Biotin is a water soluble vitamin that is generally classified as one of the B complex vitamins and is obtained through dietary sources as well as through gut bacteria; it is required by all living organisms but can only be synthesized by bacteria, yeasts, molds, algae and some plant species. It functions as an essential cofactor for carboxylase enzymes. It is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, gluconeogenesis, and energy production as well the metabolism of branch-chained amino acids. Biotin is absorbed in the small intestine and is then excreted through urine.
Biotin is attached to the active site of five enzymes known as carboxylases. Each of the five carboxylases is responsible for the synthesis of either glucose or fatty acids or it catalyzes essential amino acids. Biotin is an essential component of cell growth and replication through the manufacture of DNA and RNA and has also been shown to help with glucose tolerance. Studies were conducted on mice to see the effects of biotin on glucose tolerance, results showed an improvement in their glucose tolerance as well as a decrease in insulin resistance. Supplementation of biotin can also help to prevent the cracking and peeling of nails as well as improve hair texture and quality.
Although there are no official dietary intake values confirmed for biotin, the Adequate Intake (AI) values are as follows:
- Up to 1 year old: 7 micrograms (mcg)
Children and Adolescents
- 1 to 3 years old: 8 mcg
- 4 to 8 years old: 12 mcg
- 9 to 13 years old: 20 mcg
- 14 to 18 years old: 25 mcg
- 18 years old and older: 30 mcg
- Pregnant: 30 mcg
- Lactating: 35 mcg
Biotin deficiency is very rare in humans because it is found in a wide variety of foods, however it does occur. The main ways to be at risk for developing a biotin deficiency are by being on prolonged parenteral feedings without the supplementation of biotin or the consumption of raw eggs for a prolonged period of time. Some key signs and symptoms of a biotin deficiency include hair loss and a scaly red rash around eyes, nose, mouth and genital area. Some neurological symptoms seen in adults are depression, lethargy, hallucinations, numbness, anemia and high cholesterol.
Sources in the Diet
Biotin can be found in a wide variety of foods such as liver, peanuts, chocolate, eggs, cauliflower, oysters, salmon, molasses and chicken. Biotin is also found in almonds, sweet potatoes, onions and oats.
Recent Studies and Articles
Biotin as a component of the nutritional value of sheep’s milk
Biotin aiding in insect nutritional value
Physical Characteristics: White powder, sparingly soluble in water
Formulation Notes: Usually sold as a trituration on inert carrier. Moderately stable. Low use rate equates to fewer flavor issues.
BIOTIN 10% ON DCP TRIT, 44LB (20KG) CTN
BIOTIN 1.0% ON DCP , 44 LB (20 KG.) CARTON
BIOTIN 1% GRANULTION , 55LB (25KG) CARTON
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