Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the vitamin B group. It is also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H. As a coenzyme, it is involved in numerous metabolic processes in the body. This means that many enzymes that carry out various metabolic steps rely on biotin and cannot function without it. Our body cannot produce this vitamin itself and therefore it must be obtained through food.
Biotin as a coenzyme
Biotin is used in many ways as a coenzyme and is involved in reactions within energy metabolism, fatty acid synthesis, cholesterol synthesis, gluconeogenesis and the breakdown of odd-numbered fatty acids and the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, valine, methionine and threonine. During enzyme reactions, a chemical group is transferred to other groups and biotin serves as an “intermediate holder” to enable these transfers. Thus, biotin enables the formation of fatty acids in our body, the production of sugar in our body and the production of energy from it. Without biotin, our body lacks energy.
Additionally, biotin is involved in the regulation of gene expression, cell division and repair of DNA damage. This also results in biotin's role in the growth of blood and nerve cells, sebaceous glands as well as skin, hair and nails.
Biotin is therefore essential for essential functions in our body and the importance is also shown in the observation of a study in which it was found that even with severe biotin withdrawal, our body downregulates the uptake and function in the liver and kidneys in order to ensure the availability for to ensure the brain.
Biotin – the most important tasks in brief
The following vitamin B6-related health claims have been evaluated and approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) through scientific studies:
- Biotin contributes to a normal energy-rich metabolism.
- Biotin contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system.
- Biotin contributes to normal macronutrient metabolism.
- Biotin contributes to normal psychological function.
- Biotin contributes to the maintenance of normal hair.
- Biotin contributes to the maintenance of normal mucous membranes.
- Biotin helps maintain normal skin.
Your daily need for biotin
The German Nutrition Society recommends an intake of 40 µg per day for young people over 15 and adults. Breastfeeding women have an increased requirement of 45 µg per day.
Biotin is found naturally in numerous foods, such as: liver and kidneys, nuts and sunflower seeds, (boiled) eggs, especially egg yolks, soybeans, oatmeal and mushrooms. Likewise milk & dairy products and multi-fruit juices.
Diet-related biotin deficiency rarely occurs. Exceptions are if you have a very unbalanced diet with a high consumption of raw egg whites. Raw egg whites contain avidin, which binds biotin and thus prevents it from being absorbed into the body. Avidin is inactivated during cooking and therefore this problem is not found in boiled eggs.
Reasons for impaired biotin absorption or promoted biotin degradation include high alcohol consumption, smoking and taking anticonvulsants (medications to prevent epileptic seizures).
A biotin deficiency can also occur in a metabolic disease in which the enzyme biotinidase is missing. Biotin is not directly available to us after eating, but is bound to proteins and the vitamin must first be split off from them using the enzyme biotinidase. However, the absence of the enzyme is usually checked during newborn screening in order to enable early treatment and prevent subsequent damage and a possible fatal outcome.
A high-dose intake of 20 mg of biotin per day has not yet shown any negative effects on people.
How a biotin deficiency can manifest itself
The deficiency symptoms of biotin are numerous and start with symptoms such as thinning hair with progressive loss of all hair on the body, scaly, red rash around body openings (eyes, mouth, nose, perineum), conjunctivitis, brittle nails, skin infections, general feeling of weakness, up to In advanced stages, they manifest themselves in seizures, depression, hallucinosis, abnormal sensations and developmental delay in infants. Without enough biotin, the brain's behavior changes and you feel confused and out of control. So you have many neurological disorders that can develop.
The congenital metabolic disease in which biotinidase is missing can result in hearing and vision disorders, developmental disorders, skin changes, hair loss (alopecia), cramps, low blood pressure and ketoacidosis (hyperacidity) if not treated, as well as fatal outcomes due to the symptoms.
Which AgilNature products contain vitamin B2?
22.5 μg per daily ration (3 capsules each)
80 µg per daily ration (1 capsule each)
*Nutrient Reference Value = Percentage of the reference value according to Appendix XIII of the Food Information Regulation (EC) No. 1169/2011.
- Biotin. DGE. https://www.dge.de/gesunde-ernaehrung/faq/biotin/#c5041 (accessed on December 15, 2023)
- León-Del-Río A. Biotin in metabolism, gene expression, and human disease. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2019 Jul;42(4):647-654.
- Health insurance fund, A.-. D. (2023, May 24). Biotin: The vitamin for beauty? AOK - The Gesundheitskasse. https://www.aok.de/pk/magazin/ernaehrung/vitamine/biotin-das-vitamin-fuer-die-schoenheit/
- Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 (Health Claims)