Biotin or vitamin B8, also known as vitamin H or B7, plays an essential role in the energy production from nutrients, as well as in the synthesis of fatty acids and amino acids.
Decision of the European health authorities
In 2012, the European health authorities (EFSA, European Food Safety Authority and the European Commission) have spoken out on certain health claims on foods and supplements containing vitamin B8 (biotin). After a review of evidence, they felt that these products may claim to help:
the metabolism normal energy,
the normal functioning of the nervous system,
the hair maintenance, a normal skin and mucous membranes,
the metabolism normal food,
normal mental functions,
if and only if these products contain at least 7.5 micrograms of Vitamin B8 (biotin) per 100 g, 100 ml or per package if the product contains only one portion.
By cons, food and food supplements containing Vitamin B8 (biotin) may NOT qualify:
be essential for healthy bones, teeth, hair, nails or skin;
help strengthen the resistance of the nails;
reduce fatigue and maintain vitality.
These effect are now banned claims for foods and dietary supplements containing Vitamin B8 (biotin).
Deficiency, uses and properties assumed vitamin B8
Biotin intake deficiency is sometimes seen in people who suffer from alcoholism or kidney failure , and among those who take treatment against epilepsy. Biotin deficiency is reflected, for example, skin problems, hair loss, of conjunctivitis or muscle cramps.
Biotin is proposed to treat fragile and brittle nail problems, the acne , oily skin problems, as well as the fall and graying hair. It is sometimes used to relieve foot pain that accompany advanced forms of diabetes .
How effective for vitamin B8?
The effects of biotin on skin problems have been demonstrated. Studies have also demonstrated efficacy on fragile nails. However, except in cases of deficiency , the biotin administration has shown no effect on the fall or graying hair.
Precautions Vitamin B8
No adverse effects are known to date, even if important contributions. Biotin is soluble in water, the excess contribution is eliminated in urine.
Forms and dosage of Vitamin B8
Biotin is in the form of tablets, capsules or injectable solutions.
The recommended daily intake is 50 mcg per day (0.05 mg) and a balanced diet normally covers the needs. When used to treat skin disorders or nails, biotin is usually prescribed at a dose of 15 mg per day.
Food sources of Vitamin B8
Biotin is found primarily in the egg yolk, liver, kidneys, milk, soybeans, oats, mushrooms, sprouts, the yeast and the royal jelly .
The expert’s opinion on vitamin B8
The many food supplements to strengthen the hair and containing biotin and the pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) overlook two facts out demonstrated deficiency, none of these vitamins showed a beneficial effect on the hair. Moreover, their absorption from the gut is reduced when taken simultaneously.