Biotin (coenzyme R, vitamin H) is an essential micronutrient for all mammals and is a water-soluble member of the B complex group of vitamins [1]. It has an essential role in the metabolic pathways of gluconeogenesis, fatty acid synthesis and the metabolism of amino acids [2-4]. Biotinylation of histones appears to be important in embryological development [2] and there is evidence that marginal maternal biotin deficiency is teratogenic to the foetus [2,6]. Poor biotin status has been recorded in pregnancy [1,5], in the elderly and in athletes [5]. Biotin deficiency has also been linked to impaired glucose tolerance, with an inverse correlation between serum biotin and fasting blood glucose concentrations [5]. Biotin status is reduced by smoking [1] and by anticonvulsant therapy [1,2,6]. Raw egg white contains the protein avidin, which can bind tightly to biotin in the gut and prevent its absorption [2]. Long term consumption of undenatured egg white may thus produce biotin deficiency [2,3.7]. Biotin deficiency has also in the past been linked to sudden infant death [2]. Symptoms of biotin deficiency include reduced growth and impaired reproductive performance, as well as dermatitis [4]. However, clinical signs alone are often insufficient to distinguish the symptoms caused by a deficiency of biotin from those caused by deficiency of pantothenate or zinc [4,7]. Biochemical means must thus be used to assess biotin status in cases of suspected deficiency of the vitamin [4]. However, the diagnosis is seldom made due to the relative un-availability of laboratory methods for the assessment of biotin deficiency. See test datasheet for further details.

Patient Instructions:

No biotin containing nutritional supplements for 24 hours prior to testing. Sample must reach Biolab within 24 hours.

Clinical Indications:

Biotin deficiency may cause the development of a scaly dermatitis, with weakness and tiredness, and severe cradle cap in infants. A high consumption of raw egg whites or long term antibiotic use can result in biotin deficiency.


Sample Report:

Sample Requirements:

Green (lithium heparin)

Postal Samples: