Nutritional Guidance from Dr. Popham

Dr. Popham wants you to know about Vitamin B7 and why you should make sure to include it in your diet:

Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7 is a water soluble vitamin which acts a co-factor with enzymes to break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the body so your body can use them.

Patients who have been ill and not eating well, dieting with rapid weight loss, have diabetes, or are on dialysis can be deficient in Biotin. Smoking may also cause biotin deficiency.

Some symptoms of biotin deficiency are brittle nails, depression, diabetic nerve pain, fatigue, hair loss, and red scaly rash around eyes and mouth.

Biotin supplementation may help to treat these symptoms.

The following foods have a relatively high biotin content: leafy green vegetables, liver, peanuts, raw egg yolk, Saskatoon berries, and Swiss chard.

Please be aware that eating large amounts of egg whites without the yolk can actually cause biotin deficiency. This is because egg whites contain avidin, a protein which binds to biotin.

Because vitamin B7 is water soluble, you can’t take too much, your body excretes the excess. It is safe for patients with kidney disease to take biotin supplements.

We don’t measure biotin levels, but taking 5-10 mg daily biotin may be helpful for patients who are experiencing hair loss or diabetic nerve pain.

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