Supplement of the Month: Biotin

What is biotin and where is it found?

Thiamin is a type of B vitamin and coenzyme that plays a major role in the body. Sometimes biotin is referred to as Vitamin H or coenzyme R.  It is essential for the metabolism of fats and amino acids, cell growth, and the production of fatty acids. Biotin is found in small amounts in many foods, such as whole grain breads and cereals, wheat germ, dairy products, eggs, Swiss chard, chicken, and salmon. It can also be taken as a supplement.

What are the benefits of biotin?

Biotin is used to treat brittle nails, diabetes, malnutrition, rapid weight loss, and peripheral neuropathy. Some people take biotin for hair loss, skin rash, and mild depression. It is also used to prevent and treat pregnancy related deficiency.

Are there interactions with biotin and food or medications?

Biotin may reduce the absorption of alpha lipoic acid and Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Some patients taking phenytoin, primidone, or phenobarbital may have reduced levels of biotin and require supplementation.

Are there side effects from biotin?

Biotin is well tolerated. Consult with a doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.

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