Biotin is a water-soluble member of the B-complex group of vitamins and is commonly referred to as vitamin H. It is necessary for both metabolism and growth in humans, particularly with reference to production of fatty acids, antibodies, digestive enzymes, and in niacin (vitamin B-3) metabolism. There are suggestions that biotin is also capable of curing baldness, alleviating muscle pain, and functions as a cure for seb dermatitis, although there is no substantial evidence for any of these claims.
Deficiency results in fatigue, depression, nausea, muscle pains, hair loss, and anemia. Individuals with hereditary disorders of biotin metabolism resulting in functional biotin deficiency have evidence of impaired immune system function, including increased susceptibility to bacterial and (fungal infections) . Biotin is not known to be toxic. Toxicity has not been reported with daily oral doses of up to 200 mg, used to treat hereditary disorders of biotin metabolism and biotin deficiency.
It is found in numerous foods and also is synthesized by intestinal bacteria and as such deficiencies of the vitamin are rare. Deficiencies are generally seen only after long antibiotic therapies which deplete the intestinal fauna. Food processing techniques can destroy biotin ,therefore less processed products will have a greater percentage of their biotin intact. Raw egg whites (which contain a protein that prevents biotin absorbtion), water , sulfur drugs , estrogen , alcohol, and fats or oils that have been heated or exposed to the air for any length of time inhibit biotin absorption. Food sources for biotin are liver, kidney, soy flour, egg yolk, cereal, and yeast.
Symptoms of overt deficiency include hair loss and a scaly red rash around the eyes, nose, mouth, and genital area. Neurologic symptoms in adults have included depression, lethargy, hallucination, numbness and tingling of the extremities. The first symptoms to develop are associated with the skin and hair:
- Dry skin
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Fungal infections
- Rashes including erythematous periorofacial macular rash
- Fine and brittle hair
- Hair loss or total alopecia
Fungal skin infections should be treated with the appropriate agents; however, controlling such skin infections may be difficult until the deficiency is corrected.
MY RESULTS WITH BIOTIN
Biotin is available in multivitamin and vitamin B complexes, and in individual supplements. Standard preparations are available in 10mcg, 50mcg, 100mcg, and 500mcg tablets. Due to a lack of shelf space, my local health food store only offered 500mcg and 1000mcg tablets. In order to speed things up I chose the the 1000mcg tablets by a company called Solaray ®. One hundred tablets cost about seven dollars. My three month experiment required a different type of research. In the interest of science I would have to ingest the tablets and wait for the results. There is a big difference between applying something to your skin and ingesting something.
For the first two weeks I took one tablet a day which upset my stomach. Switching to one tablet every other day seemed to work for me. I recommend you take the tablets on a full stomach. Biotin wasn’t the cure all I hoped it would be but there was a definite improvement by the fourth week. It reduced the size of the most stubborn areas of infection on my skin. I have noticed that many SD suffers also have at least one other type of fungal infection. Large doses of biotin can restore weak or brittle nails which should be very helpful for anyone with a fungal infection of the fingernail or toenail. To be honest, I wasn’t too surprised at the result. Most of the men in my family suffer from some type of skin ailment therefore inherited biotinidase deficiency could have contributed to my condition. After three months I continue to see small improvements and look foward to keeping you up to date on my progress.