Biotin is vital for the activities of various enzymes involved in the breakdown of fatty acids and carbohydrates and for the excretion of the waste products of protein breakdown. Specifically, it is a cofactor for carboxylase enzymes such as pyruvate carboxylase and acetyl CoA carboxylase, which add a carboxyl group to their substrates.
Deficiency of biotin may occur during prolonged treatment with antibiotics or sulfonamide drugs. It may also result from long-term high consumption of raw egg whites, which contain a substance that interferes with the intestinal absorption of biotin. The main symptoms of biotin deficiency include weakness, tiredness, poor appetite, hair loss, depression, inflammation of the tongue, and eczema.
Related category• BIOCHEMISTRY
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