Biotin: The Uses and Benefits

Some nutrients are just sexier than others. Zinc promotes sexual potency while Vitamin D supports testosterone levels. You take them and you feel results in the gym or the bedroom. Then there’s a whole slew of vitamins that are silent, unappreciated workhorses. Biotin is one of these. An essential nutrient and a member of the B-vitamin complex (sometimes referred to as Vitamin B7), Biotin’s main role is to help metabolize food, turning fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids into energy.  

Experts recommend 30 micrograms of Biotin a day for adults and up to 35 mcg for women who are nursing. Biotin is plentiful in a variety of foods that are often consumed by fit-minded folk, including beef, whole eggs, salmon, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, and almonds. Even though people who train hard are more likely to use up their vitamin stores than a sedentary person, Biotin deficiencies are rare. Since B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning a surplus will be harmlessly excreted through urination, there is no danger of overdosing on this nutrient. That’s good news because some research has found an interesting use for high doses of Biotin.

Research published in the European Journal of Pharmacology described how rats given a large daily serving of Biotin experienced significant decreases in body fat levels. At the end of the eight-week experiment, the Biotin-fed subjects had 12.6 percent body fat while the control group came in at 14.9 percent body fat. Scientists believe that the extra Biotin triggers certain enzymes that message cells to burn more fat. While these results have not been repeated with human subjects, it makes this previously unacclaimed vitamin look a lot sexier to anyone interested in a lean physique. 

Mike Carlson

Mike Carlson

Medical Science/Health Writer and Editor -

Mike Carlson is a freelance health and fitness writer and a lifelong Southern Californian. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles what feels like a long time ago, and has been a full-time editor for Los Angeles Magazine, Men’s Fitness, and the UFC, as well as a copy writer for various nutritional supplement companies. As a health reporter, he’s crafted features for the American Optometric Association, Stanford Health Care, the National Hemophilia Foundation and USA Today. Mike spends most of his free time applying sunscreen, but between slatherings he coaches soccer, competes in various endurance races and loves to explore the culinary and outdoor majesty of his home state. Current obsessions include the Los Angeles Dodgers, kombucha and distilling bourbon at home. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, two children, and a bulldog named Frankie.