Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Biotin is often referred to as the hair, skin and nails vitamin, as it can do wonders for helping to keep these prized physical aspects healthy and strong! B7 is also important for the conversion of food into energy and the production of glucose when carbohydrate intake is low.

One way that we get biotin is through biotin-producing bacteria in our large intestine. These bacteria, however, do not produce enough to meet our needs, so it is important for us to eat a biotin-rich diet. In general, it is important to get all of the B vitamins in our daily diets because as water-soluble vitamins, they are not stored in the body and thus, need to be replenished.

Although rare, biotin deficiency symptoms include depression, chronic fatigue, muscle aches, hair loss, brittle nails, and facial rashes.


Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

Men 19 and older, 30 mcg/day
Women 19 and older, 30 mcg/day
Pregnant women, 30 mcg/day
Breastfeeding women, 35 mcg/day
Upper Level (UL), no upper limit has been established


Food Sources of Vitamin B7

Animal sources: liver, egg yolk, pork, and salmon

3 oz cooked liver— 27 mcg
1 large egg— 25 mcg
3 oz chicken— 3 mcg
3 oz salmon— 4 mcg

Plant sources: swiss chard, nuts, mushrooms, cauliflower, avocado, and brewer's yeast

1 cup Swiss chard— 10.4 mcg
1 cup cauliflower— 4 mcg
1 avocado— 2-6 mcg

 

It is quite easy to get enough biotin into your diet, as a simple breakfast of two scrambled eggs will give you even more than your daily need. If you are concerned with increasing your dosage to improve the condition of your skin for instance, consider increasing it in your diet rather than using one of the many face creams that list this nutrient in their ingredients. Despite sensational claims that companies may make about their age-defying products, biotin is absorbed much more efficiently through the intestinal tract than through the skin. So cook up a handful of swiss chard with your morning eggs and you're on your way to reviving that glow!

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