Biotin, Vitamin H or Vitamin B7- Facts and Food Source
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A member of the vitamin B group, also known as vitamin H, vitamin B7 or co-enzyme R, biotin works with other B vitamins to convert food into energy. It is found in many common foods and deficiency is unusual unless you eat a lot of raw egg whites.
How It Works
Vitamin B7 plays an important part in the production of fatty acids, which are essential for healthy skin, hair
and nerves, as well as many other bodily functions. It is thought to help prevent your hair turning gray and to prevent premature baldness.
A regular intake of this vitamin is essential because it dissolves in water and is excreted in urine.
- Cradle cap in infants
- Eczema and dermatitis
- Premature graying hair or baldness
Although there is no scientific evidence to support the claim, vitamin B7 may help to prevent hair from turning gray and being lost prematurely.
Because it plays a role in fat metabolism it is thought that supplements may aid weight loss.
People who have eczema and/or dermatitis have noted improvements in their skin condition when taking extra vitamin B7. It is also used to treat cradle cap.
Low levels of vitamin H are thought to affect your immunity to yeast infections, and high-dose this vitamin supplements seem to be helpful in alleviating the condition in some people.
There are bacteria present in your intestines that produce vitamin B7, but they are easily destroyed by antibiotics. This is why you are more vulnerable to thrush if you are taking antibiotics.
Widely used in the treatment of dry skin conditions, this vitamin is essential for breaking down and metabolizing fats in your body.
A balanced diet should supply the RDA of 150mcg of biotin. Infants with dermatitis and pregnant women may need slightly higher amounts, as will those taking long-term antibiotics (for example as a treatment for acne
Levels of up to 200mcg can be taken, usually as part of a B-complex supplement
. Supplements containing biotin are best taken with food.
Vitamin B7 is non-toxic and no adverse effects have been reported from taking high doses.
Biotin (Vitamin B7, Vitamin H) Vital Facts
Recommended daily allowance for adults:
- Good for hair and skin health
- Alleviates eczema and dermatitis
- May help with weight loss
Readily available in many foods in small amounts. If you eat a varied diet, deficiency should not be a problem.
Vitamin B7 is depleted by alcohol, cooking and refining food, antibiotics and raw egg whites, which contain a protein (avidin) that prevents vitamin H absorption in the intestines.
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