Biotin Deficiency

Biotin Deficiency

Biotin is one of the B-complex vitamins. It is also known as vitamin B7 and H. Biotin provides energy by converting fats and carbs into glucose in the body. It helps in controlling bad cholesterol and blood sugar. In addition, biotin is essential for the production of keratin, which makes it vital for the health of your hair, nails and skin. 

Given its multiple benefits for your health, a deficiency of biotin may lead to many types of health problems. This article discusses the causes, symptoms and treatment of biotin deficiency.

Causes of biotin deficiency

Biotin deficiency is rarely seen in a healthy person who eats a balanced diet. However, when it does happen, it can be due to one of these several reasons:

Certain medicines

Some medicines can block the body from absorbing biotin properly. Antibiotics, for instance, can destroy the good bacteria in the intestine, which produce biotin. Excessive or improper use of antibiotics can thus lead to biotin deficiency.

Intravenous feeding

Intravenous feeding is used when the digestive system cannot adequately absorb nutrients. Food is given to the patient through an IV or tube. This may lead to a deficiency of biotin in the body.

Intestinal problems

An intestinal problem can also lead to a deficiency of biotin. Chronic intestinal disease can reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from foods, which can result in a reduced level of biotin in the body. Intestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease and colitis can lead to biotin deficiency.

Being on a diet

Being on a restrictive diet for a long time can affect your health negatively. Over time, the body can become deficient in important vitamins and minerals if you are not eating a balanced diet. So even if you decide to go on a special diet, it is best to ensure it is well-balanced.


Biotinidase deficiency is a hereditary disorder, but this problem is rarely seen in people. In this, the body is not able to use biotin. Apart from this, some other genetic factors can also lead to biotin deficiency in the body.


Biotin is essential for pregnant women as it plays an important role in the development of the foetus. At the same time, pregnant women often have to face biotin deficiency. In such cases, doctors recommend biotin supplements to women during pregnancy.

Symptoms of Biotin Deficiency

The symptoms of biotin deficiency start gradually and may increase with time. Rare as a biotin deficiency may be, when it does occur, it can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Skin rash
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Dry eyes
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Burning sensation in hands and feet
  • Muscle pain
  • Difficulty walking

Treating Biotin Deficiency

To treat biotin deficiency, doctors first check its levels. If the level of biotin is only slightly low, it can be fixed simply by increasing biotin-rich foods in your diet. On the other hand, if the level of biotin is too low, then your doctor may advise you to take a biotin supplement.

Biotin supplements

Biotin is available in certain foods. It is also produced in the intestines. If even after this, biotin deficiency is found in the body, then you can take biotin supplements. Biotin supplements are available over the counter. But make sure you consult your doctor before taking them.

An adult needs 30 micrograms of biotin per day, 5 mcg of biotin is sufficient for a child, and pregnant women can consume 35 micrograms of biotin per day.

Biotin-rich foods

Biotin can also be obtained from certain foods. Biotin is found in high amounts in eggs, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, soybeans, beans, peas, whole grains, cauliflower, bananas and mushrooms. If there is a deficiency of biotin in the body, then these things can be made a part of your diet.

Cosmetic biotin

Biotin is very important for our skin, hair and nails. At low levels of biotin in the body, hair and skin can become dry. Along with this, the development of nails is also hampered. In this case, you can take cosmetic biotin treatment. This can promote hair, skin and nail health.


Biotin deficiency is rare, but easy to overcome if diagnosed properly. For this, foods and supplements containing biotin help. To avoid biotin deficiency, it is necessary to take a healthy diet. The body absorbs biotin from food and can maintain a healthy level of biotin.

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