What is Biotin?


Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the group of B complex vitamins. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of our hair, skin, and nails, as well as supporting the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in our body. Biotin is essential for the proper functioning of various enzymes that are involved in important metabolic processes.

Why do we need Biotin?

Biotin is involved in several important bodily functions. Here are some key reasons why we need an adequate amount of biotin:

  1. Hair, Skin, and Nail Health: Biotin is often referred to as the “beauty vitamin” due to its positive effects on hair, skin, and nails. It helps in maintaining the strength, thickness, and overall health of these tissues.
  2. Metabolism Support: Biotin plays a crucial role in the metabolism of macronutrients, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It aids in the conversion of food into energy and helps in the synthesis of important molecules like fatty acids and glucose.
  3. Cell Growth and Repair: Biotin is essential for the growth and repair of body cells. It helps in the production of DNA and promotes cell division, which is important for the growth and maintenance of tissues.
  4. Brain Function: Biotin is involved in the production of neurotransmitters, which are essential for proper brain function. It helps in maintaining cognitive health and supports overall brain function.
  5. Pregnancy and Fetal Development: Biotin is important during pregnancy as it supports the growth and development of the fetus. It plays a role in embryonic development and helps in the formation of the baby’s organs and tissues.

Sources of Biotin

Biotin is found in a variety of foods, both animal-based and plant-based. Here are some good dietary sources of biotin:

  • Eggs: Egg yolks are a great source of biotin. However, it is important to note that consuming raw egg whites can interfere with biotin absorption, so it is best to consume cooked eggs.
  • Meat and Fish: Organ meats like liver and kidney, as well as fish, such as salmon and tuna, are rich in biotin.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are excellent sources of biotin.
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, and soybeans are good plant-based sources of biotin.
  • Dairy Products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt contain biotin in varying amounts.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Avocados, bananas, cauliflower, and spinach are some fruits and vegetables that contain biotin.

The recommended daily intake of biotin varies depending on age, sex, and specific health conditions. The following table provides an overview of the recommended daily intake:

Age Group Recommended Daily Intake of Biotin
Infants (0-6 months) 5 mcg
Infants (7-12 months) 6 mcg
Children (1-3 years) 8 mcg
Children (4-8 years) 12 mcg
Children (9-13 years) 20 mcg
Adolescents (14-18 years) 25 mcg
Adults (19 years and older) 30 mcg
Pregnant Women 30 mcg
Breastfeeding Women 35 mcg

It is important to note that these recommendations are general guidelines, and individual needs may vary based on factors such as overall health, lifestyle, and specific dietary choices. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help determine the appropriate biotin intake for an individual.

Biotin Deficiency

Biotin deficiency is rare, as the vitamin is widely available in various foods and is also produced by the bacteria in our gut. However, certain factors can increase the risk of biotin deficiency, such as prolonged antibiotic use, gastrointestinal disorders, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain genetic disorders.

Signs and symptoms of biotin deficiency may include hair loss, brittle nails, dry skin, fatigue, muscle pain, and neurological symptoms like depression and tingling in the extremities. If someone suspects a biotin deficiency, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Supplementing with Biotin

In some cases, individuals may require biotin supplementation to meet their daily needs. Biotin supplements are available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and liquid. It is important to follow the recommended dosage provided by the manufacturer or as advised by a healthcare professional.

Biotin supplements are generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses. However, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements, especially if an individual has any underlying health conditions or is taking medications that may interact with biotin.


Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of our hair, skin, and nails. It supports various metabolic processes in our body and helps in the growth and repair of body cells. While biotin deficiency is rare, it is important to consume a balanced diet that includes good sources of biotin. If needed, biotin supplements can be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Maintaining an adequate intake of biotin contributes to overall health and well-being.

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