Biotin - Information and Sources

Biotin is a member of the B complex group of vitamins and is water soluble. It is needed for the synthesis of fatty acids, glucose and the metabolism of some amino acids.

Biotin is also known as anti-egg-white-injury-factor, because raw egg white contains the protein avidin which binds biotin at an extraordinarily high affinity, thus causing deficiency. Deficiency of biotin has only ever been observed in people who consume a large number of raw egg whites and an unvaried diet; the symptoms are scaly skin and hair loss, with nausea, depression and loss of appetite.

There are no requirements figures for biotin but intakes of 40µg per day will ensure against deficiency. Biotin is widely distributed in many foods and can also be synthesised in our intestines by the gut flora bacteria which reside there. Large amount of raw egg white should be avoided if biotin deficiency is a concern. Especially good sources include:

  • Brewer's yeast
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Chard
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Almonds