The ABCs of Vitamins: Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Vitamin B7 (Biotin), commonly known as biotin, is one of the most abundant vitamins found naturally in foods. It plays an essential role in energy production and cellular metabolism. Biotin helps maintain normal growth and development of the nervous system, eyesight, immune function, blood cells and other body tissues. Biotin deficiency causes mental retardation; however it does not cause death.
In order to determine if your baby needs biotin supplementation, you will need to do some research first. There are several sources of information that may provide helpful information about your child’s health status. You can read these articles from various websites or books on biotin supplementation before deciding whether or not to give your baby a supplement.
How Much Do I Need?
It is best to start with no more than 400 mcg per day. If your baby has any signs of deficiency, you should increase this amount gradually over time until they are well enough to receive their daily dose. Most babies require between 500 and 1000 mcg per day. Some studies have shown that children up to 3 years old may benefit from taking up to 2000 mcg/day. This amount can be spread out in smaller doses throughout the day.
What are the Signs of Deficiency?
A biotin deficiency can cause numbness, tingling and even a loss of nerve function. Other common signs that may indicate a need for biotin supplementation in babies include cradle cap, dry and scaly skin, slowed growth, delayed development or uptake of nutrients, and thinning hair. You may also notice cradle cap, which appears as a thick, yellow, scaly skin on the top layer of your baby’s scalp.
Who is at Risk of Deficiency?
Older adults are most at risk of developing a biotin deficiency. This is due to a decrease in the ability to absorb nutrients from food that often comes with age. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can also deplete your body’s levels of biotin, but it is not clear whether this has a long-term effect on your biotin stores. It is important for all adults to get enough biotin in their diet. However, if you are at risk of developing a deficiency, or if you are pregnant or an elder adult, you may want to speak to your doctor about taking a biotin supplement.
There is no exact science to determining the right amount of biotin that your baby needs. Always speak with your doctor before giving your child any type of supplement.
Biotin is a type of B-complex vitamin that is naturally found in a wide variety of foods. It primarily helps the body to metabolize and process fats and carbs, and also helps keep the hair and skin healthy. While most people get enough biotin in their daily diet, there are some situations that can lead to a deficiency.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 30-100 mcg per day for adults. Pregnant women require more, as do breastfeeding mothers.
There are no known cases of overdose with biotin, although it is not recommended to take excessive amounts. Biotin has also not been tested in pregnant women, so it is not recommended to take during this time.
Most foods that contain biotin also contain other B-complex vitamins, such as vitamin B3, B6 and B12. It can be found in many foods, such as organ meats, egg yolks, soybeans and peas. For this reason, deficiency is uncommon in developed countries. Other common foods high in biotin include almonds, avocados, bananas, swiss chard and lima beans.
Biotin is also available as a dietary supplement. Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so you cannot be certain of the quality of each product or its safety.
People who have a biotin deficiency may experience hair loss, scaly skin, mouth sores and depression. If pregnant women develop a biotin deficiency, it can cause problems with the fetus’s cell development.
If you think that you have a biotin deficiency, there are certain foods that may help alleviate the problem. These foods include egg yolks, almonds, wheat germ and liver. You should also eat more protein-rich foods, such as meat and soybeans.
There is no specific dosage for biotin in children, so speak with your doctor before giving it to your baby or child.
If you suspect that you may have a biotin deficiency, you can ask your doctor to perform a simple blood test to measure the levels of biotin in your body.
Biotin supplements are available as individual tablets and capsules, as well as in combination with other B-complex vitamins. Even though biotin is water soluble, it isn’t easily eliminated from the body. This is beneficial, as it prevents deficiency, but it may lead to side effects if too much is taken.
The most common side effect is a loss of appetite. Other side effects may include nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weight loss. Speak with your doctor before taking biotin or any dietary supplement.
Sources & references used in this article:
The ABCs of Vitamins: Vitamin B7 (Biotin) by B Sly – breakingmuscle.com
Mechanisms of biotin transport by A Azhar, G Booker, S Polyak – 2015 – hekyll.services.adelaide.edu.au
The ABCs of Vitamins: Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) by B Sly – breakingmuscle.com
The ABCs of Nutrient Deficiencies and Toxicities by B Sly – breakingmuscle.com