Vitamin B7



Vitamin B7, or biotin,  is one of the body’s most important nutrients. It is involved with the  metabolism of sugar and fat, and thus plays a huge role in the body’s  production of energy and fatty acid synthesis. Biotin aids in the function of enzymes related to fat production, including  the components of cellular membranes. It also contributes to the process  that converts sugar to energy the body can use. Disrupting these  processes has tremendous effects throughout the body, including the  nervous system and skin. Skin cells are in perpetual need of rapid  replacement, making them particular vulnerable to changes in cellular fat component production. The nervous  system uses approximately twenty percent of the body’s glucose, so  changes in energy production leave it particularly vulnerable. 

Vitamin B7 Deficiency

There is minimal evidence related to biotin toxicity or any of its symptoms, if any. The tolerable upper limit for biotin is disputed. B vitamins are water soluble rather than fat soluble, so  they do not accumulate in the body’s tissues. Excess quantities are  flushed out of the system, which is why it may be possible for humans to  accept much higher doses of B-vitamins than other types. Based on the  available information, it seems that vitamin B7 toxicity is not a realistic risk for most people, and vitamin B7 deficiency is a far greater problem. 

The most common symptoms of biotin deficiency, particularly in minor cases, are skin-related. Adults tend  to experience seborrheic dermatitis and hair loss. Severely deficient  adults may lose eyelashes and eyebrows and get dry, fragile fingernails.  In the worst cases, adults can experience neurological problems, such  as hallucinations, depression, lethargy, numbness, and tingling  extremities. Children can experience even more severe symptoms as a  result of biotin deficiency. 

The people at the greatest risk of biotin deficiency include pregnant women, people with related genetic  disorders, and people who eat poor diets. Alcoholics, drug-addicts, and  people with eating disorders are all at risk of deficiencies in all  B-complex vitamins. Supplementation is an efficient treatment for biotin deficiency, and most of the symptoms should go away after patients  receive the right treatment. Anyone who suspects they may be  experiencing deficiencies in biotin or related nutrients should consult their physicians or dieticians. 

Dietary Sources 

Swiss chard is one of the best natural sources of biotin.  Other sources include liver, Saskatoon berries, peanuts, and egg yolks.  Many people in the United States rely on supplements for their full  daily dose of biotin,  rather than getting it through dietary sources. Adults over the age of  nineteen should get thirty micrograms per day. Lactating women should  get thirty-five micrograms. Children, depending on their ages, should  get between five and twenty-five. 



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