What is Biotin and How Much Do You Need in Your Diet?

Every time you crack open an egg, you’re releasing a variety of vitamins and nutrients. One of those nutrients is biotin. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as vitamin B7, that offers health benefits for skin, hair and nails. In addition, biotin assists in:

  • Nervous system function
  • Endocrine activity in the pancreas, thyroid and adrenal glands
  • Gene expression

Food Sources of Biotin

Biotin is present in a variety of animal and plant sources:

  • Beef liver, cooked – 30.8 mcg (per 3 oz)
  • Large Egg, cooked – 13-25 mcg
  • Salmon, pink, canned in water – 5 mcg (per 3 oz)
  • Pork chop, cooked – 3.0 mcg (per 3 oz)
  • Sweet potato, cooked – 2.4 mcg (per ½ cup)
  • Spinach, boiled – 0.5 mcg (per ½ cup)

The biotin in the egg is found mostly in the yolk, so avoid consuming just egg whites. Biotin is also naturally found in gut bacteria. 

Daily Biotin Intake Requirements

For adults 19 years of age and older, the daily recommended intake of biotin is 30 micrograms. For children ages 9 through 13, the recommended daily intake is 20 mcg. Reference this report for a complete breakdown of biotin intake requirements by age.

Risk of Biotin Deficiency

Though biotin deficiency is rare, under certain conditions the deficiency is more likely: 

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women (they have slightly higher requirements for biotin)
  • Individuals diagnosed with biotinidase deficiency
  • Individuals dependant on alcohol (alcohol inhibits the body’s ability to absorb biotin)
  • Eating raw eggs (the protein avidin present in uncooked eggs prevents biotin absorption) 

Symptoms of biotin deficiency include:

  • Thinning hair
  • Rash around the eyes, nose and mouth
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Seizures
  • Skin injections
  • Brittle nails
  • Lethargy
  • Depression

If you’re not regularly eating beef, eggs or other sources of biotin, be on the look out for any of the symptoms of biotin deficiency.

5 Healthy and Scrumptious Egg Recipes

Though eggs are only one source of biotin, there are a myriad of ways to enjoy them. Here are a few links to egg recipes we think you’ll enjoy:

Let us know which recipes you try and share your photos with us on social media — we’d love to hear from you!