Biotin, once referred to vitamin H, is one of the least well-known of the B-complex vitamins. Its main role lays in the metabolism of fat and sugar. In sugar metabolism, biotin helps transform sugar into usable chemical energy. For this reason, muscle pain related to physical exercise may be the result of the body’s inability to use sugar efficiently as fuel, and therefore be a sign of a biotin deficiency. And concerning fat, when cellular fat components cannot be made properly due to biotin deficiency, skin cells are among the first cells to develop problems. The most common skin problem associated with biotin is called seborrheic dermatitis. Biotin also supports the nervous system activity.
What are the diseases linked to biotin?
- Skin-related problems, especially seborrheic dermatitis
- Nervous system-related problems
- Lack of good muscle tone
- Muscle cramps and pains related to physical exertion
- Hair loss
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Chronic diarrhea
How a lack of biotin can occur?
In addition to a diet poor in biotin-rich foods, a lack of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) can contribute to a biotin deficiency. Pantothenic acid work with biotin in many metabolic situations. A poor digestive health and intestinal bacterial imbalance can also lead to a biotin deficiency. In a healthy intestine, bacteria in the gut can produce biotin. When intestinal problems create bacterial imbalance, the body can’t produce the additional biotin it needs.
Plant based sources of biotin
- Swiss chard
- Romaine lettuce