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 . 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  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 . Biotin deficiency has also been linked to impaired glucose tolerance, with an inverse correlation between serum biotin and fasting blood glucose concentrations . Biotin status is reduced by smoking  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 . 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 . Symptoms of biotin deficiency include reduced growth and impaired reproductive performance, as well as dermatitis . 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 . 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.
No biotin containing nutritional supplements for 24 hours prior to testing. Sample must reach Biolab within 24 hours.
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.
Green (lithium heparin)