BIOTIN: WHAT IS IT?
Biotin, also known as vitamin B8 or vitamin H or vitamin I, is a water-soluble vitamin and, as such, does not accumulate in the body but must be taken regularly through food: it is an essential micronutrient for the human body.
BIOTIN IN FOOD
Biotin is resistant to high temperatures, so it is present in a wide range of foods, both of animal and plant origin; however, it is sensitive to changes in pH, i.e. alkalis and acids.
More specifically, foods that are sources of vitamin B8 are:
|Food||Amount of vitamin B8 mg/ 100g|
THE RECOMMENDED DAILY DOSE OF BIOTIN
The daily requirement for biotin ranges from 15 to 100 mcg per day, but may even double in individuals who practise sport at a semi-professional level and therefore require high energy expenditure and accelerated protein synthesis.
THE ROLE OF BIOTIN
In the human the body, biotin is involved in:
- protein metabolism.
- synthesis of fatty acids.
- glucose synthesis.
Being able to preserve the integrity of the skin and hair, biotin is indicated for the treatment of
- seborrhoeic dermatitis, especially of new-born babies
A biotin deficiency is quite rare as the vitamin, besides being present in a wide range of foods, is also abundantly produced by intestinal flora.
However, it can occur due to excessive consumption of raw egg white, which is rich in avidin, which ‘sequesters’ the biotin, making it no longer bioavailable. Typical symptoms are:
- general fatigue
- skin changes