Biotin, vitamin B7, or vitamin H, is a water soluble vitamin. The vitamin plays a role in the transferring of carbon dioxide in the metabolism of fat, carbohydrate and protein by functioning as an enzyme cofactor. It is involved in multiple biochemical reactions including niacin metabolism, amino acid degradation, and the formation of purine, which is an integral part of nucleic acids. It interacts with histone by the action of biotinyl-transferase.
Sometimes the vitamin is used in weight reduction programs. It may be prescribed as a supplement for diabetic patients due to its role in carbohydrate metabolism.
Biotin is commonly found in vitamin B complex and many food sources, such as milk, yeast, egg yolk, cereal, and mushrooms.
The reference daily intake [RDI of 101.9(c) (8) (IV)] for vitamin B7 is 300 micrograms. Deficiency in the vitamin may result in seborrheic dermatitis, alopecia, myalgia, hyperesthesia, and conjunctivitis.
Disorders of biotin metabolism can be acquired or congenital. Biotinidase and holocarboxylase synthethase deficiency are the two better known forms of disorders. The lack of biotin-dependent pyruvate carboxylase, propionyl-CoA carboxylase, methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase, and acetyl-CoA carboxylase can lead to the life-threatening disorder of multiple carboxylase deficiency. T
reatment involves a daily dose of approximately 10 mg biotin/day. Irreversible mental or neurological abnormalities may result from delayed clinical intervention.