Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that plays an important role in metabolizing the energy we get from food. Biotin assists four essential enzymes that break down fats carbohydrates and proteins.
Very preliminary evidence suggests that biotin supplements may be helpful for people with diabetes.
is a necessary nutrient, we usually get enough from bacteria living in the digestive tract. Severe Biotin
deficiency has been seen in people who frequently eat large quantities of raw egg white. (Raw egg white contains a protein that blocks the absorption of Biotin
. Fortunately, cooked egg white does not present this problem.)
The official U.S. and Canadian recommendations for daily intake of Biotin
are as follows:
- Infants 0–5 months, 5 mcg
6–11 months, 6 mcg
- Children 1–3 years, 8 mcg
4–8 years, 12 mcg
9–13 years, 20 mcg
- Males and females 14–18 years, 25 mcg
19 years and older, 30 mcg
- Pregnant women, 30 mcg
- Nursing women, 35 mcg
Good dietary sources of Biotin
include brewers yeast, nutritional (torula) yeast, whole grains, nuts, egg yolks, sardines legumes, liver, cauliflower, bananas, and mushrooms.
There is some evidence that slight Biotin
deficiency may tend to occur during normal pregnancy. For this reason, pregnant women should take a prenatal vitamin that contains the recommended intake of Biotin
For people with diabetes, the usual recommended dosage of Biotin is 7,000 to 15,000 mcg daily.
For treating cradle cap (a scaly head rash often found in infants), the usual dosage of biotin is 6,000 mcg daily, given to the nursing mother (not the child). A lower dosage of 3,000 mcg daily is used to treat brittle fingernails and toenails.
There is little hard evidence for any of the proposed uses of biotin. Highly preliminary evidence suggests that supplemental Biotin can help reduce blood sugar levels in people with either type 1 (childhood onset) or type 2 (adult onset) diabetes. Biotin may also reduce the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. However, other supplements often recommended for diabetes have much better evidence behind them, such as chromium, lipoic acid, and GLA from evening primrose oil.
Even weaker evidence suggests that biotin supplements can promote healthy nails and eliminate cradle cap.
Individuals taking antiseizure medications might benefit from biotin supplementation at nutritional doses. However, it should be taken at least 2 hours before or after the medication dose. Note that excessive Biotin supplementation should be avoided because it is possible that it might interfere with seizure control.
Biotin appears to be quite safe. However, maximum safe dosages for young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established.