Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is one of eight B-complex vitamins which are responsible for creating energy in the body. Since our body isn’t able to synthesize this vitamin, it is necessary to include it in our diet. Being a water-soluble vitamin, it is not stored in the body, which means that we have to consume vitamin B7 foods on a daily basis. Here you will find out why this vitamin is so important for your health and which foods are rich in biotin. Of course, other vitamins are just as important as vitamin B7, so it’s a good idea to learn more about them as well. Our team behind MedAlertHelp.com made it easier for you by creating this infographic titled The World of Vitamins.
What Is Vitamin B7?
Biotin or vitamin B7 is also known as coenzyme R, vitamin B8, and vitamin H. It is a coenzyme which has an important role in the metabolism of glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids. Coenzymes are compounds that help enzymes trigger or speed up biological reactions. Therefore, many systems in our body depend on this vitamin.
Vitamin B7 Benefits
Vitamin B7 is involved in energy metabolism. Just like other vitamins from the B-complex family, it helps the body to convert food to usable energy. Furthermore, this vitamin takes part in fetal development. On the one hand, it is important that pregnant women don’t develop a deficiency in biotin as it promotes the baby’s health. On the other, high doses of this vitamin can be dangerous for the baby.
Biotin is also beneficial for our nails, skin, and hair as it keeps them strong and healthy. That’s why it is sometimes called vitamin H, where H stands for “Haar” and “Haut,” German words for hair and skin.
Although there is not enough evidence, biotin may contribute to the treatment of people with diabetes. According to some studies, it helps the body use glucose more efficiently. This study also showed that biotin can increase insulin secretion.
Sources of Vitamin B7
Various foods are good sources of vitamin B7. For example, meat, fish, eggs, seeds, and nuts are very high in biotin. It’s good to know that food processing can reduce the content of this vitamin. Moreover, avidin, a protein found in raw egg whites, binds to biotin and prevents the body from absorbing it. However, when cooked, avidin loses this ability, so biotin can be normally absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.
We’ll start this vitamin B7 foods list with beef liver because it’s one of the richest sources of biotin. Three ounces of cooked beef liver provide 30.8 mcg of this vitamin. This type of meat is also an excellent source of other B vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B5, and vitamin B12. In addition, it is high in copper, selenium, and iron.
Other types of meat are also great sources of biotin. A three-ounce serving of cooked pork chop contains 3.8 mcg of vitamin B7. Pork is a good source of other B vitamins as well, and it is particularly high in thiamine. Loin cuts are lower in fat, so they are a healthier option than spareribs and bacon.
Three ounces of cooked hamburger patty provides the same amount of biotin as a pork chop, that is, 3.8 mcg. Therefore, this kind of food is one of the great vitamin B7 sources, and you can add it to your diet.
Pink salmon is a highly nutritious food with a number of health benefits. In three ounces of pink salmon canned in water, you get 5 mcg of vitamin B7. Moreover, this fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which improve brain function and neurological health. It is also a great source of selenium and phosphorus.
Tuna is another type of fish that belongs to vitamin B7 rich foods as three ounces of canned tuna have 0.6 mcg of this nutrient. In addition, this type of fish is packed with niacin and vitamin B12. If you include it in your diet, you will also get a fair amount of selenium and phosphorus.
Egg yolks are high in biotin. If you eat one cooked egg, you will get 10 mcg of vitamin B7. Eggs are considered a superfood as they provide almost all nutrients that we need. They are especially rich in vitamin A, riboflavin, and vitamin B12. In addition, they are an excellent source of selenium.
You can also find biotin in milk. One cup of reduced-fat milk contains 0.3 mcg of vitamin B7. Moreover, it’s a well-known fact that milk is great for our bones and teeth thanks to the nutrients it provides. It is a rich source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin D.
Milk products are also good sources of this vitamin. Different types of cheeses contain varying amounts of biotin. For example, one ounce of mild cheddar cheese has 0.4 mcg of biotin. Furthermore, this type of food is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Among other vitamins, it provides vitamin A and riboflavin in a greater quantity.
For those who don’t eat meat and animal products for medical reasons or their personal belief, there is a wide range of biotin rich foods vegan people can include in their eating plan. For instance, sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin B7. Half a cup of roasted sunflower seeds provides 5.2 mcg of this vitamin.
Oatmeal is a healthy addition to your diet. One cup of oatmeal provides you with 0.2 mcg of vitamin B7. Besides biotin, it is rich in other vitamins, such as thiamin and riboflavin. In addition, it’s packed with healthy dietary fibers and an excellent source of numerous minerals, including manganese, selenium, phosphorus, and iron.
Sweet potatoes belong to vitamin B7 food since half a cup of cooked sweet potatoes has 2.4 mcg of biotin. Moreover, this veggie is an amazing source of vitamin A and a very good source of vitamin E, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It also provides numerous minerals, including manganese and potassium.
Broccoli is a very nutritional veggie as it’s packed with numerous vitamins and minerals. Half a cup of fresh broccoli contains 0.4 mcg of vitamin B7. In addition to biotin, it’s rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and manganese. Thanks to its nutrients, it contributes to heart health and keeps our digestive system healthy.
Spinach is another veggie that contains biotin. In half a cup of boiled spinach, you get 0.5 mcg of vitamin B7. Furthermore, this dark green, leafy vegetable belongs to vitamin B9 foods, so it’s a good idea to add it to your diet, especially if you are pregnant. Spinach is a great source of numerous minerals as well. Among others, it contains manganese, magnesium, and iron.
Carrots are also a good source of biotin as one ounce of canned carrots has 0.18 mcg of this important vitamin. Moreover, they will provide you with a bunch of other vitamins and minerals. For a start, they are packed with vitamin A. In addition, carrots are a great source of vitamin K, vitamin B6, and manganese.
Cauliflower is one of the healthiest vitamin B7 food sources. About an ounce of fresh cauliflower provides 0.05 mcg of biotin. Furthermore, it is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. In addition to providing a number of nutrients, it can help with weight loss.
One ounce of roasted peanuts provides 4.9 mcg of vitamin B7. It’s interesting that peanuts belong to legumes. They are rich in other B vitamins as well, including niacin and folate. Furthermore, they are a rich source of vitamin E and various minerals, such as magnesium, iron, and copper.
Certain nuts, such as almonds, are also foods high in vitamin B7. Half a cup of roasted almonds has 3 mcg of biotin. What’s more, they have a high vitamin E content, and they are a rich source of riboflavin. When it comes to minerals, they are loaded with manganese, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus.
Walnuts are another type of nuts rich in biotin. In about one ounce of fresh walnuts, you will get 0.78 mcg of vitamin B7. They are highly nutritious as they contain a number of vitamins and minerals. Walnuts are a good source of thiamin and folate. Some of the minerals they provide are manganese, copper, and magnesium.
There are also some fruits that belong to foods with vitamin B7. Bananas are among them since in half a cup of this fruit, there is 0.2 mcg of biotin. Moreover, they provide you with vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Besides vitamins, bananas are rich in minerals, including manganese, potassium, and magnesium.
Avocados are another type of fruit with a high biotin content. An average avocado (6 oz) contains 1.6 mcg of vitamin B7. They are also high in vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium, and copper. In addition, avocados are a rich source of dietary fiber.
Recommended Daily Intake
You can find the recommended daily intakes for all the nutrients in the Dietary Reference Intakes created by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB). Since the FNB didn’t have enough data to define more precise values for biotin, it provided Adequate Intakes (AI) for this vitamin.
Whether you take vitamin B7 tablets or you get vitamin B7 only through your diet, here are the AIs for biotin:
- From birth to 6 months – 5 mcg
- From 7 to 12 months – 6 mcg
- From 1 to 3 years – 8 mcg
- From 4 to 8 years – 12 mcg
- From 9 to 13 years – 20 mcg
- From 14 to 18 years – 25 mcg
- 19+ years – 30 mcg
As you can see, the AIs for vitamin B7 differ depending on age. Also, during pregnancy, women should increase their daily biotin intake to 30 mcg, while during lactation, they need 35 mcg of biotin per day.
Vitamin B7 Deficiency
Biotin deficiency is very uncommon as a healthy eating plan can easily prevent this type of deficiency in healthy people. Some of the signs of a deficiency in vitamin B7 are hair loss, brittle nails, scaly, red rash around the eyes, nose, and mouth, dry eyes, and conjunctivitis. Other symptoms are related to neurological problems, and they include depression, lethargy, and hallucinations.
This nutrient deficiency can be treated with biotin supplements, but sometimes it is enough to include more foods that are rich in this vitamin in your diet. However, in order to get adequate treatment, it is very important to find the cause of the deficiency.
Who Should Take Vitamin B7 Supplements?
Biotin supplements are often recommended to those who are more likely to have low levels of this vitamin. Usually, people with biotinidase deficiency are also deficient in vitamin B7 since this hereditary disorder prevents the body from processing biotin. If this serious medical condition is not treated, it can cause a number of complications, including breathing problems, vision or hearing loss, and weak muscle tone. It can even lead to coma or death.
Alcoholics are another group at risk of developing biotin deficiency as alcohol reduces the absorption of vitamin B7. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women often have lower concentrations of biotin. It is of great importance that women have adequate levels of biotin during pregnancy because this vitamin is crucial for normal fetal development.
Vitamin B7 Side Effects
The FNB didn’t define tolerable upper intake levels for biotin as it hasn’t been found that high doses of vitamin B7 have adverse effects on our health. However, high intakes of biotin may interfere with laboratory tests, which can consequently produce false results. For example, high doses of supplemental biotin affect some tests that measure hormone levels as well as a test used for diagnosing a heart attack. Therefore, taking too much vitamin B7 in the form of supplements can endanger your health because you might be misdiagnosed.
Biotin has numerous important roles in our body. Along with other B vitamins, it is responsible for energy production. Another important vitamin B7 function is to contribute to normal fetal development. Therefore, our diet has to be rich in this nutrient. Fortunately, a range of foods contain vitamin B7, so it won’t be difficult for you to cover the recommended daily intake of biotin. Although high doses of supplemental vitamin B7 are not toxic, they can interfere with some laboratory tests. That’s why you need to be very careful if you have to take biotin supplements.
What is vitamin B7 used for?
Vitamin B7 is vital for our health as it takes part in the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It keeps our skin, hair, and nails strong and healthy. It’s very important during pregnancy because it plays an important role in fetal development. According to some research, it may lower glucose levels and promote insulin production. Therefore, it can be beneficial to people with diabetes.
Is biotin vitamin H or B7?
Biotin, vitamin H, and vitamin B7 are all the same substance. These terms are often used interchangeably. This vitamin was named biotin because when Kögl and Tönnis isolated it from egg yolk, they called it bios. On the other hand, since vitamin B7 is good for hair and skin, it is also called vitamin H, where H stands for “Haar” and “Haut,” meaning hair and skin in German.
Does biotin really help hair grow faster?
There isn’t much evidence that taking biotin can help hair grow faster. However, according to a study conducted in 2012, supplements containing vitamin B7 may promote hair growth. Similar results were obtained in another study in 2015. Women participating in the experiment were taking supplements with biotin, and it was noticed that this supplement had reduced hair loss and helped with hair growth.
How can I increase my vitamin B7?
Vitamin B7 can be found in a variety of foods, so a balanced diet is usually enough to cover your needs of this nutrient. However, if you need to increase your biotin intake, you can turn to dietary supplements. There are a number of biotin products, ranging from powder ones to capsules to liquid extracts. You just need to consult with your doctor before you start using them.
What are the side effects of too much biotin?
High doses of biotin aren’t toxic, but they can interfere with certain lab tests. For example, laboratory tests for some hormones can give incorrect results if you are taking too much biotin. This way, you may get a wrong diagnosis and/or therapy.
Which foods contain vitamin B7?
A large number of foods contain at least a small amount of biotin. Meat, fish, and animal products, like eggs and milk, are particularly rich in this vitamin. Other vitamin B7 foods include sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, various nuts, bananas, as well as other fruit and vegetables.