zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Biotin and Insulin Sensitivity

by
author image Shamala Pulugurtha
A freelance writer and blogger since 2007, Shamala Pulugurtha's work has appeared in magazines such as the "Guide to Health and Healing" and prominent websites like Brain Blogger and NAMI California. Pulugurtha has a postgraduate degree in medical microbiology from Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India and has completed course work in psychology and health education.
Biotin and Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is used to treat diabetes. Photo Credit AlexandrVedmed/iStock/Getty Images

Insulin is a pancreatic hormone that helps transport glucose from the blood to various tissues in your body. Reduced sensitivity of the cells and tissues to the hormone is termed as "insulin resistance," and it can lead to increased levels of glucose in the blood. Insulin resistance also increases the risk of several conditions such as diabetes, dyslipidemia and heart disease. Your doctor may prescribe medications along with diet and exercise to improve insulin sensitivity. The role of vitamins such as biotin in managing insulin resistance is unclear. So, you must talk to a doctor before using them.

Biotin

Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is part of the water-soluble vitamin B complex. Your body, as per the Linus Pauling Institute, requires 5 to 35 micrograms of the vitamin per day to help metabolize food, promote nervous function and to maintain healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver. Biotin can be obtained from certain foods, such as nuts, soybeans, legumes, whole grains, cauliflowers and bananas. Your doctor may also recommend biotin supplements to treat a biotin deficiency, diabetes, dermatitis and peripheral nerve damage. The dose depends on your age and health history. Your doctor may help establish a regimen that is right for you.

You Might Also Like

Insulin Sensitivity

Biotin plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and animal models deficient in biotin have defective insulin sensitivity, says a study published in the May 2011 issue of the “Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.” The Linus Pauling Institute also states that biotin supplementation helps lower blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes, which commonly occurs due to reduced sensitivity of fat, muscle and liver cells to insulin. Dr. Gabriel Cousens, author of the book “There Is a Cure for Diabetes,” reaffirms that biotin increases insulin sensitivity and activates the enzyme glucokinase associated with utilization of glucose in the liver. This may, in turn, help lower blood glucose levels. The National Institutes of Health, however, points out that biotin alone may not decrease the blood glucose levels in individuals with Type 2 diabetes but a combination of biotin and chromium may help control hyperglycemia.

Side Effects

There are no major side effects associated with biotin at recommended doses. It is possibly safe even during pregnancy and breastfeeding, according to the National Institutes of Health. The supplements may, however, interfere with certain antibiotics and anticonvulsant medications.

Precautions

Although you do not require a prescription to buy biotin supplements, you must not do it without consulting a doctor. Also, make sure that the supplements have been tested for safety and efficacy, or have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

References

Demand Media