Biotin (vitamin B7)

Vitamin B7

vitamin B7
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Biotin, also referred to as Vitamin B7 and Vitamin H, is a water soluble vitamin. Part of the B-complex of vitamins, this nutrient is not stored in large amounts in the body. In addition to being found in small amounts in foods, this vitamin is also produced in the intestines by the good intestinal microbiota.

Like other B Vitamins, B7 plays an important role in metabolism (breaking down and transforming the foods we eat into energy and basic materials used for rebuilding tissues in the body). This vitamin plays an essential role in gluconeogenesis- process of glucose generation from non sugars (fatty and amino acids), thereby helps to maintain a certain level of sugar in the blood.

Biotin is necessary for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Despite the known fact that shortage of biotin leads to hair loss, there is not enough research depicting the usefulness of B7 exaggerated intake in improvement of the condition of hair and nails (unless bad condition of hair caused by deficiency of this nutrient).

In addition, this vitamin is necessary for proper functioning of the nervous system, normal embryonic growth and development in early stages, growth of cells, and healing of tissues.

nutshell In a nutshell
nutshell Well known importance of biotin for hair health and skin health. Shortage of biotin leads to hair loss and dermatitis.
nutshell Vitamin B7 is one of essential nutrients for pregnant and nursing women.
nutshell Antibiotics taking can be one of the reasons for the vitamin deficiency – it harms good  intestinal microbiota which is an important biotin supplier.

Vitamin B7 deficiency

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Biotin deficiency is very rare because this substance is produced by good intestinal bacteria. However, there are some cases where a deficiency can be developed. Eating a diet that includes raw egg whites for a long period of time can lead to deficiency in this nutrient. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may also become deficient so supplementation may be necessary. Certain medications, including some antibiotics and anti-seizure medications, may also reduce biotin levels in the body. Antibiotics harm good intestinal microbiota which is an important biotin supplier.

The most common symptoms of deficiency of this vitamin involve problems with the skin (seborrheic dermatitis), especially of the scalp. Other symptoms of a Vitamin B7 deficiency may include:
• Hair loss;
• Rash;
• Dry, scaly skin;
• Cracked skin, especially in the corners of the mouth;
• Glossitis, resulting in a bright red tongue that is painful and swollen;
• Fatigue;
• Loss of appetite;
• Difficulty sleeping;
• Seizures;
• Trouble with muscle tone and coordination;
• Muscle cramps;
• Mood problems;
• Hallucinations;
• Numbness and tingling in arms, legs, hands, or feet.

Vitamin B7 overdose

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Vitamin B7 overdose. There have been no noted serious events of Vitamin B7 overdose. Even with daily high doses of biotin supplements, there is little chance for a severe reaction. Because of this, there is no tolerable upper limit (UL), or maximum dosage, has been set. However, as with any medication, users may experience Vitamin B7 side effects.

There are no known vitamin B7 side effects, even when it is taken in supplement form. However, those with certain health issues or on medications should consult their physicians before taking supplements containing this vitamin. Additional supplementation with this nutrient may reduce the effectiveness of prescription cholesterol medications. It is inadvisable to take high doses of this vitamin with other vitamins for long periods of time without physician recommendation due to the unknown risks associated with such combination in long-term use.

Daily Recommended Intake

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Daily Recommended Intake. While B7 is produced by good intestinal bacteria, it is also important to eat foods that contain this nutrient. This vitamin is found in eggs, especially the yolk, oily fish, beans, grains, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, cauliflower, brewer’s yeast, tomatoes, and bananas.

While supplementation is typically not necessary, daily recommendations for this nutrient range from 5 microgram per day for infants up to 30 microgram a day for adults and breastfeeding women- 35 μg (microgram).

At first, It was called Vitamin “H” after the German word “haut” …

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Why Vitamin “H”? This vitamin was first identified in 1916 by W. G. Bateman. In the 1930s and 1940s, experiments with chicks and rats that were fed raw egg whites showed a deficiency in essential nutrients by causing rash and hair loss. At first, biotin was called Vitamin H after the German word “haut” (skin) due to the skin effects of deficiency. It was later discovered to be one of the B-vitamins. It was given the label B7 as it was the 7th identified in this group.