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Biotin (Vitamin H)

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Common Name: Vitamin H

Synonym: Biotin

CAS No.: 58-85-5

Biotin, as referred to as biotin is part of the Vitamin B complex group and might be interesting to some people since one of the most visible symptoms of shortage of this vitamin is thinning of hair which can lead to total hair loss.

This does not mean that baldness is a sign of biotin in short supply - severe hair loss might just be indicative of biotin being deficient.

Vitamin H - biotin - is required for:
Vitamin H - biotin is used in cell growth, the production of fatty acids, metabolism of fats, and proteins. It plays a role in the Kreb cycle, which is the process in which energy is released from food.

Biotin is also indicated for healthy hair and skin, healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue, and bone marrow, and assisting with muscle pain.

Vitamin H - biotin not only assists in various metabolic chemical conversions, but also helps with the transfer of carbon dioxide. Biotin is also helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level.

Deficiency of biotin - vitamin H - biotin:
Although a shortage of Biotin is very rare, it can happen and may result in dry scaly skin, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mental depression as well as tongue inflammation and high cholesterol.

Adults 300 microgram (0.3 mg) per day and pregnant and lactating women 300 microgram (0.3 mg) per day.

Toxicity and symptoms of high intake:
No known toxic levels are known, as excesses are easily lost in the urine and feces. No known side effects are known.

Best used with:
Biotin should be taken with the B-group vitamins, but Vitamin C, Vitamin B 5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B12 and sulfur are good companions to it. A tricologist will sometimes add biotin to the diet of a patient suffering from alopecia, to help with severe hair loss, but it must be in the right quantities to satisfy the inter-dependence of other nutrients - such as found in our Hair, Skin and Nail supplement

When more biotin may be required:
Bodybuilders and athletes consuming raw eggs should be careful of not running into a biotin shortage, since raw eggs contain avidin, which binds with the biotin, making it impossible to be absorbed by the body.

Long term users of antibiotics may also have to look at their biotin levels.

Enemy of element:
Biotin is not easily destroyed

Other interesting points:
It seems that biotin may affect hair color, together with PABA, folic acid and pantothenic acid. Some research had varying results with biotin supplements in returning hair to it original color.

This has proved only successful to a limited degree and only when natural vitamins were used, as the synthetic vitamins did not influence the results very much.

Food sources of biotin:
Biotin is present in cheese, beef liver, cauliflower, eggs, mushrooms, chicken breasts, salmon, spinach, brewer's yeast, nuts and can be manufactured in the body should a small shortfall occur.