Biotin in the body
Biotin resembles vitamin K in the sense that it affects the bones. Biotin transforms the proteins in the bones to a form to which calcium can attach better.
Biotin from nutrition
Yeast, grains, egg yolks, kidneys, liver, soy and milk are all good sources of biotin. The body can also produce some of the biotin it needs in the gut but it also needs to be consumed daily from food.
Recommended daily intake of biotin
It is difficult to determine the required daily intake of biotin, as research has not been able to determine how much biotin is formed in the body. Therefore the estimations for the daily intake of biotin vary. For example, it has been estimated in the United States that the required daily intake of biotin is at least 30 micrograms and that for women who are breastfeeding, the number should be even higher. In Europe it has been estimated that the daily intake of biotin is naturally 50–90 micrograms.
Though very rare, biotin deficiency can occur in people who exercise a lot, elderly people, people who are recovering from a surgery, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people who suffer from Crohn's disease.
Biotin deficiency can be seen as skin problems, acne, psoriasis, skin coeliac disease or itching skin. Long-term deficiency can cause problems with hair and scalp or lead even to osteoporosis.
Biotin is often used as a supplement to strengthen hair and nails.
The approved health claims of biotin
- Biotin contributes to normal energy metabolism
- Biotin contributes to normal function of the nervous system
- Biotin contributes to normal metabolism of macronutrients
- Biotin contributes to normal psychological functions
- Biotin contributes to maintenance of normal hair
- Biotin contributes to maintenance of normal mucous membranes
- Biotin contributes to the maintenance of normal skin