Biotin is a B7 vitamin that is naturally produced within the body. Aside from the body’s ability to create biotin on its own, you can also get it through external sources such as food, supplementation as well as health and beauty products like biotin shampoos and biotin conditioner. There are many biotin benefits so when someone experiences a biotin deficiency, it can cause a number of problems within the body.
What is Biotin Deficiency?
Biotin deficiency is a disorder that can occur at any age and it is when one lacks the minimum amount of biotin in their system. Biotin deficiency is actually considered to be very rare because the biotin requirement per day is very low for adults (30mcg) and aside from it being produced in the body it is also easily accessible. While it is seen as a rarity, it is still important to be aware of the biotin deficiency symptoms and some of the causes as it can result in very serious side effects if not treated.
Causes of Biotin Deficiency
Egg Whites- Consuming raw egg whites for an extended period of time can lead to a deficiency in biotin. This is due to the egg whites having large amounts of avidin and when uncooked, this protein can prevent biotin absorption.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics can be another cause for biotin deficiency when used over a long period of time. In these cases, the antibiotics affect the production of biotin that is naturally produced in the intestine.
Pregnancy: According to the National Institute of Health, almost half of women who are pregnant release 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid which may be the cause of biotin deficiency and with biotin supplementation this release was greatly reduced.
Note: other causes may also include smoking and an overconsumption of alcohol.
Biotin Deficiency Side Effects
Some of the common symptoms that can occur when experiencing a biotin deficiency are, skin rashes more specifically dry scaly patches around the mouth, fungal infections, thinning and brittle hair and nails and sometimes even hair loss.
Biotin Deficiency Treatment
The most common treatment for a biotin deficiency are biotin supplements. These can be purchased in your local drugstore or pharmacy. In addition to supplementation, using topical forms of biotin such as biotin conditioner can also help replenish brittle and lust-less hair back to health.