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Vitamin B8 Biotin Deficiency

Overview of vitamin B8:

Vitamin B8 or biotin is one of the important vitamins in the B complex and plays a vital role in many of the bodily functions including metabolic processes, amino acid synthesis, DNA replication, energy production and gluconeogenesis. Biotin has been associated with reversing the graying of hair to a certain extent as well as delays the wrinkling of the skin and these reactions have been used in beauty care products which incorporates biotin as an essential element. Being a water soluble vitamin, biotin is available in adequate amounts in the foods that we usually consume and therefore vitamin B8 deficiency do not usually take place due to dietary deficiencies. Thus, the identified food sources which contains vitamin B6 in abundance includes egg yolk, liver, yeast, cauliflower and peas.

What are the causes for biotin deficiency?

As mentioned earlier, vitamin B8 deficiency is not known to cause through dietary deficiencies due to its abundance in many of the food products. But, in certain instances, its absorption through the intestine may be disrupted and one such instance can be seen when the egg white is consumed without cooking or in other words as the raw egg white. The reason for this would be the presence of an anti-vitamin in the egg white which will form an un-soluble complex with the biotin which is present in the egg yolk. At the same time, biotin deficiency can also be seen in persons suffering from metabolic derangements which can mainly be present from the birth itself.

What are the symptoms of vitamin B8 deficiency?

Biotin deficiency would take place when the levels fall extremely low and these manifestations can include, eczema, dermatitis, pins and needles of the skin, feeling of pain, numbness, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, hair loss, graying of hair…etc. At the same time, there may be other manifestations such as increase susceptibility to infections such as lung infections, fungal infections due to poor immune response, impaired blood sugar control due to insulin resistance and impaired gluconeogenesis, anemia and therefore the appearance of pallor in the lips and the mucosa, depression, confusion and drowsiness probably due to its influence on neurotransmitters…etc.

What are the toxic side effects of vitamin B8?

Toxicity related to vitamin B8 is almost unheard of as a healthy adult person can tolerate biotin doses of up to 200 micro grams per day. But, it is vital to know that, if a person is hypersensitive to ingredients in the biotin supplement, it should not be used and the nursing mothers and pregnant mothers should also be cautious when taking this supplement.

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_vitamins