Biotin, also referred to as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H, is one of the B complex vitamins, important in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
While there is no recommended daily allowance of biotin in the United States, most people ingest enough biotin through their diet. Biotin is found in brewer’s yeast; cooked eggs (especially egg yolk), sardines, nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts) and nut butters, soybeans, other legumes (beans, blackeye peas), whole grains, cauliflower, bananas, and mushrooms. In addition, bacteria in our intestines produce biotin. Biotin deficiency is usually recognized by its symptoms, including hair loss, dry scaly skin, cracking in the corners of the mouth, swollen and painful tongue, dry eyes, loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia, depression, and tingling of the arms and legs.
Aside from certain medical conditions/medications (alcoholism, some epileptic drug therapies, individuals with kidney failure who are on dialysis, individuals with Crohn’s Disease and overconsumption of raw egg whites which binds biotin), biotin deficiency is rare. Regarding its use in healthy individuals, there is weak evidence to suggest that biotin supplements may improve thin, splitting, or brittle toe and fingernails, as well as hair. According to the National Institutes of Health, there is not enough evidence to recommend biotin for hair loss.