Is d-biotin vegan?
In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is d-biotin vegan?” and will discuss why our body needs biotin?
Is d-biotin vegan?
Yes, d-biotin is vegan. D-biotin is the physiologically active version of the B vitamin biotin that is found in nature and is not synthetically produced. Lipid, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism are all impacted by this vitamin. Biotin deficiency is uncommon, and supplements are normally unneeded unless your doctor advises you to take them. The majority of biotin in meats and cereals appears to be protein bound. Most studies of biotin content in foods depended on using bioassays. Biotin is widely distributed in natural foodstuffs. Foods relatively rich in biotin include egg yolk, liver, and some vegetables (1).
Unlike bacteria, higher organisms are unable to synthesize biotin and thus depend entirely on the vitamin present in foods to satisfy their vitamin requirements (2). Eating a diet high in biotin-rich foods such as peanuts and almonds as well as wheat bran and whole-wheat bread is a good way to ensure that you are getting enough of the vitamin. As d-biotin is derived from plant products it is purely vegan.
A study showed that 51% of Americans consumed multivitamins containing more than nine micronutrients (vitamins/minerals) in a dose equivalent to 100% of the recommended dietary allowance (5).
What is biotin and how much do we need it?
Biotin, a water-soluble vitamin, is used as a cofactor of enzymes involved in carboxylation reactions. In humans, there are five biotin-dependent carboxylases: propionyl-CoA carboxylase; methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase; pyruvate carboxylase, and two forms of acetyl-CoA carboxylase. These enzymes catalyze key reactions in gluconeogenesis, fatty acid metabolism, and amino acid catabolism; thus, biotin plays an essential role in maintaining metabolic homeostasis (2). More recently, evidence emerged that biotin also plays unique roles in cell signaling, epigenetic regulation of genes, and chromatin structure (1).
A little quantity of biotin is required by the body to help break down fat, according to the NHS. It’s not the most glamorous of occupations, but it’s essential nevertheless. They also claim that the human body is capable of producing biotin on its own, thanks to the bacteria located in the intestines. Is it really necessary for us to get biotin from our diets given that we only need relatively modest levels of the vitamin?
Although the UK government does not prescribe a specific daily intake of biotin, it does specify a safe maximum limit. Biotin intake is not a concern since meals contain extremely little quantities of the vitamin, and exceeding the acceptable limit is only conceivable for individuals who take biotin supplements as a result. No signs of biotin overdose were reported after acute oral and intravenous administration of doses that exceeded the dietary biotin intake by up to 600 times. Biotin supplementation affects the expression of numerous genes. It is unknown whether any of these alterations are undesirable (1).
The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council has released recommendations for adequate intake of biotin, ranging from 5 microgram/day in newborn infants to 35 microgram/day in lactating women (21–143 nmol/day). Biotin supplements may contribute substantially to biotin intake. Pregnancy may be associated with an increased demand for biotin. Recent studies provide evidence for marginal biotin deficiency in human gestation. Pregnancy and smoking accelerate biotin catabolism (break-down) in women. Lactation may also generate an increased demand for biotin (1).
It is only individuals who supplement or take multivitamins that need to be mindful of the low suggested maximum consumption level. Taking 0.9mg or less of biotin a day in supplement form is unlikely to do any damage, according to the National Health Service.
Biotin’s Function in the Body
We’ll get into the reasons why individuals may wish to take supplements later, but for now, let’s take a closer look at what biotin accomplishes. As previously said, it is utilized to break down fat, but it also aids in the digestion of carbohydrates and has an effect on the body’s use of proteins, because it acts as a cofactor for 5 carboxylases; 4 are located in the mitochondria and 1 in the cytoplasm. These carboxylases play a critical role in the intermediate metabolism of gluconeogenesis, fatty acid synthesis, and amino acid catabolism (3). Cell growth and development are intertwined with these processes, which play a variety of roles in the body’s use and transportation of carbon dioxide.
Recent studies have suggested an additional role for biotin in the regulation of gene expression, with both stimulation (as in the case of the insulin receptor, glucokinase, and human thiamin transporter-2) and suppression (as in the case of hepatic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase) being reported. In addition, a role for biotin in normal immune functions and cell proliferation (3).
There are several other applications for biotin that have been proposed by some, but these are the most frequently acknowledged ones. As we’ll see, there isn’t much evidence to back up these claims, but proponents of biotin believe it aids in blood sugar and diabetes management, promotes good hair, nails, and skin, and is essential to the proper operation of the neurological system.
Taking biotin pills is often done in hopes of achieving these as-yet-unproven advantages. Certain persons are more sensitive to biotin deficiency. However, are vegans included in this demographic?
Biotin from Plant-Based Foods
Because the human body requires such a minimal amount of biotin to function properly, almost no one who follows a balanced diet is thought to be deficient in it. Omnivores and plant-based eaters alike are included in this category. Vegan sources of biotin include peanuts, red peppers, whole soybeans, and baker’s yeast (4).
Rare genetic abnormalities may impair the body’s ability to use and metabolize biotin; nevertheless, this is an unrelated issue. People who do not suffer from a biotin deficiency may acquire plenty of the vitamin through their food and microbes in their digestive system. Even the “Biotin Fact Sheet for Health Professionals” of the US Department of Health and Human Services claims that “Biotin deficiency is uncommon and severe biotin insufficiency has never been recorded in healthy persons consuming a typical mixed diet.” The human intestine is exposed to 2 sources of biotin: a dietary source, and a bacterial source, which is normal microflora of the large intestine. In the human large intestine, the normal microflora synthesizes and releases into the intestinal lumen a substantial amount of free biotin. The relative contribution of this source of biotin toward total human biotin nutrition, however, is not well defined (3).
Because many of the finest sources of biotin are animal-based, some individuals believe vegans are more in danger. Biotin concentrations are particularly high in animal livers. Eggs, salmon, pig, and beef are all rich in biotin in addition to the liver.
Deficiency: Who is at Risk?
Biotin’s bioavailability, or its capacity to be absorbed and used by the body, has been studied. Although some research has been done, there is still more to learn. Recent studies, on the other hand, show that alcohol usage impairs the use of biotin over the long run. In contrast to persons who have “merely” drank often for many years, this is considered to harm alcoholics, rendering them vulnerable to insufficiency.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers may also benefit from taking biotin supplements. In both cases, the exact process is unclear, although studies have revealed that over 30% of pregnant women suffer from a slight deficit. In the case of nursing mothers, deficiency has resisted increasing food consumption, so it’s not obvious whether taking supplements will help.
Clinical findings of biotin deficiency include periorificial dermatitis, conjunctivitis, alopecia, ataxia, hypotonia, keto lactic acidosis/organic aciduria, seizures, skin infection, and developmental delay in infants and children. Biotin deficiency has adverse effects on cellular and humoral immune functions. For example, children with hereditary abnormalities of biotin metabolism developed candida dermatitis and presented with absent delayed-hypersensitivity skin-tests responses, IgA deficiency, and subnormal percentages of T lymphocytes in peripheral blood and cell stress (1).
Is it worth it to take biotin supplements?
There is very little conclusive data to suggest that taking a biotin supplement has any positive effects. When it comes to biotin and hair, skin, and nails, this is particularly true.
While a lack of this vitamin may cause brittle hair and nails, as well as various skin issues, there is very little evidence to suggest that it can benefit those who are not vitamin deficient in any way. Deficiency is quite unusual, as we’ve shown, particularly when it’s this severe. Biotin may be added to a wide variety of cosmetics, such as moisturizers and shampoo, and other grooming aids, but there is currently no solid proof that this would assist most individuals.
A few studies have shown that a particular meal or vitamin may have a positive effect on one or more aspects of health. Some of these studies are indeed more reliable than others since they’ve been supported by cosmetics firms and have small sample sizes or are confined to a certain population (such as children in the case of biotin). Or any combination of the aforementioned!
In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is d-biotin vegan?” and discussed why our body needs biotin?
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Zempleni, Janos, Subhashinee SK Wijeratne, and Yousef I. Hassan. Biotin. Biofactors, 2009, 35, 36-46.
Pacheco-Alvarez, Diana, R. Sergio Solórzano-Vargas, and Alfonso León Del Rı́o. Biotin in metabolism and its relationship to human disease. Arch med res, 2002, 33, 439-447.
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Watanabe, Toshiaki, et al. Biotin content table of select foods and biotin intake in Japanese. Int J Anal Bio-Sci, 2014, 2.
Biesalski, Hans K., and Jana Tinz. Multivitamin/mineral supplements: Rationale and safety–A systematic review. Nutrition, 2017, 33, 76-82.