Biotin is water-soluble and is required by all organisms. In human intestine, bacteria produce biotin.

Recommended daily intake: 30 µg

Biotin is present in the skin, hair, nerves and bone marrow.
Biotin deficiency rarely, if ever, occurs in healthy individuals who consume a regular diet. Almost all foods contain significant quantities of biotin, and many widely consumed foods are relatively rich in biotin. the intestinal flora synthesizes significant quantities of biotin. A significant fraction of the body’s biotin is recycled; that is, a given molecule of biotin may be repeatedly used before it is eventually lost from the body in the feces or urine.It can happen in those being treated either with certain anticonvulsants or with broad-spectrum antibiotics. Consuming raw egg white may cause biotin deficits. Avidin, a protein found in egg white, can bind biotin and prevent it being absorbed. Biotin-Avidin complex is not broken during the passage of food in the intestine and is lost in the feces.
Athletes often take biotin because they are most likely to experience a deficit. Anticonvulsants inhibit biotin absorption in the small intestine or increase urinary excretion of the vitamin. Biotin deficiency is relatively common in pregnant women, because excretion levels are higher. Pregnant women are advised to take addition biotin (at least 400 µg/ day).
Biotin deficiency causes skin, nail and hair loss. It may also result in weakness, depression, hallucination, numbness, fatigue, irritation, rashes, loss of appetite, and even depression.
Symptoms of Biotin deficiency first start with skin and hair.

  • Dry skin
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Fungal infections
  • Rashes, including erythematous periorofacial macular rash
  • Fine and brittle hair
  • Hair loss or total alopecia

Approximately 1-2 weeks later, neurologic symptoms begin to develop.

  • Mild depression, Changes in mental status
  • Generalized muscular pains

Other symptoms

  • Nausea, Vomiting, Anorexia.
Biotin is found in various food stuffs in generally lower amounts than other water-soluble vitamins. Biotin containing food products include bread, brown rice, bran cereals, egg yolk, yeast, nuts, beans, peas, cauliflower, liver, kidney and fish. Biotin supplements may be recommended in case of skin, nail and hair loss.