Biotin is soluble in water. It helps in the metabolism of fats and amino acids. It forms an essential part of cell growth. It not only helps in these metabolic activities, but also transfers carbon dioxide. Biotin maintains steady blood sugar levels as it is involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates. Further it also helps in strengthening and maintaining the growth of your hair and nails.
Generally Biotin is naturally available in the body. Hence sufficient Biotin can be present in the body with or without the supplements. Adequate intake of Biotin for infants is about 5 micrograms in a day, adults should consume about 30 mcg daily and pregnant women should consume about 30-35 mcg per day.
Certain nutritional disorders may result due to lack of Biotin, which may even prove to be serious and fatal. Such disorders occur to people at any age regardless of gender. Biotin plays an important role in catabolism, gluconeogenesis and metabolism. The symptoms of the deficiency of Biotin are red rashes near the mouth, fine hair or total baldness, fungal infections, etc.
Biotin is available in many forms and supplements. However the rich and natural sources of Biotin are egg yolk, green and leafy vegetables, Swiss chard, Saskatoon berries and other food rich in fats. Groundnuts are also rich in Biotin.
The need for Biotin increases at the time of pregnancy and hence many pregnant women face the problem of marginal Biotin deficiency. If pregnant women consume the supplement for Biotin, it increases the risk of miscarriages and inhibits foetal and placental growth. Also it may lead to a disorder known as teratogenesis which is an abnormal development for the foetus and may lead to certain birth defects.
The diseases are:
Hair loss or Alopecia: Hair loss, also technically known as Alopecia, refers to the baldness or specific patterns of hair loss of both the male and the female. Generally it is caused by fungal infections, chemotherapy or lack of Biotin in the body.
Conjunctivitis: Conjunctivitis also referred to as ‘pink eye’ is a form of an inflammation or an allergic reaction. Its common symptoms are red eyes, swelling and watering of the eyes, reactive pupils, etc.
Dermatitis: Derived from the greek words, derma which means ‘skin’and it is which means ‘inflammation’, it occurs in the form of rashes in the skin. Its common symptoms are redness of the skin, swelling, itching and scarring.
Perosis: Lack of Biotin may lead to Perosis which is shortening and thickening of bones in the body.