Friday, November 26, 2010

Biotin - possibilities of optimizing your own levels.

Biotin, known as vitamin H (German hair and skin being "Haar und Haut”) or Vitamin B7, is involved in fat metabolism. Therefore for weight loss it make sense that you want to maximize or optimize your biotin levels. However like measuring any vitamin in your body there are a number of significant and probematic issues to overcome. These include:
  • Finding a compound to measure that reflects body levels. For example vitamin E in blood isn't indicative of vitamin E levels. 
  • Finding a way to simply extract this compound. ie taking a blood, urine, fecal, saliva, hair sample. As unpleasant as some of these exaction/collection might be they would be infinitely better than having a lathroscopic investigation. 
  • Having this compound easily testable. For example there is a local clinic that can take a DNA sample then send this to the US to determine your genetic susceptibility for disease. As much as I think that this is a wonderful tool, I haven't even asked the price cause I know it will be beyond what I can afford. 
Therefore it is pleasing to note that a biomarker for biotin may have been found. Research has indicated that   3HIA-carnitine levels depend on biotin levels. Carnitine is involved in fat metabolism and in fact it was called vitamin bt when first isolated as it was thought it was a vitamin. Caritine can be purchased as a supplement and can be measured in medical labs. Therefore it is likely that in the future you could have a blood test to determine how much biotin you should be supplementing with - or how well your high nutrient dense diet is optimizing your biotin levels.    

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