Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H, is a colorless, water-soluble member of the B complex group of vitamins. Discovered in 1901 as a special growth factor for yeast, biotin plays a key role in the human body, supporting the health of skin, hair, digestive tract, metabolism and cells. In 1942, its chemical structure was identified and was grouped in roster of water soluble vitamins. There are 8 different forms of biotin, out of which only one – D biotin occurs naturally and has full vitamin activity.
Significant amounts of Biotin are synthesized by bacteria in the large intestine. The absorption of nutritional biotin occurs in all the cells of the body in minute quantities. Made from two precursors, alanine and pimeloyl-CoA, the structure is bound to protein, in which it serves its co-enzymatic functions.
Food Sources of Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Bacteria present in intestines can create small quantities of biotin. Additionally, biotin is taken from dietary sources such as:
- organ meats
- cooked eggs
- whole grains
- soya beans
- and sardines