Return to Index
- Infants with low biotinidase levels—Infants who are born with low levels of this enzyme may develop a deficiency. There is some debate among doctors about whether infants should be screened at birth for a deficiency of biotinidase.
- People who smoke— Smoking accelerates biotin metabolism, thus leading to a deficiency state.
- People taking anticonvulsant drugs—These medications can inhibit the absorption of biotin or block the action of biotinidase.
- People who eat a lot of raw eggs—A protein called avidin found in raw egg whites can bind biotin and inhibit its absorption. Cooked eggs do not present this problem. (Note: Eating raw eggs increases the risk of food-borne infection.)
- Pregnant women—There is some preliminary evidence that biotin deficiency can occur during a normal pregnancy, so women may consider taking a multi-vitamin that contains biotin.
- Hair loss
- Numbness of the extremities
- Red scaly rash in face and genital area
Major Food Sources
|Egg, cooked||1 large||13-25|
|Cheddar cheese||1 ounce||0.4-2|
|Whole Wheat bread||1 slice||0.02-6|
Tips for Increasing Your Biotin Intake
- Have a bowl of shredded wheat, whole grain cereal, or oatmeal for breakfast.
- Make an omelet with two eggs, mushrooms, cheese, and assorted veggies. You can also add a hard boiled egg and some shredded cheese to a leafy green salad.
Try this recipe for black bean and crab salad:
- Mix together 1 pint frozen corn (thawed), 1 (8 oz) can of black beans (drained and rinsed), ¼ cup of red peppers (chopped), 1 (4 oz) can of green chilies (drained), ¼ cup minced cilantro, 4 green onions (chopped), and 12 ounces of chopped artificial crab meat.
- For the dressing, add 1 teaspoon of cumin and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, to 2 cloves of minced/chopped garlic. Mix into a paste and then add 2 teaspoons each of white wine vinegar, fresh lime juice, and water. Mix well and then whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Pour dressing over the corn and bean mixture and stir well. Top with 2 thinly sliced jalapeno peppers. Makes 10 servings.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org
United States Department of Agriculture http://www.usda.gov
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Biotin. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated July 2012. Accessed April 8, 2013.
Biotin. Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University website. Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/biotin/. Accessed April 8, 2013.
Biotin for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Biomed Pharmacother. 1990;44(10):511-4.
Biotin supplement needed during pregnancy. Bastyr Center for Natural Health website. Available at: http://www.bastyrcenter.org/content/view/609/. Accessed April 8, 2013.
Biotinidase deficiency. Illinois Department of Public Health website. Available at: http://www.idph.state.il.us/HealthWellness/fs/biotinidase.htm. Accessed April 8, 2013.
Coretta C, Bowers E, Cox T, et al. Biotin. North Carolina State University website. Available at: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~knopp/BCH451/Biotin.htm. Accessed April 8, 2013.
Mock DM. Biotin. In: Rucker B, Suttie J, McCormick D, Machlin L, eds. Handbook of Vitamins. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker; 2001:397-426.
Sealey WM, Teague AM, Stratton SL, et al. Smoking accelerates biotin catabolism in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;4:932-935.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 04/2013
- Update Date: 04/08/2013