Vitamin B8, also called biotin or vitamin H, is a water-soluble vitamin. It’s mostly synthesised within the body by intestinal bacteria, but is stored in very small quantities and excreted through urine, so dietary sources are also needed to meet the body’s required amount.
Vitamin B8 protects our skin and mucous membranes and strengthens our hair and nails. It’s also essential to keratin production.
By promoting the use of vitamins B9 and B12 and playing a key role in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and amino acids, this vitamin truly takes a starring role in energy production!
Vitamin B8 is largely found in offal, meat, whole grains, legumes, oilseeds, brewer’s yeast, etc.
DID YOU KNOW?
The structure of vitamin B8 was discovered in the 1930s by Vincent du Vigneaud, who was studying an illness called “egg white disease”. In fact, excessive consumption of raw egg whites led to symptoms like skin lesions, hair loss and neuromuscular disorders.
The required dose of vitamin B8 is higher for athletes, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people who consume alcohol very regularly, and people who consume a lot of egg whites, as these are rich in avidin, a protein which slows vitamin B8 absorption.