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Biotin deficiency is a rare disorder but there are certain populations at an increased risk for this disability. Find out what signs you need to watch out for and if you are part of the high-risk populations susceptible to a vitamin B7 deficit.

Biotin is an important co-factor in numerous reactions throughout your body. It is something that we are not naturally able to produce ourselves, but thankfully, numerous foods rich in biotin are easily obtainable at any supermarket. Even if biotin deficiencies are rare, certain conditions can predispose you to have deficiencies in biotin. There are numerous claims being made stating that biotin supplementation is something that can benefit you for hair loss treatment. Here, we will investigate what signs to watch out for when you are suffering from a biotin deficiency and who is at an increased risk for a biotin deficiency.  

Signs You May Be Suffering From a Biotin Deficiency 

Some of the first signs that you may be suffering from a deficit of biotin would be when you start to notice premature hair loss. As we have seen in previous investigations, it is a reason why patients suffering from hair loss use biotin for hair growth. If this insufficiency in biotin persists, you can start to notice more systemic effects like dermatitis, ataxia, problems with concentration, seizures and even mental retardation in pediatric cases if these problems are not corrected immediately. [1]

If you are wondering if "biotin can help my brittle nails," it is also possible in some circumstances but patients that suffer from biotin deficiencies will almost always have issues with their nail beds and eventually develop easily breaking nails. [2]

Not only are dermal and cerebral signs possible when it comes to a deficiency in biotin, patients suffering from this condition may also have issues with their immune system when missing this needed enzyme. Biotin is an important factor in our innate and our adaptive immune system and if you are missing this important enzyme, you are more likely to suffer from opportunistic infections. [3]

Lipid metabolism is also something that is dependent on biotin and patients missing this vitamin will have some obvious clinical changes. We need biotin to help us process fats and lipids that we eat and patients suffering from missing biotin will have elevated levels of lipids, cholesterol, triglycerides and free fatty acids compared to the normal population. [4]

What Risk Factors Do You Need to Watch Out Factor? 

Now that you know some of the signs to watch out for, it is important to know if you could be at an increased risk yourself. Even if biotin deficiencies are rare occurrences, certain populations are at an increased risk and must be vigilant. 

Certain studies indicate that approximately 50 percent of pregnant women are marginally biotin-deficient [5]. This slight deficiency may be much more problematic on the fetus because of how crucial biotin is in fetal development. Several animal studies and a few in human populations suggest that even slight decreases in biotin levels during early phases of pregnancy can be teratogenic. This means that the pregnancy can end spontaneously so it is imperative that expecting mothers monitor their biotin intake throughout the pregnancy. [6]

Any type of digestion problem can also lead to defects in biotin absorption. Several studies indicate that patients suffering from any type of intestinal ailment or who had recent stomach surgery may not be able to absorb enough biotin in their diets and are at risk. 

The last group of patients that we will focus on would be ones who are not likely to venture into hospitals in the first place. Bodybuilders or people trying to build muscle mass through high-carbohydrate diets are at an increased risk of biotin deficiencies because of the diets that they ingest. To begin, a common food group that bodybuilders ingest would be raw eggs to increase the amount of protein consumed in their diet. Unfortunately, avidin, a common protein found in raw eggs, readily binds to biotin and prevents our intestines from absorbing the biotin that we need. [7]

Another food group that this population will naturally gravitate towards would be high-carbohydrate grains. These foods have very high amounts of biotin in their composition but because of the complex nature of these carbohydrates, it takes a lot of time for people to be to break down and digest these products so we will not extract all the nutrients we can. Those who continuously eat these foods in replacement of meats, vegetables or dairy products will develop biotin deficiencies over time if they do not supplement their diets through other ways. [8]

All in all, biotin deficiency is not a joke, so it is essential for you to make sure you supplement your diet appropriately. Biotin for hair growth as a hair loss treatment and acne therapy are just some of the other possible benefits you may notice when you begin your supplementation. Make sure you know who is at risk for a biotin deficiency. 

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