Vitamin B8 or biotin (vitamin H)

Although it is also called as the vitamin H , the vitamin B8 (or biotin ) is equally important for health, because as we will see throughout this post, it works so that your hair does not fall out, and helps avoid type II diabetes .

The vitamin B8 It is a water-soluble vitamin very little known, although it is known that one of its main functions is exercised in the metabolism of amino acids, as well as in the preservation of the good condition of the skin, nerves, sexual glands and hair.

Luckily we can find biotin in a large amount of food, which is why it is not necessary or essential to take vitamin supplements rich in this vitamin.

However, those diets of vegetarians, which are low in fat and cholesterol, are also low in biotin, which is why people who follow this type of food may need supplements. Of course, we must not forget that this type of supplements can also be good for those people who suffer from kidney disorders or have difficulties in intestinal absorption.

Vitamin H

What is vitamin B8 or biotin?

The vitamin B8 is a vitamin belonging to group B, which is also known by the names of biotin or with the curious name of vitamin H . It is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it can dissolve in water. Therefore, foods rich in vitamin B8 can be reduced in quantity when it passes into the cooking water.

On the other hand, it is a type of vitamin that can not be stored in the body, which is why it should be included in the diet on a regular basis. In addition, an excessive consumption of biotin is expelled through the urine easily, not being toxic and not involving any type of risk to health.

How does vitamin B8 work in the body? Its duties

As we have already mentioned at the beginning of this post, vitamin B8 intervenes, for example, in the growth and physiological condition of nervous tissue, skin, hair, sebaceous glands and blood cells.

It is without any doubt essential in the metabolism of proteins and lipids, and according to some experts, biotin in addition to maintaining blood sugar levels (glycemia), helps you lose weight by intervening in your metabolism.

In addition, there are other important functions in which vitamin B8 participates or intervenes:

  • Actively participates in different enzymatic reactions, such as in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
  • It is a fundamental vitamin in the production of cholesterol and hormones.
  • It participates both in the synthesis and in the oxidation of fats.
  • It intervenes and promotes the growth and regeneration of muscles.

Foods rich in vitamin B8 or biotin

Between the foods richer in vitamin B8 , we found beer yeast (80 mcg), pork kidney (32 mcg), yeast extract (27 mcg), pork liver (27 mcg), wheat bran (14 mcg) and wheat germ (12 mcg).

We also find it in smaller quantities in foods such as chicken (10 mcg), lamb (6 mcg), wholemeal bread (6 mcg) and fatty fish (5 mcg).

Foods with high biotin content

However, below we summarize in the following table which foods are richest in vitamin B8:

Beer yeast

80 ug.

Pig kidney

33 ug.

Liver of pork

27 ug.

Wheat bran

15 ug.

Wheat germ

12 ug.

Chicken

10 ug.

Lamb

6 ug.

Wholemeal bread

6 ug.

Fatty fish

5 ug.

What are the recommended daily needs of biotin?

The COMA report advises a recommended amount of biotin between 15 to 100 mg. per day (between 10 and 58 ug. per day), especially to provide the body with the amounts of biotin it needs daily.

Its lack causes a series of certain symptoms, such as hair loss and the appearance of a scaly dermatitis in the case of children.

What happens when there is a lack of vitamin B8? Consequences of biotin deficiency

If you follow a varied and balanced diet, the lack of vitamin B8 is unusual or common, since we can find it in a wide variety of foods, as we have seen in the previous section.

However, when there is a deficit or vitamin B8 deficiency, different symptoms may arise, such as the following:

  • Conjunctivitis: inflammation of the conjunctiva that occurs with swelling, burning, itching, tearing and redness of the eye.
  • Dermatitis: inflammation of the skin that can manifest as blister-like skin rashes.
  • Alopecia: It consists of abnormal hair loss.

Therefore, although their lack is not usual, certain people may have a vitamin B8 deficiency. For example, in those people who usually consume large amounts of alcoholic beverages, or who usually consume a lot of raw egg white.

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