Low amounts of biotin are found in various foods. Biotin is also found in supplement form, which is typically used to treat hepatitis, brittle nails, neuropathy (damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves), and other conditions. Further research on the health benefits of biotin is needed.
Why You Need Biotin
Your body uses biotin to regulate your genes and help your cells communicate. The amount of biotin you need depends on your age. The daily recommended intake of biotin is 30 micrograms (mcg) for adults who are 19 years old and above. Women who are lactating should consume 35 mcg per day.
Some studies have shown that when people who are prone to hair loss take biotin supplements, they experience clinical improvement in hair health and quality.
Biotin is long thought to help nerves recover from damage, such as that caused by multiple sclerosis. However, recent studies show no demonstrable long-term benefit of taking high doses of biotin for nerve health.
Biotin is an important vitamin for digestion. In addition to breaking down the compounds in foods you eat, it converts folic acid into its active form so it can help your body make new red blood cells.
Biotin is mainly used to treat biotin deficiency.
Because there isn't a good way to test for low levels of biotin, the condition is usually identified by its symptoms, which include:
- Hair loss (alopecia)
- Scaly rash around your eyes, nose, mouth, and genital area
- Lethargy (lack of energy)
- Numbness of your extremities (hands or feet)
- Ataxia (disease of the nervous system)
Biotin deficiency is caused by a diet that lacks biotin or by prolonged consumption of raw egg whites. There is also some evidence that diabetes could cause low biotin levels.
Foods With Biotin
Biotin is water soluble, which means the body does not store it. However, bacteria in your intestine can create biotin, and it is also found in various foods.
Some foods high in biotin include:
Although prolonged consumption of egg white can cause biotin deficiency, egg yolk is actually a rich source of biotin. One cooked egg provides 10 micrograms of biotin.
Dairy is an excellent source of biotin. One cup of reduced-fat milk contains 0.3 micrograms of biotin. Milk also contributes to bone and teeth health, and is a rich source of protein, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and vitamin D.
One serving (100 grams) of banana gives you 0.2 micrograms of biotin. Bananas are highly nutritious in other ways, as well. They contain the vitamin B6, vitamin C, and the minerals manganese, potassium, and magnesium.
4. Beef Liver
Beef liver is the largest source of biotin. Just 3 ounces gives you 30.8 micrograms, which is 103% of your daily value.
Of all nuts, walnuts are the biggest source of vitamin B7. They contain 9.5 micrograms of biotin per serving.
Pork liver has 45 micrograms of biotin for every 100 grams. However, pork chops are also a good source of biotin, with 3.8 micrograms of biotin per serving.
Three ounces of pink salmon canned in water contains 5 micrograms of biotin. That accounts for 17% of your daily value. Salmon is full of other healthy nutrients, and one of those is vitamin B7.
A cup of roasted sunflower seeds has about 2.6 micrograms of biotin, which is more than any other seed.
Mushrooms are high in vitamin B7. Although it is still difficult to test for the exact quantity of biotin in mushrooms, it is thought that a serving can contain up to 10% of your daily value.
10. Sweet Potatoes
One serving of cooked sweet potato contains 2.4 micrograms of vitamin H and 8% of your daily value of biotin.