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Vitamin H (Biotin)
Vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin, enables the body to use the energy in food. Biotin is also important to cell health and reproduction. People with diabetes may improve their blood sugar control with biotin. Hair and nails also need biotin to be healthy.
Here is a partial list of the health problems biotin helps treat.
These foods contain a significant amount of biotin.
Food-processing techniques can destroy biotin. Less-processed versions of the foods listed above will contain more biotin.
Biotin is available in multivitamin and B-vitamin complexes, and as individual supplements.
Standard preparations are available in 10 mcg, 50 mcg, and 100 mcg tablets and contain either simple biotin or a complex with brewer's yeast.
How to Take It
Your body makes biotin in the intestines, so a recommended dietary requirement (RDA) has not been set. An adequate amount of biotin is about 30 to 100 mcg daily. Most Americans get 28 to 42 mcg daily. Doses of up to 2,500 mcg have been used safely to treat hair and nail problems.
As with all medicines and supplements, check with your health care provider before giving biotin supplements to a child.
Biotin is nontoxic. No side effects have been noted, even with high doses.
Long-term use of anticonvulsant medications such as phenytoin, primidone, carbamezepine, and phenobarbital reduce blood levels of biotin. While this interaction is responsible for the anti-seizure activity of these medications, it is also responsible for their side effects.
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