What is Vitamin H? Strangely enough, it is actually part of the B-group of vitamins, or B-complex vitamins. Also known as Biotin, it is involved in various metabolic processes, including the breakdown of carbohydrates, fatty acids and even some proteins. It acts as a co-enzyme in various enzyme processes in the body. It is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that the body cannot accumulate it – so it has to be replenished continuously.
Vitamin H Nutritional Benefits
Vitamin H assists in the following functions:
- The release of energy obtained from food.
- Various metabolic chemical reactions, including the transfer of carbon dioxide.
- The formation of fatty acids.
- Maintaining a healthy, consistent level of blood sugar.
Vitamin H Health Benefits
The health benefits of Vitamin H is obvious considering its involvement in a number of health related functions:
- The B-complex vitamins, including Vitamin H, is involved in maintaining strong hair and nails.
- Maintaining the eyes and the liver.
- It plays an essential role in the functioning of the nervous system.
- It has been used to relieve muscle pain, and even depression.
- It is a critical component for the natural growth of an embrio, making it an essential vitamin to be consumed during pregnancy.
- It is involved in the functioning of the adrenal and thyroid glands, as well as the reproductive system.
Symptoms of Vitamin H Deficiency
Although a deficiency of Biotin is not a common occurrence, it can happen – usually in the case of a chemical agent attacking the vitamin molecules. A typical example would be the white of raw eggs -which contain a protein that destroys the vitamin molecules.
People who could be prone to a deficiency include athletes and bodybuilders (who consume raw egg white), people with mal-absorption problems, pregnant women, and those using long-term antibiotics. Additionally, people whose ill health requires the introduction of food by intravenous means are likely to develop deficiencies – unless specific steps are taken to ensure supplementing.
Vitamin H Food Sources
In most cases, it is not necessary to consume any Vitamin H. The body creates it in the intestines. However, there are some situations that require supplementing the production. It is usually available in tablets containing B-complex vitamins, but can also be obtained in liquid form – which is the better choice.
Excellent sources of biotin include:
- romaine lettuce
Very good sources include:
Good sources include:
- goat’s milk
- cow’s milk
Additionally, it can be obtained from foods such as legumes, whole grains and mushrooms.
Due to its positive effect on the skin, hair and nails, it is often present in beauty products.
Where possible, try to avoid processed foods – since the chemicals used in food processing can also lead to a reduction in biotin levels inside the body.
Vitamin H Precaution
With Vitamin H being a water-soluble vitamin, over-dosage is unlikely – since any excess is usually excreted in the urine. There are no known side effects. Other B-vitamins (in general) require almost astronomical dosages to reach toxic levels.
Precautions should rather be aimed at preventing any deficiencies – due to the essential role it plays in so many different bodily processes.