Vitamin H is known also as Biotin or Vitamin B7 – it is the vitamin from B-complex vitamin family. B-complex vitamins help to convert consumed food (mainly carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose) which is used to produce energy. B-complex vitamins also support metabolism of fats and proteins. B vitamins are necessary for proper nervous system functioning.
Vitamin H is associated with good hair and skin – this is why it called “H”, comes from German words “Haar” (hair) and “Haut” (skin).
Vitamin H functions
According to health experts, biotin is important for following functions:
Food metabolism (metabolism of all consumed nutrients);
Energy production (participation in energy producing metabolism);
Normal functioning of nervous system;
Keeping healthy hair, skin and mucous membranes (regular maintenance);
Participation in psychological functions.
Vitamin H – Vitamin B7
Vitamin H health benefits
Vitamin H health benefits are not enough tested but some biotin health benefits are well known.
Healthy hair and nails
Commercial companies use biotin for several productions (supplements for hair and nails maintenance). Biotin supplements are recommended during excessive hair loss, premature graying, thin, split and brittle finger and toe nails.
Metabolism and Kreb cycle
Biotin is important component for the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins – it helps in the release of energy through the so called “Kreb cycle” (citric acid cycle).
Krebs cycle is a part of cellular respiration – series of chemical reactions used by all aerobic organisms to generate energy.
It was noted that biotin is also responsible for the transfer of carbon dioxide in the body.
Biotin is involved in maintaining optimal blood sugar levels. According to scientists, combination of biotin and chromium could improve blood sugar control in some clients with type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately biotin alone doesn’t have similar effect.
Some experts noted vitamin H deficiency in people who suffer from type 2 diabetes. Biotin was effective in cases of numbness and tingling sensations associated with diabetes.
Peripheral neuropathy is a very specific health condition of nerve damage in the feet, hands, legs or arms triggered by several causes. Most typical symptoms include numbness, tingling, burning or strange sensations, pain, muscle weakness and trouble walking. According to health experts, biotin supplements improve the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in certain cases (during diabetes, during or after dialysis for kidney failure).
Palmoplantar pustulosis is a chronic pustular condition affecting the palms and soles. Palmoplantar pustulosis leads to irregular glucose and fatty acid metabolism. During this health condition usually immune system is damaged and the metabolism in skin, bones and other tissues also can be disturbed. Biotin deficiency was noted in people suffering from Palmoplantar pustulosis. At the same time, biotin supplements can help in reducing symptoms of this disease.
Seborrheic Dermatitis (Cradle cap)
Seborrheic Dermatitis is a yellowish, patchy, greasy, scaly and crusty skin rash that occurs on the scalp of newborn babies – it is an inherited metabolic disorder where the body is unable to break down amino acid phenylalanine. Studies show that babies with this condition had biotin deficiency and biotin supplements were effective in treatment.
Vitamin H can be effective in reducing symptoms associated with zinc deficiency, thyroid disorder, acne and depression. Biotin is also responsible for the proper functioning of sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow. It also can be effective in cases of muscular pain.
Some experts suggest that biotin can help in reducing weight gain due fat metabolism.
Vitamin H deficiency
Biotin deficiency is not often condition. However, sometimes we could experience some Vitamin H deficiency symptoms such as hair loss, dry and scaly skin, muscle pain, tongue inflammation, nausea, vomiting, depression, high cholesterol, loss of appetite, anemia, enlarged liver, numbness or tingling sensation or conjunctivitis.
According to body building experts, vitamin H deficiency could be found among athletes and body builders who consume regularly many raw eggs which contain so called “avidin”. And avidin usually prevents absorption of biotin.
Biotin deficiency can be also found in long-term antibiotic users as well as users of seizure related drugs.
Vitamin H food sources
Vitamin H is present in liver, kidney, chicken breast, seafood, fish, milk, cooked eggs, cheese, cauliflower, spinach, green peas, mushrooms, lentils, soybean, banana, brown rice, oat bran, oat meal, walnut, peanut, almond, cashew, brewer’s yeast and yeast.
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Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.