Vitamin B7 “ commonly known as biotin “ is found in very small amounts in the body, but it plays a very large role in the chemical reactions which release the energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Although biotin is also sometimes called Vitamin H, the truth is that it's part of the B complex. In the body, biotin is found in low concentrations in the brain, liver and muscle tissue.
The name biotin is derived from the Greek word for life (bios). Biotin is one of the more recently discovered B-complex vitamins. Biotin is quite stable when exposed to light, heat, or air during normal cooking, but unfortunately, some food processing like canning or curing will cause a significant loss in nutritional value.
As a B-complex vitamin, biotin's most important function is facilitating the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. There is some evidence suggesting that biotin is necessary for normal Vitamin B12 activity.
Certain enzymes in our body need biotin to work properly, and without it our skin and nervous system may not function normally. One of biotin's best known contributions is to maintaining healthy hair and skin. In fact, biotin's other name Vitamin H comes from haar und haut the German words for hair and skin.
- Biotin is essential for the intermediate metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- Biotin assists in energy metabolism (in cells).
- Biotin helps promote skin, hair and nail health so you can look and feel your best.
- Biotin helps promote healthy nail growth by acting at the base of the nail the nail matrix where nail growth begins.
- Biotin is involved in metabolism of amino acids, which are the components of protein.
- Biotin supports energy production.
- The primary role of biotin is the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates but it also functions as a critical accomplice to several enzymes involved in energy metabolism. Biotin helps in the synthesis of fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids.
- A lack of biotin may cause the body to experience difficulty in metabolizing sugar, which could result in cramps or pain during physical exertion.
- The major benefit of biotin as a dietary supplement is related to the strengthening of hair and nails. It promotes healthy skin, and as a consequence biotin is sometimes added to cosmetics and health products for the hair and skin. However, biotin cannot be absorbed through the hair or skin itself.
- Biotin is needed for proper cell division, cell growth, and the production of genetic material. It is particularly important to healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow.
- Biotin plays a central role as a CO2-carrier (carbon dioxide) in important metabolic reactions such as the synthesis of fatty acids and metabolism of amino acids.
- Biotin is required to produce the fat used in healthy cell membranes. This is important so skin cells can function as a protective barrier.
Biotin is found in so many foods that deficiency isn't usually a problem, at least for adults. However, biotin deficiency can occur if too much egg white is consumed, because egg white contains a chemical called avidin which binds to biotin and prevents it from being absorbed.
But don't worry if the body's supply of biotin runs low, a small amount can be produced by bacteria in the intestine and used. Here are some foods which will help maintain biotin levels:
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