Explore biotin depression or deficiency and the vitamin’s relationship with yeast infection and health today. Read on to find out more.
In this article:
- What Is Biotin?
- Causes of Biotin Deficiency
- Biotin Deficiency Symptoms
- Biotin and Other B Vitamins
- Can Biotin Cause Depression?
- The Connection Between Biotin Depression and Yeast Infection
- Other Health Benefits of Biotin
Biotin Depression Facts You Need to Know
What Is Biotin?
To learn about biotin depression is to know about the vitamin better. Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is a water-soluble nutrient.
Like others in the B vitamin family, biotin helps support adrenal function and calm and maintain a healthy nervous system.
This vitamin dynamo is the gatekeeper for vital metabolic functions. Additionally, it helps address high blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Biotin can be helpful in maintaining healthy hair and nails, decreasing insulin resistance, and improving glucose tolerance.
“The body makes it through a symbiotic relationship with bacteria and ingesting biotin in common foods.”
Virtually, all living creatures need biotin. However, only bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and molds can make it themselves.
This is actually good news for us humans, since bacteria living in the intestines create biotin and share it with the host organisms. Fortunately, many foods contain biotin, including liver, cauliflower, carrots, soy products, and just about any product containing yeast.
The body makes it through a symbiotic relationship with bacteria and ingesting biotin in common foods.
Causes of Biotin Deficiency
A deficiency is rare since this B vitamin can be found in a myriad of foods, and the body efficiently recycles much of the biotin it has already used.
However, there are a few circumstances that can lead to biotin deficiency issues. One of the most intriguing causes is eating raw egg whites on a regular basis.
The Linus Pauling Institute states that raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin. This protein is notarized during cooking, which makes cooked egg products safe.
Other triggers include the use of anti-seizure medications and oral antibiotics. Both of these medications can kill intestinal bacteria, which can lead to biotin deficiency.
Talk to your doctor if you suspect a problem. There are anticonvulsant meds that don’t impact biotin absorption.
Biotin Deficiency Symptoms
The most common symptoms are likely to crop up in the hair, skin, and nails. Symptoms include:
- Dry skin
- Recurrent fungal infections of the skin
- Dry or brittle hair
- Hair loss
Nails can also become brittle. Still, there are other conditions that aren’t as straightforward, such as mood swings and depression.
It can be a tricky deficiency to detect. These symptoms may appear with other vitamin deficiencies, diseases, or medical conditions.
However, if you suddenly start losing your hair or can’t get rid of a nasty rash, it’s time to call your doctor.
According to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy’s Institute of Medicine, adults over 19 years of age should get at least 30 mcg of biotin daily.
“Biotin can be found in many common foods, so supplementation is not always necessary.”
Again, biotin can be found in many common foods, so supplementation is not always necessary.
However, if you are taking certain medications and experiencing some of the common symptoms outlined above, it might be worth checking with a trusted health care professional to see if supplementation is in order.
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Biotin and Other B Vitamins
Why is it hard to diagnose biotin depression or deficiency? One, it remains to be an underrated B vitamin.
Second, the symptoms of biotin deficiency such as brittle nails, hair loss, and loss of appetite may also mean you have insufficient folic acid or pantothenic acid (or both). These are also other known B-complex vitamins.
No doubt, however, these B vitamins can work together to help improve your health. Take, for example, biotin and folic acid.
Both can help promote hair growth, and they may be necessary for pregnant women. Sometimes pregnancy can lead to biotin deficiency.
Can Biotin Cause Depression?
Some studies showed an association between low levels of B vitamins and depression or lethargy. These include a 2016 research in Current Medical Chemistry.
Vitamin B deficiency can affect cognition, mood, as well as memory. The study also connected four types of vitamin B to the management of depression.
Biotin wasn’t one of them, but that doesn’t mean this vitamin doesn’t help in maintaining the central nervous system, particularly the brain.
It is a critical component in the production of the myelin sheath, which acts as a protective layer for the nerves.
The Connection Between Biotin Depression and Yeast Infection
Another condition people associate with biotin depression is yeast infection (which others call candidiasis). It is a type of fungal infection that mainly affects the gut.
Yeast infection can range from mild to severe. In moderate to severe cases, it may lead to gut dysbiosis, which means an imbalance of good and bad flora.
Some studies also suggest that yeast infestation may result in leaky gut syndrome, a condition wherein holes appear on the lining of the intestinal walls. This allows toxins and microorganisms that should be in the gut to enter the bloodstream.
Leaky gut may be responsible for many types of food allergies, intolerances, or insensitivities.
The association between biotin and yeast infection may be due to brewer’s yeast. It is one of the common sources of biotin besides egg yolk (not raw egg white).
No evidence, however, points to candidiasis due to brewer’s yeast, which is a by-product of beer production. (It is also different from nutritional yeast, although both can be from the same fungal species called Saccharomyces cerevisiae).
Meanwhile, a 1998 study showed that biotin therapy may help women with chronic vaginal candidiasis due to biotinidase deficiency.
Vaginal Candidiasis Definition: Yeast infestation in the vagina
Biotinidase deficiency is a genetic disorder where the body cannot release biotin from the proteins.
Other Health Benefits of Biotin
Biotin depression may result in hair loss or a skin condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. In babies, they call it a cradle cap.
A type of eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, develops in the oily parts of the body, especially the scalp. It features red scaly rash, itchiness, flaking, skin patches, and redness or inflammation.
Correcting deficiency in biotin, however, may also improve the following health problems:
1. Peripheral Neuropathy and Weight Loss
The high blood sugar levels experienced by diabetic patients can lead to complications such as peripheral neuropathy. It is a condition characterized by damage to the nerves that transmit signals from the spinal cord and brain to the different parts of the body.
It may also develop due to chronic kidney disease, although this may also be a complication of diabetes.
A 1990 research showed that administering high doses of biotin supplements like Essential Multi Vitamin may improve the symptoms of the disease. It even tried to establish a connection between diabetes and biotin depression.
In another study, biotin may help promote weight loss among obese people with type 2 diabetes when used alongside chromium picolinate, a kind of chromium supplement.
As a coenzyme for carboxylase enzymes, biotin helps in metabolizing fatty acids, phospholipids, and carbohydrates.
2. Blood Pressure
Treating biotin depression may also be good for managing hypertension. A 2008 rat study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that the vitamin may decrease systolic blood pressure whether in short- or long-term use.
The vitamin also reduced the thickening of the coronary arteries, which should allow proper blood flow. It then prevented incidences of stroke among the mice.
3. Muscle Growth
If you’re having a hard time building muscle, you may want to look into correcting biotin depression.
Biotin metabolism helps the body in using three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). These are leucine, valine, and isoleucine.
BCAAs refer to the structure of these amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Leucine, for one, activates the pathway necessary for protein synthesis, which helps make muscles.
4. Crohn’s Disease and Total Parenteral Nutrition
Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) refers to feeding that bypasses the GI, or gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of the bowel that leads to weight loss, abdominal pain, and severe diarrhea.
They may not be the same, but they share one factor, which is a change in the microbiome. These alterations may lead to symptoms in biotin depression.
A 1983 research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed biotin supplementation helps patients in long-term TPN deal with alopecia.
Supplementing the vitamin, meanwhile, may reduce the inflammatory response associated with Crohn’s.
Biotin depression can happen, and sometimes the problem is genetic. Fortunately, appropriate biotin intake can improve or prevent the symptoms, giving you a better quality of life.
How do you cope with biotin depression or deficiency? Share your tips in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 14, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.