Biotin or vitamin B7 is also called vitamin H, with the word H signifying Haar and Haut in German as hair and skin. It is one among the group of water-soluble B complex vitamins which is actively involved as a coenzyme in several metabolic processes.
The chief role of biotin is to convert food into energy and act as an enzyme in the metabolism of carbohydrate, protein and fat. Biotin plays a vital role in enhancing the health of skin, hair and nails, promote cell growth and healthy liver functioning. Owing to the amazing potential to promote skin and hair health, biotin is a key ingredient in most of the beauty products and supplements.
Biotin or vitamin B7 also works well in promoting the cognitive functioning of the brain and nervous system. Biotin supplements help in treating symptoms of depression and schizophrenia. Also Read: Depression: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Deficiency of biotin is very rare, however, some of the signs and symptoms associated with biotin deficiency include hair loss, brittle nails, red rashes on the skin and eyes, dry eyes, scaly skin, fatigue, insomnia and loss of appetite. Regular intake of an egg may lead to biotin deficiency because of the presence of avidin in eggs which binds with biotin in the intestine and inhibits proper assimilation of this vitamin.
Biotin is available in a spectrum of natural food sources such as dairy products, soybeans, mushroom, cauliflower and peanuts to mention a few. As biotin is a water-soluble vitamin the body does not store it and the excess amount is excreted if the body does not require it. Vitamin B7 is also available in the form of supplements.
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Check out the infographic to know more about biotin-rich food options: