March 15, 2021

Biotin (B7)


Biotin plays a key role in assisting enzymes to break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in food; it is also a key regulator of gene expression and promotes appropriate function of the nervous system. In observational studies, children with abnormalities in their biotin metabolism went on to develop candida dermatitis* and presented IgA deficiency** and subnormal percentages of T lymphocytes*** in peripheral blood (1).

Recent research shows that biotin supplementation results in an increase in insulin secretion and improved glucose tolerance (2). This may be of most concern to individuals with, or at risk of diabetes mellitus, as well as those with metabolic syndrome, often the precursor to diabetes.

*characterized by redness/itchiness, as well as folding of the skin
**IgA is a protein (specifically, an antibody) that responds to foreign material in the body such as bacteria, viruses, etc.; they play a central role in the immune system 
***T and B lymphocytes are white blood cells that help to fight infection in the body 
  1. Cowan MJ, Wara DW, Packman S, Yoshino M, Sweetman L, Nyhan W. Multiple biotin-dependent carboxylase deficiencies associated with defects in T-cell and B-cell immunity. Lancet. 1979;2:115–118.
  2. Lazo de la Vega-Monroy ML, Larrieta E, German MS, Baez-Saldana A, Fernandez-Mejia C. Effects of biotin supplementation in the diet on insulin secretion, islet gene expression, glucose homeostasis and beta-cell proportion. J Nutr Biochem. 2013;24(1):169-177.


Nail Health:

Vitamin B7 plays key roles in histone modifications, gene regulation, and cell signaling. Studies have found that B7 helps strengthen brittle nails, making biotin highly popular in the beauty world. A trial conducted to examine the effects of biotin supplementation (for 6-15 months) in women with brittle fingernails reported less fingernail splitting and a 25% increase in the thickness of the nail plate. Another study administered 2.5mg biotin daily for an average of 5.5 months to 45 patients with thin or brittle fingernails; results showed firmer and harder fingernails in 91% of patients (2).

  1. Colombo VE, Gerber F, Bronhofer M, Floersheim GL. Treatment of brittle fingernails and onychoschizia with biotin: scanning electron microscopy. J Am Acad Dermatol 1990;23:1127-32.
  2. Floersheim GL. [Treatment of brittle fingernails with biotin]. Z Hautkr 1989;64:41-8.

Hair Health:

A double blind, placebo controlled study treated healthy women ages 21-75 with self-perceived thinning hair, and found improvements in overall hair volume, scalp coverage, and thickness of hair after 90 days of biotin supplementation. Research regarding biotin for hair growth is limited and inconclusive; however, a biotin deficiency often results in hair loss, indicating its importance in hair health (1).

  1. Glynis A. A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy of an Oral Supplement in Women with Self-perceived Thinning Hair. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012;5(11):28‐34.


Our Biotin is obtained from quinoa sprouts germinated with b-complex. During the germination process of the quinoa, the b-vitamins are incorporated into the quinoa seeds and available in their free form; they are also available in their biologically active form, allowing for proper absorption. 


What foods are high in biotin? 

Foods highest in biotin include organ meats, eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables (such as sweet potatoes) (1). The biotin in GEM is sourced from germinated quinoa sprouts, making it 100% plant based. 

  1. “Office of Dietary Supplements - Biotin.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 19 Feb. 2020,

What are symptoms of biotin deficiency?

Symptoms of biotin deficiency are typically gradual, and include alopecia (hair loss), dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and brittle nails, among others. A deficiency may manifest in neurological symptoms such as depression, lethargy, and numbness/tingling of the extremities. The established daily AI (adequate intake) for biotin for men and women 19 years and older and for pregnant women is 30 micrograms daily, while lactating women need 35 micrograms daily. Although biotin deficiency in the U.S. is rare, heavy alcohol consumption can increase the risk of deficiency (1).

  1. “Office of Dietary Supplements - Biotin.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 19 Feb. 2020,

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