Biotin: biochemical, physiological and clinical aspects

Subcell Biochem. 2012:56:1-19. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-2199-9_1.


Significant progress has been made in our understanding of the biochemical, physiological and nutritional aspects of the water-soluble vitamin biotin (vitamin H). It is well know now that biotin plays important roles in a variety of critical metabolic reactions in the cell, and thus, is essential for normal human health, growth and development. This is underscored by the serious clinical abnormalities that occur in conditions of biotin deficiency, which include, among other things, growth retardation, neurological disorders, and dermatological abnormalities (reviewed in 1). Studies in animals have also shown that biotin deficiency during pregnancy leads to embryonic growth retardation, congenital malformation and death (Watanabe 1983; Cooper and Brown 1958; Mock et al. 2003; Zempleni and Mock 2000). The aim of this chapter is to provide coverage of current knowledge of the biochemical, physiological, and clinical aspects of biotin nutrition. Many sections of this chapter have been the subject of excellent recent reviews by others (Wolf 2001; McMahon 2002; Mock 2004; Rodriguez-Melendez and Zempleni 2003; Said 2004; Said et al. 2000; Said and Seetheram 2006), and thus, for more information the reader is advised to consider these additional sources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotin* / chemistry
  • Biotin* / deficiency
  • Biotin* / pharmacokinetics
  • Biotin* / physiology
  • Biotinidase Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Biotinidase Deficiency / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Vitamin B Deficiency / diagnosis


  • Biotin