vitamin H (archaic), coenzyme R, d-biotin, hexahydro-2-oxo-1H-thienol[3,4-d]-imidazole-4-pentatonoic acid
Biotin is a B vitamin. It’s water-soluble. It’s easily absorbed when you take it by mouth. It’s found in a variety of foods. It’s also made by bacteria inside the large intestine. Biotin deficiency is rare. Like the other B vitamins, biotin helps your body make energy.
Biotin works with carboxylase enzymes, ATP, and magnesium to use carbon dioxide to help make fatty acids. Biotin also helps make proteins and purines. Biotin helps your body break down carbohydrates and the amino acid tryptophan.
Biotin is the treatment for some genetic conditions caused by lack of certain enzymes. These include:
Holocarboxylase synthetase deficiency
These conditions can cause neurological damage and abnormal skin conditions. They happen often enough that healthcare providers may start testing for them at birth.
There may be benefits that have not yet been proven through research.
Biotin may help treat hair loss (alopecia). It may also treat skin issues. These can include acne, seborrhea, and eczema.
Biotin is measured in micrograms (mcg). AI is the Adequate Intake.
Infants (0–6 months)
Infants (7–12 months)
Children (1–3 years)
Children (4–8 years)
Children (9–13 years)
Children (14–18 years)
Adults (19 years and older)
Beef liver, cooked, 3 ounces
Egg, whole, cooked
Salmon, pink, canned in water, 3 ounces
Pork chop, cooked, 3 ounces
Hamburger patty, cooked, 3 ounces
Sunflower seeds, roasted, ¼ cup
Sweet potato, cooked, ½ cup
Almonds, roasted, ¼ cup
Spinach, boiled, ½ cup
Milk, 2%, 1 cup
Biotin is stable at room temperature. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It isn’t destroyed by cooking.
Biotin deficiency can be caused by:
Eating a lot of raw egg whites (more than 6 per day), as egg whites contain a protein (avidin) that blocks the absorption of biotin
A weakened immune system
Cirrhosis of the liver
The genetic condition phenylketonuria (PKU)
Taking seizure medicines (anticonvulsants) such as carbamazepine and phenytoin.
Chronic alcohol use
Certain rare genetic disorders
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may need to take supplements, but you should talk with your healthcare provider before doing so.
Biotin deficiency can cause:
Impaired glucose tolerance
Loss of appetite
Muscle pain (myalgia)
Localized sensory changes (paresthesia)
There are no known problems due to too much use of biotin. Extra biotin comes out in urine.
There are no known food or medicine interactions.