Biotin as part of your diet
Dietary sources of biotin include whole grains, nuts, fish, pork, fruits and vegetables and cooked eggs. The recommended daily intake of biotin for adults is 30 micrograms. There are a number of things that could contribute to reduced biotin absorption such as smoking, certain kinds of medications, genetic conditions and eating raw eggs. There is no link between a biotin deficiency and being overweight, but biotin has many other roles that are important in health and maintaining a healthy weight.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that is vital to the normal functioning of the human body. It has a role in the metabolism of nutrients and even which genes your body’s cells express. It is involved in the process of making fat and glucose and the process of breaking down amino acids.
How biotin affects the factors that contribute to weight
The cause of weight gain is basically the metabolism of excess calories. Excess calories are stored as fat. When a person eats, it generally causes their blood sugar levels to rise which causes the release of insulin. Insulin stimulates the storage of the leftover calories, when cells have fulfilled their energy requirements. Another phenomenon that occurs with being overweight is a higher level of circulating blood lipids (fats). Biotin has a role in all of these processes.
In order to synthesize fat, the body needs to use an enzyme called acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). ACC contains biotin. A study in mice determined that a lower level of ACC resulted in reduced fat production. But biotin is also part of an enzyme that breaks down amino acids in order to make new glucose, which is a reverse set of pathways to storing glucose as fat. These examples essentially show antagonistic roles of biotin.
Consistent high blood sugar is one of the causes of obesity and can be a risk for type 2 diabetes. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2013 found that taking biotin improve blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity in rodents. Another study found that the combination of chromium and biotin did the same thing. However, there have also been studies that found that there was no improvement in blood sugar levels when supplementing with biotin.
Being overweight is also associated with higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol can increase the risk having a heart attack or stroke. Researchers have found high doses of biotin and chromium reduced levels of triglycerides in diabetic patients. Another study which looked at both diabetic and nondiabetic patients had similar findings.
It is quite difficult to get a clear-cut link between biotin and weight gain or weight loss because of the variety of roles that it has in the body. Researchers have found contradicting evidence about the relationship between biotin and blood sugar levels. However, they have found clear evidence that biotin reduces circulating levels of unhealthy cholesterol. At this current point in time, scientific evidence essentially points to the fact that it is important to get the right amount of biotin to allow proper and healthy functioning of the body. When used in conjunction with a healthy diet and sufficient exercise, biotin may contribute towards weight loss.