Dietary Sources

There is no published evidence that biotin can be synthesized by mammals; thus, the higher animals must derive biotin from other sources. The ultimate source of biotin appears to be de novo synthesis by bacteria, primitive eukaryotic organisms such as yeast, moulds, and algae, and some plant species.

The great majority of measurements of biotin content of foods have used bioassays. Recent publications provide evidence that the values are likely to contain substantial errors. However, some worthwhile generalizations can be made. Biotin is widely distributed in natural foodstuffs, but the absolute content of even the richest sources is low compared to the content of most other water-soluble vitamins. Foods relatively rich in biotin are listed in Table 3. The average daily dietary biotin intake has been estimated to be approximately 35-70 mg.

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