Biotin is one of many vitamins the body needs to maintain personal health. It is also known as B7 and is important in a variety of functions including metabolism and the creation of necessary enzymes. Because of its connection with metabolism, it is known to aid in weight loss.
The body only needs a small amount of biotin, about 300 micrograms is the recommended daily allowance. Much of it comes from the foods we eat, and it is created by bacteria in the intestine. Biotin also can be found in several over-the-counter herbal and vitamin supplements. Biotin deficiency is rare, but when it occurs it can cause hair loss, increase in cholesterol and heart problems.
The role biotin in the body is to help produce energy, assist in the creation of amino acids and aid in digestion. It helps breakdown the fats, carbohydrates and protein into an energy source for the body both long and short term. Biotin also has been shown to be necessary for replication of deoxyribonucleic acid and gene expression.
Weight Loss and Other Uses
While biotin helps the body burn fat and create energy, there has been no studies connected to weight loss, according to the National Institute for Health.. It may provide the body with added energy for exercise, but the body's need for the vitamin is small and excess amounts will not speed up the conversion process. It may be used as a supplement to an already healthy diet and exercise program.
Biotin has been used to help treat other problems including brittle nails, stopping hair loss, lowering cholesterol for diabetes and heart health. Foods that contain biotin include liver, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, soy flour, cereals and yeast, according to the Mayo Clinic. It also should be noted that the cooking process may lower the levels of biotin in food.
Where to Purchase Biotin
Biotin is available in most multi-vitamin supplements that can be found in many retail and drug stores. It also can be found as a stand alone supplement in health stores. The recommended daily allowance of biotin is 300 micrograms per day, which is the amount found in most vitamin supplements, according to the National Institute for Health. There have been no side effects associated with biotin even in large doses needed for biotin deficiency, according to NIH.
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