Vitamin B8 - Biotin is the cofactor required of enzymes that are involved in carboxylation reactions, e.g. acetyl-CoA carboxylase and pyruvate carboxylase. Vitamin B8 is one of the most active biological substances known. Vitamin B8 is found in numerous foods and also is synthesized by intestinal bacteria and as such deficiencies of the vitamin are rare.
Food Sources of Vitamin B8
Biotin is present in cheese, beef liver, cauliflower, eggs, mushrooms, chicken breasts, salmon, spinach, brewer's yeast, nuts and can be manufactured in the body should a small shortfall occur. This vitamin is also normally produced in the intestines if there are a sufficient amount of healthy intestinal flora present. However, frequent use of antibiotics can interfere with the synthesis of this vitamin.
Functions of Vitamin B8
Vitamin B8 or biotin is vital for a healthy immune system. It is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It is essential for the growth and health of the hair. It prevents premature greying of the hair as well as hair loss. This vitamin helps to maintain the skin and the nervous system in a sound condition. It controls proper distribution of color pigment. An extremely small amount of this vitamin has a marked effect on the growth of yeast and certain bacteria. It forms part of several enzyme systems.
Men -100-200 mcg
Women - 100-200 mcg
Children - 50-200 mcg
Infants - 35 mcg
What are the deficiency symptoms of vitamin B8?
Deficiencies are generally seen only after long antibiotic therapies which deplete the intestinal fauna or following excessive consumption of raw eggs.
May lead to extreme exhaustion, drowsiness, muscle pain, loss of appetite, depression, grayish skin color,
central nervous system abnormalities such as depression, lethargy, hallucinations, and paresthesias.
Overdosage signs of vitamin B8
Excess intake of vitamin H is excreted in the urine; no toxicity symptoms have been reported. Oral and intravenous doses up to 200 mg have not produced toxicity in human subjects.
How to Store the Vitamin B8?
Heat and/or moisture may alter the vitamin. Refrigeration is recommended.