Vitamin B8: what you need to know about the "beauty" vitamin

Called biotin, vitamin H or vitamin B7 (in English), vitamin B8 is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for our cells, as it ensures a number of useful reactions for the assimilation of nutrients. proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. Particularly well-known for its role in the production of sugars by the liver, this vitamin is mainly synthesized by the body.

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However, a healthy, balanced diet is highly recommended to cover the body's daily needs.

Characteristics of vitamin B8

A member of the vitamin B family, vitamin B8 is a non-caloric organic substance. It is essential to our metabolism, and its self-production by the body has not yet been fully proven. It is a water-soluble vitamin (dissolves in water), and is also rapidly eliminated through urine. Eight different forms are known, but D-biotin, of natural origin, is the only active form recognized to date.

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Benefits of vitamin B8 for the body

When assimilated by the body, vitamin B8 directly integrates the structure of a coenzyme (biotinyl-AMP), essential for the activity of a number of enzymes. In particular, it is involved in the metabolism of proteins and some amino acids, carbohydrates and lipids. Vitamin B8 is also involved in the production of sugar by the liver (neoglucogenesis), which occurs mainly during periods of fasting.) It ensures the functioning of the nervous system, as well as the renewal of skin and hair cells.

A true beauty complement

Particularly prized in the composition of dietary supplements for nails, skin and hair, biotin's "beauty" efficacy has yet to be scientifically studied. Nevertheless, a vitamin B8 deficiency is more visible on the skin (dermatitis) and hair (loss). Both cases are often treated with biotin supplementation.

Our daily biotin requirements

The recommended daily intake of biotin is 50 µg for teenagers, pregnant women and adults. A breast-feeding woman needs 55 µg. But these needs are generally covered by a healthy, balanced diet.

Table of RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances) for vitamin B8


Vitamin B8 RDA (µg)


Children 1 to 3 years


Children aged 4 to 12

20 à 35
Teenagers aged 13 to 19

45 à 50


Pregnant women


Nursing mothers



The best food sources of vitamin B8

All foods contain vitamin B8. But it is found in greater quantities in pulsesoffal (liver), meats and nuts. Yeast can be used to supplement these nutrients.


Vitamin B8 content (µg/100g)




Cooked bacon

Cooked poultry liver


Cooked pork tenderloin

Cooked soybeans


Cooked black beans

Brewer's yeast



Hard-boiled egg


Wholemeal bread

Grilled steak


Deficiency and overdose: risks and treatment

Vitamin B8 deficiency is rare. The rare cases of biotin deficiency are mainly observed in cases of inadequate intake during exclusive parenteral nutrition not supplemented with vitaminsor vitamin capture by a substance present in raw eggs (avidin).

The main signs of vitamin B8 deficiency can be observed in the skin (inflammation), mucous membranes and nerves (hallucinations, drowsiness, mood disorders). A simple administration of vitamin B8 is often sufficient to correct this type of deficiency.

Moreover, no safety limit has yet been set for this vitamin, as the risk of overdosing is minimal.

It should be noted, however, that increased consumption of raw eggs can prevent the assimilation of vitamin B8. Similarly, prolonged treatment with antibiotics also reduces assimilation, as this alters the composition of the intestinal microbiota.

Next chapter: vitamin B9.
Previous chapter: vitamin B6.

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