|What’s it used for?||Energy production from metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins; key in four enzyme reactions; healthy hair and nails|
|Best food sources||Brewer’s yeast, cheese, liver, soy beans and nuts|
|How much do I need?||NRV is 50ug per day*|
|Need to know||Deficiency of biotin can often occur after a course of antibiotics|
*A Nutrient Reference Value or NRV is the recommended level set by the UK Department of Health for daily nutrient intake
Biotin is a member of the B family of vitamins, all of which are water soluble. Biotin is one of the most stable B vitamins, which means it’s not so readily lost during cooking or food processing.
The body creates its own supply of biotin under the right digestive conditions. Biotin is mainly manufactured in the digestive tract via the naturally residing friendly bacteria. This explains why deficiency can sometimes occur after a course of antibiotics.
Why do I need it?
Biotin’s main role is as an energy producer, as well as being involved in the metabolising of fats. That is why it is often used as part of a weight management programme. It also enhances the breakdown of glucose via the liver, which is important in balancing blood sugar levels and therefore, controlling weight.
It is also well-known and well-liked (especially by women) due to its ability to promote strong nails and healthy hair.
Best food sources
Brewer’s yeast is the best food source. Unlike some nutrients, biotin is found in both animal and vegetable sources.
Foods high in Biotin
Brewer’s yeast – 200 ug per 100g
Beef liver – 96 ug per 100g
Soy beans – 61 ug per 100g
Peanut butter – 39 ug per 100g
Walnuts – 37 ug per 100g
Are you getting enough?
Any potential deficiency symptoms are generally caused by low production of biotin in the gut rather than lack of dietary intake.
Deficiency symptoms are uncommon but can include dry and flaky skin, loss of energy, hair loss and a lack of appetite. Biotin has been found to be helpful in cases of dermatitis. It’s also thought that biotin improves the metabolism of scalp oils, hence its ability to improve hair condition.
Did you know?A vegetarian diet seems to positively alter the friendly bacteria in our digestive systems, enabling a greater production of biotin
It is safe to take during pregnancy and breast feeding at recommended dosages – consult your healthcare professional for advice
Biotin was originally discovered by the deficiency symptoms created from eating large amounts of raw eggs
Biotin can also help combat an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract
Biotin is found in the Alive! range of multi vitamins and minerals.
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