Biotin and Its Uses to Our Body
Biotin (with the formula, C10H16N2O3S), or vitamin H, is a water soluble B-complex vitamin (Vitamin B7) which serves an important role in the over-all function of the body and the harnessing of energy from metabolic processes of carbohydrates and fats. These are white crystalline needles necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and amino acids in the body.
Biotin is mostly found in certain foods, such as meats and vegetables. Some other sources of Biotin are found in nuts and legumes. There are foods that hold high biotin content because they contain a substance called avidin, a type of protein that allows biotin to strongly attach to it. These high biotin-containing foods are liver and egg yolk. Aside from the food sources of biotin, it can also be taken as supplements which are available as pharmaceutical products, helping the person to prevent or treat biotin deficiencies.
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This vitamin plays an important role in normal human functioning. It is involved in the process of transferring activated form of carbon dioxide to certain substances in the body that contributes to the metabolism of fats, amino acids and carbohydrates. It also functions as a coenzyme to support the task of carboxylase which is involved in metabolic processes of the body like synthesis of fatty acids and amino acid metabolism. Since biotin also functions as a component in metabolism for glucose, it is also given to diabetic patients in order to reduce blood sugar levels. Likewise, people nowadays are also usually concerned about their hair, and taking biotin supplements might also improve hair health.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of biotin is 300 mcg (micrograms). When there is a lack of biotin in the body, it may result into a nutritional disorder called Biotin Deficiency that may cause hair loss, anemia, nausea, dermatitis and also other neurological symptoms like depression and hallucination. Since biotin is found in most of our daily food intake and the amount of biotin needed for the body is already found in a well balanced diet, biotin deficiency is an extremely rare case.
Daily biotin requirements are relatively small, and the biotin that is taken in the body is immediately recycled the moment it has already been used. However, Biotin Deficiency may become fatal if ignored. It must be taken into consideration that eating raw egg whites on a regular basis might trigger biotin deficiency because of the strong protein avidin that prevents the absorption of biotin in the body. It is possible though, that high doses of biotin may be given to babies with a condition known as infantile seborrhea or to adults with genetic diseases in biotin metabolism.
Up until now, no side effects have been seen from the excess intake of biotin. It is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin, thus excess biotin is excreted through the urine. Recent studies being conducted regarding the possible additional contribution of biotin to our body processes reveal that biotin is also necessary for processes in cells on the generic level. Knowing what biotin can do to our body must make us realize that there are indeed substances beneficial to humankind, however, when not taken properly, would contribute to the improper development and functioning of the body.
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