Also classified as Vitamin H, biotin is part of the B complex vitamins. Derived from the Greek word for "life," bios, it plays a number of essential roles in our health.
Certain enzymes do not work properly without biotin. As a result, complications can develop affecting the intestinal tract, nervous system and skin unless biotin is present.
Biotin manufactures various fats needed by the body. It also breaks down fatty acids and carbohydrates, converting them into energy.
Certain proteins eventually break down in the body and biotin is needed for the excretion of the substances that result from this breakdown.
Biotin helps the utilization of folic acid, pantothenic acid, B12, and protein.
Biotin prevents or alleviates weakness, tiredness, poor appetite, hair loss and depression. A severe deficiency, which is rare, may cause eczema of the face and body, and inflammation of the tongue.
Research suggests biotin is also needed for DNA replication and gene expression in cells.
Deficiency During Pregnancy
A slight biotin deficiency has been discovered regularly occurring during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamin supplements usually do not contain biotin.