linked with some birth defects.

Many people have used biotin to strengthen hair, nails, and as a supplement during pregnancy.

Dosage

Professionals have estimated that 30 mcg per day appears to be an adequate intake of the vitamin biotin for adults. Typically, consumption from a Western diet has been estimated to be 30-70 mcg per day. Larger amounts of biotin (8-16 mg per day) may be supportive for people with diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels and by possibly preventing diabetic neuropathy.

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