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Are you biotin deficient?

Who is at risk for BIOTIN deficiency - The "B.I.O.T.I.N." mnemonic

Certain groups are at risk for biotin deficiency. Biotin comes into the body two ways - we either eat it (eggs, meats, almonds, nuts, milk) or the bacteria in our intestines make it for us.

I have taught a simple memory tool to remember those at risk for biotin deficiency. The various causes spell out the word "BIOTIN"... It's a very easy way to remember the top 10 groups at risk for biotin deficiency and they include:

1. pregnancy (baby)
2. alcoholics (beer)
3. inflammatory bowel disease and other bowel issues
4. use of isotretinoin (Accutane etc)
5. old age
6. use of oral broad spectrum antibiotics
7. Total parenteral nutrition (rare nowadays as most have biotin in it)
8. inborn errors in biotin metabolism including biotinidase deficiency
9. Neurologic seizure medications including valproic acid and carbemazepine
10. Smoking (nicotine). Studies in women have shown smoking lowers biotin.

In summary, one needs to understand everything about a patient to treat their hair loss. Certain factors put a patient at risk for biotin deficiency


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299



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