A fairly recently designated B vitamin, biotin was discovered by the deficiency symptoms created through consuming large amounts of raw eggs. Biotin is one of the most stable of the B vitamins.
Many foods contain biotin, but most have only trace amounts. It is hard to obtain enough from diet alone. Luckily, our friendly intestinal bacteria produce biotin. This vitamin is also found in egg yolks, liver, brewer’s yeast, unpolished rice, peanuts, almonds, carrots, tomato, chard, onion, cabbage, and milk.
The biotin coenzymes participate in the metabolism of fat. Biotin is needed for fat production and in the synthesis of fatty acids. These roles make biotin particularly important for formation of new tissue, especially skin tissue, because skin cells die and are replaced very rapidly.
Signs of deficiency:
- Dry and flaky skin
- Loss of energy
- Increases in cholesterol
- Sensitivity to touch
- Inflamed eyes
- Hair loss
- Muscle weakness and muscle cramps
- Impaired fat metabolism
Source: Haas, E. (2006) Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet & Nutritional Medicine. New York, Ten Speed.