Biotin, known also as Vitamin B7 is one of the most popular vitamins in the vitamin B complex. It was discovered in the late 30s, early 40s and was originally called Vitamin H.
Functions of biotin
Energy Production - Biotin participates in the metabolizing of sugar and fat. In the metabolizing of sugar, biotin helps move sugar from its initial stage of processing to make it into an usable chemical for energy. Therefore, muscle spasms and pain associated with physical exertion may result from the body's inability to use sugar as fuel efficiently and signal biotin deficiency.
Synthesis of fat (fatty acids) - many of the classic symptoms of biotin deficiency include skin problems associated with the role of biotin in the synthesis of fat. Biotin is necessary for the function of an enzyme in the body called acetyl Co-A carboxylase. This enzyme puts together the building blocks for the production of fat in the body. When cellular components of fat can not be created properly due to biotin deficiency, skin cells develop problems. In young children, the most common symptom of biotin deficiency is dermatitis, a skin condition in which yellowish / whitish spots appear around the scalp, head, eyebrows, behind the ears and skin of the newborn. In adults, there is also a similar skin condition called seborrhea.
Supports the nervous system - as glucose and fats are used to produce energy within the nervous system, biotin provides support in this area. Numerous neurological symptoms are associated with biotin deficiency. These symptoms are seizures, loss of muscle coordination (ataxia), and the lack of good muscle tone (hypotonia).
In addition to a shortage of biotin - containing foods in the diet, insufficient dietary intake of vitamin B5 can lead to functional biotin deficiency as B5 works with biotin in many situations. Intestinal problems should also be considered as a possible symptom of biotin deficiency.
Eating raw egg whites can also contribute to biotin deficiency as avidine, glycoprotein in egg white matter, may be associated with biotin and prevent its absorption. When cooking the egg white that connection with avidin is impossible.
About 50% of pregnant women suffer from biotin deficiency, which may increase the risk of defects in birth. Anticonvulsive drugs such as carbamazepine can interfere with the absorption of biotin too.
Benefits of biotin
Biotin can play an important role in the prevention and / or treatment of the following disorders: alopecia, intestinal imbalances, including intestinal inflammation, intestinal irritation, Crohn's disease , ulcerative colitis and chronic diarrhea, nervous disorders, including seizures, ataxia (movement characterized by lack of muscle coordination), hypotension (movements characterized by lack of muscle tone) and skin diseases.
Sources of biotin
Egg yolk is one of the largest sources of biotin in the diet.
Biotin is relatively stable when exposed to heat, light and oxygen. Acidic environments, however, can change the properties of this vitamin.