Side Effects of Biotin: All of us are well aware of the importance of vitamins in maintaining our health. But many of us don’t know what exactly is a vitamin. So here is a simple definition of vitamins. Vitamins may be regarded as organic compounds required in the diet in small amounts to perform specific biological functions for normal maintenance of optimum growth and health. Vitamins are classified into two types that are fat soluble and water soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are namely Vitamin A, D, E, K whereas water-soluble vitamins are Vitamin B and C. Vitamin B is commonly referred as B – complex because it was found to be a complex mixture.
Biotin is also one constituent of B – complex group. It is a sulfur-containing B – complex vitamin. It was formerly known as anti – egg white injury factor, Vitamin B7, Vitamin H. Biotin is very essential for our body as it acts as a coenzyme in the carboxylation reactions taking place inside the body. Biotin is a water-soluble B-vitamin that helps your body convert food into energy.
RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCE
A daily intake on per day basis of about:
- 30 mcg is recommended for adults
- 35 mcg is recommended for lactating women
- 5 mcg is recommended for infant
Biotin is widely distributed in both animal and plant foods. The rich sources are liver, kidney, egg yolk, Milk, tomatoes, grains, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, soy flour, yeast, wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, whole wheat bread, dairy products, nuts, Swiss chard, and chicken etc.
Biotin deficiency is uncommon but the symptoms of Biotin deficiency include anemia, loss of appetite, nausea, dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), glossitis (inflammation of tongue) etc.
IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS OF BIOTIN
Act as a coenzyme in various metabolic reactions
- Gluconeogenesis and Citric Acid cycle: It helps in the conversion of pyruvate to oxaloacetate which is essential for the synthesis of glucose.
- Fatty Acid synthesis: The very first step in fatty acids synthesis is a carboxylation reaction which requires Biotin as a coenzyme.
- Propionyl-CoA metabolism: It is produced in the metabolism of certain amino acids and its metabolism is dependent on Biotin.
- Metabolism of amino acids: Biotin is required for the metabolism of leucine.
Provide benefits to nails
Brittle nails are fragile and easily become split or cracked. Biotin supplements may help strengthen the nails.
Benefits provided to hairs
It is said that Biotin promotes hair growth and healthy hair. And it has been also said that deficiency of Biotin leads to hair loss, and those who are actually deficient may benefit from supplementing.
Benefits during pregnancy and lactation
Biotin is important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. During these life stages, there is increased requirement for this vitamin. It is thought that deficiencies occur due to the faster biotin breakdown within the body during pregnancy. Deficiency of Biotin during pregnancy and lactation is always mild and rare. But biotin deficiency during pregnancy may cause birth defects.
Provide benefits to skin
Biotin’s role in skin health may be related to its effect on fat metabolism, which is important for the skin and may be impaired when biotin is lacking. And it is said that people with a biotin deficiency may experience skin problems.
After knowing so many advantages of Biotin I’m sure you must be thinking of purchasing Biotin supplements as soon as possible. But before purchasing any of the supplements we should always consult a nutritionist as we excess of everything is bad. So here are some side effects caused by Biotin.
Though biotin is a safe vitamin, it is better to stick to a recommended dosage. Here are a few side effects of biotin:
May Cause Acne
Increased biotin in the system can cause cystic acne in which cysts of variable size gets formed underneath the skin which contains fluid or pus inside them if gets infected. This vitamin increases sebum production which is an oily substance produced by sebum glands present in the skin. This excess production of sebum results in clogging of pores presents in the skin hence making the pores susceptible to dirt accumulation. It’s been said that consumption of plenty of water along with consuming the biotin supplement will help to reduce the risk of developing acne.
May Cause Allergic Reactions
Some individuals may suffer from allergies due to the intake of biotin supplements. The allergic reaction could be a feeling of nausea, swelling of the throat and face, development of itchy rashes, tightness, or pain in the chest.
Effects During Pregnancy
Any kind of supplement intake during pregnancy should only be taken only after consulting a doctor. Pregnant women should avoid taking high doses of Biotin. This may increase the risk of miscarriage.
Frequency Of Urination
There can be an unusual amount of sweating too due to the consumption of biotin in high dosages. And there is an increased and frequency and urge for passing urine.
May Cause Diarrhea and Nausea
High dosage of Biotin may lead to abdominal and intestinal cramps and diarrhea. In initial stages of taking Biotin supplements, many people complain about feeling nauseating.
May Increase Blood Glucose Levels
Biotin supplements can prove to be dangerous if taken by a diabetic person as Biotin increase the level of glucose and fatty acids in the body which is which can create a dangerous condition for the hyperglycaemic patient.
There are many drugs with which Biotin on reaction can produce dangerous condition such as anti – seizure drugs and cholesterol lowering drugs.
May Cause Acute Respiratory Problems
High dosage of biotin can cause acute respiratory problems or anaphylaxis if the patient is allergic to such formulations.