Vitamin B7, also called biotin, vitamin H or vitamin B8, is a colorless, water-soluble member of the B vitamin group. There are eight different forms of biotin, but only one of them – D-biotin – occurs naturally and has full vitamin activity. Biotin can only be synthesized by bacteria, molds, yeasts, algae, and by certain plant species.
Supporting research & information
Like any other vitamin, Vitamin B7 has its own share of benefits for providing improved health to the human body. The health benefits of vitamin B7 are explained in greater detail below.
Metabolism: Vitamin B7, as mentioned earlier, is considered as a catalyst for controlling a number of metabolic reactions that provide energy from the metabolism of important components like fats, proteins and carbohydrates. These processes are very important for the human body to carry out routinely in order to work properly and stay in good shape.
Skin care: Vitamin B7 is an essential component for maintaining good health of the skin and hair. It is also beneficial for keeping nails in good condition. It helps to revitalize reduced skin color due to pollution and bad health. This is why a person that experiences dry scalp or hair loss might be suffering from a deficiency of Vitamin B7 in their diet.
Tissue Maintenance: Vitamin B7 helps in the growth and maintenance of muscle tissues and repairing these tissues in case of any type of damage. It also ensures the proper functioning of nervous system tissues, along with optimal growth of bone marrow.
Weight Loss: Vitamin B7 is helpful in reducing surplus fat from the human body and maintaining a healthy weight. People suffering from obesity are generally recommended by doctors to include food that is rich in vitamin B7 in their daily diet plan.
Heart Problems: Vitamin B7 is helpful for ensuring the proper functioning of the heart by relieving it from most crucial problems. It helps in reducing the level of cholesterol in the human body, which is a major cause of conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Synthesis of Components: Vitamin B7 is considered as a synthesizer for a number of vital components, which play irreplaceable roles in maintaining optimal health for the human body. For instance, this vitamin helps in the processing of glucose to extract appropriate amounts of energy. Also, it helps in the synthesis of fatty acids and amino acids within the body.
Blood Sugar: It is a proven fact that Vitamin B7 is helpful in maintaining proper levels of sugar in the blood, which is definitely good news for people that suffer from diabetes. It helps the human body to regulate insulin, thereby reducing the risk of widely fluctuating blood sugar levels, which can often lead to diabetes.
Other Benefits: Adding to the already long list, Vitamin B7 is also helpful in treating a number of diseases like alopecia, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome and vaginal candidiasis. Finally, it is a beneficial vitamin for the treatment of certain serious conditions like seborrhea dermatitis, Crohn’s disease, and peripheral neuropathy.
Vitamin B7, more commonly known as biotin, is a B vitamin. Like all B vitamins, biotin aids the body in breaking down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy production. It also has roles in maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nervous system function
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin essential for the growth and development of all organisms (R).
As a coenzyme of carboxylase enzymes, biotin is involved in the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids, and carbohydrates (R).
Biotin has been shown to be important for many health factors including supporting neurological functions, steadying blood sugar levels, DNA stability, and hair, skin and nail health (R,R2).
The body cannot synthesize biotin, so it needs to be obtained regularly from the diet and intestinal bacteria (R).
Biotin can be found in a wide variety of foods including animal liver, egg yolks, cow milk, and some fruits and vegetables (R).
Although biotin deficiency is rare, it can be dangerous if left untreated. Suboptimal levels or marginal deficiencies, which are a lot more common, have been linked to a variety of negative health effects including growth retardation, neurological dysfunction, hair loss, skin rash, muscle pain, and anemia (R).
Groups at risk for biotin deficiency include smokers, alcoholics, pregnant women, and patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (R,R2,R3,R4).
Health Benefits of Biotin
1) Biotin is Necessary for Energy Metabolism
Biotin is a coenzyme for carboxylases, the enzymes that assist in the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates for energy production (R).
These enzymes are essential for the following processes:
- Gluconeogenesis, the metabolic pathway that produces glucose from non-carbohydrate sources including amino acids (R).
- Cellular energy production (R).
- The use of branched-chain amino acids (e.g., leucine, isoleucine, and valine) for neurotransmitter production and energy (R).
- Synthesis and breakdown of fatty acids for energy (R).
Insulin release (R).
Inadequate biotin levels in the body can slow down metabolism, which leads to fatigue, digestive problems, and weight gain (R).
Biotin Promotes Brain Function and Prevents Cognitive Decline
Biotin is required for myelin sheath formation, a fatty substance that surrounds nerves and facilitates nerve impulse conduction. As such, biotin deficiency can delay myelination (R).
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by myelin damage and loss. Given its role in fatty acid synthesis and energy production (both are needed for myelin repair and axonal survival), it has been proposed that biotin may be effective in limiting or reversing multiple sclerosis-related impairments (R).
In fact, some studies have found that high-dose biotin treatment was able to reverse disease progression and improve symptoms in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (R,R2).
However, although these results are promising, research is currently limited and more large-scale clinical trials are required to fully assess the potential disease-modifying mechanism of high-dose biotin (R).
Biotin deficiency can also lead to a number of other neurological symptoms, including seizures, lack of muscle coordination, learning disabilities, hallucinations, depression, and lethargy. Most of these conditions can be resolved with biotin supplementation (R,R2,R3).
High-dose biotin supplementation (5-10 mg/kg/day) is also effective in treating biotin-responsive basal ganglia disease, a rare brain metabolic condition characterized by seizures, confusion, and abnormal coordination (R).