Supplements: Vitamin H (Biotin)

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Vitamin H (Biotin)

Vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin, enables the body to use the energy in food. Biotin is also important to cell health and reproduction. People with diabetes may improve their blood sugar control with biotin. Hair and nails also need biotin to be healthy.


Here is a partial list of the health problems biotin helps treat.

  • Diabetes. Biotin supplements may help improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes by improving insulin usage and increasing blood sugar usage.
  • Hair and nails. Biotin supplements may improve thin or splitting toenails or fingernails and improve hair health. Biotin has also been used to combat premature graying of hair, though it is likely to be useful only for those with a low biotin level.
  • Genetic problems. Some babies cannot use biotin well and need biotin supplements.
  • Skin problems. Some skin disorders, such as "cradle cap," improve with biotin supplements.
  • Muscular dystrophy. Biotin has been used as part of the treatment for certain types of this muscle-related illness.
  • Nutritional health. Biotin has been used for people in weight-loss programs to help them metabolize fat more efficiently.
  • Infections. Biotin has been used to treat intestinal candidiasis (a yeast infection).

Dietary Sources

These foods contain a significant amount of biotin.

  • Liver
  • Nuts
  • Kidney
  • Egg yolks
  • Brewer's yeast
  • Chocolate
  • Whole grain products
  • Beans
  • Fish

Food-processing techniques can destroy biotin. Less-processed versions of the foods listed above will contain more biotin.

Other Forms

Biotin is available in multivitamin and B-vitamin complexes, and as individual supplements.

Standard preparations are available in 10 mcg, 50 mcg, and 100 mcg tablets and contain either simple biotin or a complex with brewer's yeast.

How to Take It

Your body makes biotin in the intestines, so a recommended dietary requirement (RDA) has not been set. An adequate amount of biotin is about 30 to 100 mcg daily. Most Americans get 28 to 42 mcg daily. Doses of up to 2,500 mcg have been used safely to treat hair and nail problems.

As with all medicines and supplements, check with your health care provider before giving biotin supplements to a child.


Biotin is nontoxic. No side effects have been noted, even with high doses.

Possible Interactions

  • Works best when taken with B-vitamins
  • May lessen the symptoms of pantothenic acid and zinc deficiencies Is not absorbed in the presence of raw egg whites
  • Requirements may rise if a person takes sulfa drugs or estrogen or drinks alcohol
  • Deficiency may result from prolonged use of anticonvulsant drugs or long-term use of antibiotics

For more information about biotin, talk with your health care provider.

This document contains information relating to general principles of medical care that should not in any event be construed as specific instructions for individual patients. The reader is advised to check product information (including package inserts) for changes and new information regarding dosage, precautions, and contraindications before administering any drug. No claim or endorsements are made for any drug or compound currently in investigative use. No responsibility is assumed by the publisher for any injury and/or damage to any person or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, or ideas contained in any material herein.

This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider. You should consult your health care provider with any questions about the nature or effect of products you purchase here. Be sure to read all directions, warnings and other information accompanying any product before using it.

Dietary supplements are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or illness, and the information regarding these products has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

 Material © Healthquick Inc.    Used by permission

Previously Published in OSA Today Reproduced by permission

Updated on: 03/10/16
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Vitamin H
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Vitamin H

Vitamin H is also known as biotin and aids in metabolizing carbohydrates (energy), fats, and proteins. Additionally, it helps to produce fatty acids, promote healthy nerve tissue, bone marrow, and sweat glands. Biotin is needed for healthy hair and skin.
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