Biotin - Learn About Vitamins & Minerals
and pantothenic acid are water-soluble vitamins. They are two of
the eight B vitamins. The B vitamin complex includes vitamins B1,
niacin, B6, B12, folate, biotin, and pantothenic acid.
What food source is the nutrient found in?
Pantothenic acid and biotin are found in many foods.
Good sources of pantothenic acid include:
- egg yolks
- organ meat
- other meat
- dairy products
- whole-grain cereal
Good sources of biotin include:
- egg yolks
- meats and liver
Some biotin is made by bacteria in the body's lower digestive tract.
How does the nutrient affect the body?
These two vitamins are important for many functions. Pantothenic
acid is changed to a substance called coenzyme A. This coenzyme
helps convert fat, carbohydrate, and protein into energy. Pantothenic
acid is also needed to make cholesterol, bile, some fats, red blood
cells, hormones and nerve regulators. Pantothenic acid is necessary
to make Vitamin D. It works closely with biotin, vitamin B1, B2,
B6, and niacin.
Biotin also helps the body use protein, fat and carbohydrate from
foods for energy. It helps the body produce energy in the cells.
Biotin works closely with pantothenic acid, folic acid and vitamin
There are no established recommended daily allowances, or RDAs,
for these vitamins. However, a safe and adequate amount for adults
for pantothenic acid is 4 to 7 milligrams per day. For biotin the
recommendation is 30 to 100 micrograms per day.
There are no toxic effects for pantothenic acid other than diarrhea.
There is no known benefit to taking large doses. Because it is so
common in food, deficiency is rare for people who eat a healthy
There are no toxic effects for biotin. Although biotin deficiency
is rare, consuming a large amount of raw egg whites can cause biotin
deficiency. This is due to a protein in egg whites, avidin, that
blocks the absorption of biotin. The protein is destroyed in cooking
so cooked egg whites are not a problem. Long-term use of antibiotics
could also interfere with the production of biotin, and increase
the risk of deficiency. Deficiency symptoms include:
- loss of appetite
- muscle pain and weakness
- hair loss, known as alopecia
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