Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a water-soluble B-vitamin that is essential for a wide range of metabolic processes in the body. These include helping the body break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

It plays an important role in the health of your skin, hair and nails. It keeps your skin hydrated and enhances its appearance and smoothness.

Also, it is necessary for proper energy production and metabolism, as well as for normal functioning of the nervous system.

It is naturally found in foods such as eggs, dairy products, nuts, legumes and whole grains.

Biotin supplementation is generally safe and well-tolerated; however, it can interfere with certain medications, so it is important to speak to your doctor before taking biotin supplements.

Food Sources of Biotin

Some of the best natural sources include:

Eggs: Egg yolks contain high amounts of biotin, making them an excellent source of this vitamin.

Organ meats: Organ meats such as liver and kidney

Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are all good sources of vitamin B7.

Avocados: Avocados are full of biotin, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals.

Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils and peanuts are all good sources of vitamin B7.

Mushrooms: Shiitake and oyster mushrooms are particularly high in this vitamin.

Dairy Products: Milk and yogurt are both good sources of vitamin B7.

Bananas: Bananas are full of biotin, as well as other vitamins and minerals.

Root vegetables: Root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots are a great source of vitamin B7.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) does not seem to exist for biotin, as there is hardly any credible evidence to suggest that a certain daily requirement is needed for healthy people.

However, there is an Adequate Intake (AI) level on a daily basis, which is:

  • 30 micrograms for adults 19 years and above (both men and women)
  • 35 micrograms for lactating women

Health Benefits of Biotin

Biotin has numerous health benefits. Here are some of the most important:

  • Helps convert food into energy, which can improve overall energy levels.
  • Supports healthy cell growth and maintenance, which can help promote healthy skin and nails.
  • Helps break down fats and carbohydrates, which can aid in weight management.
  • It is essential for proper nerve function and muscle movement, which can improve physical performance.
  • May support healthy brain function, which could lead to improved cognitive performance.
  • Also, it can help regulate blood sugar levels, which can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

If you are looking to take advantage of all that biotin has to offer, consulting with your doctor is the best way to determine the right dosage and supplement for your needs.

Symptoms of Biotin Deficiency

Biotin deficiency is a rare but serious condition that can cause a range of physical and mental symptoms.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Dry or scaly skin
  • Cracking at the corners of the mouth
  • Thinning hair and hair loss
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Mental confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle pain or cramping
  • Mood swings and depression
  • Neurological changes, such as tingling in the arms and legs
  • Insomnia

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice.

Biotin deficiency is treatable with dietary changes and supplements.


Biotin is essential for human health, and a deficiency in this vitamin can lead to a range of symptoms.

Here is a list of some of the possible causes of biotin deficiency:

Poor diet: Biotin is found in many foods, such as eggs, milk, nuts and legumes. A diet lacking in these foods can lead to this deficiency.

Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb biotin. These include Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism and long-term use of antibiotics.

Genetic disorders: Some genetic disorders can cause the deficiency, such as biotinidase deficiency and multiple carboxylase deficiency.

Medications: Certain medications can interfere with biotin absorption, such as anticonvulsants and antacids.


There are two important tests to diagnose biotin deficiency: blood test and urine test.

The blood test measures the levels of biotin in your blood, while the urine test measures your body’s ability to absorb biotin (Urinary Excretion of 3-Hydroxyisovaleric Acid)

Based on these tests, your doctor may recommend dietary changes or supplemental biotin to help restore your levels.


The most common treatment for biotin deficiency is supplementation with a biotin supplement.

Biotin supplements are available in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets and liquid drops.

Taking the supplement regularly can help restore your body’s biotin levels and correct the deficiency.

Also, your doctor may recommend dietary changes to ensure you’re getting enough of the vitamin in your diet, such as eating more eggs, nuts and seafood.

Finally, if your deficiency is due to an underlying medical condition, your doctor may prescribe medications to address the underlying issue.

Side Effects of Biotin Use

While it is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects of taking biotin. These include digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

In rare cases, it can cause an allergic reaction which may result in skin rash, itching and hives.

As with any supplement, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting a biotin regimen. Your can provide guidance on the appropriate dosage and help you monitor for potential side effects.


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Sources: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Medical News Today, News Medical, WebMD (1, 2), Healthline (1, 2), Mount Sinai, National Library of Medicine (1, 2, 3, 4), St. Luke’s, PubMed, NIH, PeaceHealth, Drugs.Com

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