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The Mystery of Biotin

The World’s Healthiest Foods has a post regarding a little-known vitamin called biotin.  Although we have known about it for some time, researchers are still learning about how it affects the human body and how much the body needs. We are also discovering which foods contain biotin.

Biotin is one of the B-complex vitamins and has had other names in the past, such as vitamin H, coenzyme R, and vitamin B7. So far, we know that biotin can be found in these foods:

  • Sunflower seeds.
  • Pumpkin seeds.
  • Soybeans
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Peanuts, almonds, and walnuts.
  • Eggs
  • Root vegetables (such as carrots).
  • Salmon

Although we are still learning about biotin, we do know that the vitamin can affect the human body in the following ways:

  • Biotin plays a role in metabolizing fat and sugar into the human body.
  • Being biotin-deficient can affect the body’s production of insulin and how insulin affects cells.
  • Biotin is necessary for keeping the skin healthy, supple, and moist. If deficient the skin could break out in a rash.

For food preparation, biotin is resilient to cooking. It is estimated that when cooking foods with biotin you will lose about 10% of the vitamin. Canning will cause more nutrient loss, potentially 40-80%.  

Raw eggs also have another chemical that binds with biotin to prevent it’s absorption into the body.  However, the World’s Healthiest Foods doesn’t recommend consuming raw eggs because of the potential for a bacterial infection.  

Other health problems caused by biotin deficiency can include:

  • Brittle nails.
  • Hair loss.
  • Seizures
  • Diabetes

In addition, a deficiency could have an impact on pregnancy.

The website also notes that if you use seizure medications, you may become deficient in biotin. Yet, there isn’t any evidence that you could have a toxic overdose of biotin. The Food and Drug Administration suggests 300 mcg of biotin per day for a 2,000-calorie diet.

Want to learn more about biotin? Read the full article here:  Biotin.