High Protein? You Need More Biotin.
Most of us probably aren't getting enough biotin, and this is especially true if we are eating a lot of protein. These waters are murky, but here's my best estimate of how much we need.
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin once known as vitamin H and now known as vitamin B7. The most well established abundant sources are liver and egg yolks. Newer research suggests it may also be very abundant in natto and other fermented foods, and that pasture-raising may be important for its content in animal products.
In the world of supplements, it is widely regarded as a boost for the health of skin, hair, and nails.
In medicine, its classical deficiency signs are a scaly, red, itchy, usually candida-infected rash around the nostrils and mouth and between the anus and genitals; conjunctivitis; hair loss; depression; lethargy and loss of appetite; and tingling or numbness in the extremities, or a sense of something crawling on the skin. In infants and children, it leads to developmental delay. In the most severe cases, it leads to hallucinations and seizures, and in babies, “floppy baby syndrome.”
In those with a genetic disorders in its metabolism, untreated deficiency can lead to death.
Research also suggests biotin is necessary to prevent birth defects and may be limiting in a large number of pregnant women.
Research also suggests it should help stabilize blood sugar.
Outcomes from supplementation studies will be covered in a future article. This one focuses on how much we should be aiming to get from food to meet our basic metabolic needs.
In this article, you will learn why protein has a paradoxical effect that should protect against the glucose intolerance that biotin deficiency presumably causes, yet actually raises the amount of biotin you need. This article explains in full why the Cliff Notes (free for Masterpass members) recommend a biotin requirement expressed per 100 grams of protein, and why the Cheat Sheet (free for Masterpass members) uses urinary beta-hydroxyisovalerate as a marker of biotin status.
If you are eating a high-protein diet, you probably aren’t getting enough biotin, and in this article you will learn just how much you need and how to get it.
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