Vitamin B7 (previously named as vitamin H) is also called as Biotin or Coenzyme R. Like other B complex vitamins, biotin is a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin B7 is a coenzyme (Coenzyme R) and aids in the synthesis of fatty acids and amino-acids like isoleucine and valine. It also plays a role in gluconeogenesis; the process of synthesizing glucose from non carbohydrate sources(especially important during starvation).
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) – Sources
Biotin is available in wide range of food stuffs (both animal and plant source). However there are few particularly rich sources like swiss chard, Leafy Green vegetables, centella asiatica and peanuts. Among animal sources raw egg yolk is a source however when the egg yolk is consumed along with the egg white the effectiveness of the yolk’s biotin is reduced drastically.
Biological Functions of Vitamin B7
Vitamin B7 is required by the body on an every day basis to maintain good metabolism levels. The important biological functions of Vitamin B2 are:[checklist]
- Controls Blood sugar levels especially fasting blood sugar
- Maintains healthy hair and nails
- Aids glucose metabolism[/checklist]
Vitamin B7- Deficiency
Biotin is one of the vitamins which is present in small amounts in most foods, so biotin deficiency is very rare. It can however happen to people who consume a lot of egg white (especially raw), as egg white decreases the effectiveness of biotin and prevents the body from absorbing biotin from our food.
In rate biotin deficiency cases people suffer from Hair loss (alopecia), conjunctivitis, dermatitis and neurological problems.
Vitamin B7 – Requirements
On an average a normal individual consumes around 35 to 70 μg/day. This amount is found to be sufficient. Vitamin B7 overdose is relatively very rare.