Alternative names: Vitamin H, or co-enzyme R.
Although it is not a B-vitamin, Biotin is very much a part of the B-Complex family and interacts synergistically with them. It is an essential nutrient that is found in small amounts in animal and plant tissue.
Natural sources of Biotin include brewer's yeast, whole grains, whole soy products, unpolished rice, brown rice, most legumes (especially beans and peas), lentils, bean sprouts, raw unadulterated honey, bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly.
Biotin is also found in the following herbs: Blessed thistle, blue cohosh, burdock, caraway, cascara sagrada, catnip, chickweed, cloves, couch grass, eyebright, gentian, ginger, golden seal, hawthorn, hops, horseradish, jojoba, kelp, lady's slipper, licorice, marshmallow, mullein, red clover, rhubarb, rose hips, sage, sarsaparilla, spearmint, thyme, yucca.
Biotin is partially synthesized by the friendly intestinal bacteria, so we are not totally dependent upon dietary sources to ensure us of an adequate supply of this vitamin. Having said this, the validity of the above statement is contingent upon one's possessing a healthy intestinal tract. It can be produced by several species of intestinal bacteria when they are healthy and numerous.
Eggs – in particular raw eggs – contain a substance identified as Avidin, which binds with Biotin in the intestinal tract and is believed to interfere with its absorption.
Antagonists include: Alcoholic beverages, tobacco (nicotine), cola drinks, most soft drinks (other than natural juices), coffee (caffeinated and decaffeinated), chocolate (cocoa), inorganic mineral water (tap, well, spring), polluted air, refined sugar and refined sugar substitutes, overcooking foods (especially over 130°F), refined and processed foods, long term storage of foods, freezing of foods, canning of foods, commercial synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, radiation exposure, synthetic estrogen, birth control pills, sulfa drugs.
Also the following drug medications: Alcohol (including cough syrups containing alcohol, elixirs, and OTC medications such as NyQuil). Caffeine (present in all APC medicines).
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as a co-enzyme in assisting in the production of fatty acids. In addition, it acts as a catalyst in the oxidation of fatty acids and complex carbohydrates. Biotin also assists in the synthesis and utilization of Vitamin B-9 (Folic Acid), Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin), Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid), and protein.
Biotin is both a precursor and a co-factor in many metabolic reactions. Biotin plays an important role in some drug-detoxifying pathways. It is an important enzyme cofactor. Its deficiency is associated with hypercholesterolemia (excessive amounts of cholesterol in the blood).
Biotin serves many purposes, including the following:
More reasons for use:
Specifically, Biotin may be useful in treatment of:
Biotin has also been shown to be able to prevent yeast, such as Candida albicans, from converting to the more pathogenic fungal form. Biotin supplementation is used most often in cases when gut flora has been altered or reduced by antibiotics, or gastrointestinal diseases. It is also used with formulation addressing Candidiasis, the increased growth of Candida albicans.
Biotin has a USRDA of 0.3mg. Biotin works more synergistically with Vitamins B-2, B-3, B-6, and Vitamin A. Therapeutic supplementation of Biotin should be supervised by a doctor schooled and trained in Ortho-molecular medicine.
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