Biotin biochemistry and human requirements

J Nutr Biochem. 1999 Mar;10(3):128-38. doi: 10.1016/s0955-2863(98)00095-3.


Human biotin turnover and requirements can be estimated on the basis of (1) concentrations of biotin and metabolites in body fluids, (2) activities of biotin-dependent carboxylases, and (3) the urinary excretion of organic acids that are formed at increased rates if carboxylase activities are reduced. Recent studies suggest that the urinary excretions of biotin and its metabolite bisnorbiotin, activities of propionyl-CoA carboxylase and beta-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase in lymphocytes, and urinary excretion of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid are good indicators of marginal biotin deficiency. On the basis of studies using these indicators of biotin deficiency, an adequate intake of 30 microg (123 nmoles) of biotin per day is currently recommended for adults. The dietary biotin intake in Western populations has been estimated to be 35 to 70 microg/d (143-287 nmol/d). Recent studies suggest that humans absorb biotin nearly completely. Conditions that may increase biotin requirements in humans include pregnancy, lactation, and therapy with anticonvulsants or lipoic acid.