Indications : A biotin test is ordered when a person is suspected to have biotin deficiency. Deficiency of biotin is very rare and is mostly seen in those with an in born error of metabolism or in those receiving parenteral (non- oral) feeding.
Overall fatigue, hair loss and weakness are the typical symptoms of biotin deficiency.
Fasting blood sample for the test may be drawn from the fore arm and involves very little risk.
Physiology : Biotin, also known as B7 or vitamin H, is one of the many B-complex vitamins. It is found mostly in protein- rich foods but, can also be consumed as supplements.
Biotin is necessary for the normal functioning of several parts of the body such as the nerves, blood cells, bone marrow, sweat glands and testicles (in males). It helps in producing energy and plays a vital role in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also acts as a co enzyme during hormone production.
Biotin deficiency can be experienced throughout the body and the best way to avoid this is by ensuring that you consume foods such as egg yolk, liver, bananas, mushrooms, peanuts, soy, grape fruit and oatmeal.
Normal Range : 200-350pgs/Ml
Interpretation : Normal values
Mock et al. (1997) determined serum biotin concentrations in normal adults to be 60 ±14.9 ng/L (range 34 to 89 ng/L).
There are no known side effects associated with the overconsumption of biotin. However, biotin deficiency is deleterious and can produce the following symptoms-
• Hair loss
• Muscle /joint pains
• Weakened immune system
Biotin deficiency is caused by-
• Celiac disease
• Crohn’s disease
• Cystic fibrosis
The best way to avoid biotin deficiency is to take foods rich in the vitamin. If these foods are not consumed, dietary supplements in the form of pills, need to be considered. These pills must be taken on the advice of a medical expert.
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