Monday, February 19, 2018

ABC's of Nutrition: Biotin

The best sources of biotin include organ meats and cheese. Good sources are soy beans, whole wheat, cauliflower, nuts, eggs, and mushrooms.

Biotin deficiency is characterized by anorexia, nausea, dry and scaly skin. In infants under six months old symptoms are hair loss and seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap).

Biotin functions in the body as an essential cofactor for four enzymes. All four enzymes add carbon dioxide (carboxylase enzymes). This forms a carboxyl group. These biotin-dependent carboxylases assist in the metabolism of sugar, fat, and amino acids–specifically in utilizing glucose, the breakdown and utilization of fatty acids in energy metabolism, and the removal of the amine group in the metabolism of amino acids, cell growth and replication.

Biotin is also popular for increasing and strengthening nails and promoting healthy hair. The benefits of biotin and healthy hair may be reflect the improvement of metabolism scalp oils.

In diabetes, biotin enhances insulin sensitivity and increases the activity of the enzyme glucokinase. Glucokinase is responsible for the first step in the utilization of glucose by the liver. An increase of biotin could help with glucokinase activity and glucose metabolism in diabetes. Biotin also works synergistically with other B-vitamins and coenzyme Q10.

by John Connor, CNC

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