Does biotin deficiency cause hair loss?Biotin deficiency can cause hair loss. Biotin is also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H.
Biotin deficiencyIt was considered that biotin deficiency is fairly rare. However recent research has established that marginal insufficiency of vitamin B7 is much more common than it was thought in the past. The intestinal flora also synthesizes this vitamin.
- Dietary insufficiency, loss of intestinal flora and decreased uptake from the intestines are the main causes of biotin deficiency.
- Vitamin B7 is water-soluble and like all water-soluble vitamins, it is not stored in the body and requires daily dietary intake.
- Pregnant and lactating women are prone to develop the insufficiency of the vitamin due to the increased demand and increased biotin catabolism.
- Individuals being treated with anticonvulsants and other antiseizure medications are likely to develop the deficiency.
- The insufficiency of vitamin B7 develops in patients under long term antibiotic therapy.
- The consumption of lipoic acid or alcohol reduces the biotin absorption by the intestines. Alcoholism is known to cause hair loss.
- Consuming raw egg causes deficiency of the vitamin. Raw egg white contains the protein avidin. The avidin binds to the biotin and renders it unavailable for absorption in the intestine.
- Digestive disorders, malabsorption syndrome, chronic small-intestinal diseases, damage to the intestinal lining, irritable bowel syndrome and short bowel syndrome can render a person deficient in the vitamin.
- Smoking accelerates biotin degradation and causes marginal insufficiency. Smoking is known to cause hair loss and baldness.
- Patients who have undergone surgical removal of part of intestine or stomach are prone to develop vitamin B7 insufficiency.
- Severely malnourished children develop biotin deficiency.
- Genetic mutations can cause decreased activity of certain proteins involved in absorption in intestines and reabsorption in the kidneys leading vitamin B7 insufficiency in the body.
Biotin deficiency and hair lossThe consequences of vitamin B7 insufficiency occur slowly and cumulatively. Biotin is essential for maintaining a healthy skin and the skin appendages like hair, nails, sebaceous glands and sweat glands. Vitamin B7 deficient cells undergo senescence earlier than the normal cells. As the consequence, the hair growth is slowed down, with increase in daily loss of telogen strands.
Mitochondria has an important function in cellular senescence and aging. Vitamin B7 insufficiency causes loss of mitochondrial complex IV, which is the the main oxygen-metabolizing enzyme converting most of cellular oxygen to water. In biotin deficiency, the levels of oxidants and the oxidative damage increase leading to DNA damage and cellular senescence. Thus all the cells in hair follicles undergo cellular damage causing their loss in the event of biotin deficiency.
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