Vitamins and their importance for us.

In humans there are 13 vitamins.

These are classified into fat soluble and water soluble. Fat soluble vitamins are 4 : Vit A,D,E & K.

Water soluble vitamins are 9 in number. these are Vit B1,2,3,5,6,7,9,12 & C. this article is mainly on biotin .biotin is also called as Vit H/B7. biotin is also called vitamin b7 or vitamin h. biotin is required for many important metabolic functions of the human body. its daily average requirement is around 30 microgram per day, although the exact requirement varies with the age of the person, sex, pregnancy lactation, old age, general health condition of the patient and several other factors. It is found in many food items which we consume on daily basis. commonly available source of biotin in food items is peanuts, almonds, tomato ,potato, corns, milk, cheese and non-vegetarian food. There are no side effects reported so far if this vitamin is taken in excess amount. If a person consumes excess of this vitamin then the amount which is not required by the body is excreted into the urine.

In certain group of patients biotin absorption from gut is hampered like chronic alcoholics, patients who underwent gastrectomy for various reasons including weight loss or malignancy and also to some extent in elderly individuals. Normally, Biotin deficiency in human beings is rare. Many patients ask this question, it can happen only on rare occasions like due to some genetic defects or also if a person consumes excess of raw eggs, he is prone for biotin deficiency. Because avidin present in eggs, bind to biotin thus making biotin unavailable for absorption. Subclinical deficiency can be seen in few patients manifesting as hair thinning of brittle nails. Historically around hundred years ago, scientists discovered that diet high in raw eggs cause toxic symptoms in humans and animals. The symptoms were manifested in the form of hair loss, skin rash and neurological dysfunction.

Measurement of biotin levels in blood is not done practically as we do it routinely for iron, calcium or vitamin D or vit B12. Biotin serve many important metabolic functions of the body. of this mainly are fatty acid synthesis and gluconeogenesis. Because of lack of scientific data recommended dietary allowance(RDA) has not been established. Although many biotin supplements are available online but scientific evidence to support this is very less. You should not start taking this by your own. Patient must consult your dermatologist if you are facing problems of hair loss or brittle nails because this is only one of the many reasons which cause your hair thinning and brittle nails. Many patients especially females because of dieting or weight loss do not consume even the required recommended daily amount of fat(RDA), which may in turn leads to less absorption of fat soluble vitamins, thus leading to many signs and symptoms.

So it is always recommended to have healthy and balanced diet. Diet rich in seasonal fresh fruits, raw vegetables and nuts like walnuts, almonds & pistachio should be taken along with daily exercises.

Dr Vijay Singhal: Zenith Skin Hair and Dental Centre