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How Did We Become Biotin Deficient?

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Old 03-28-2008, 09:47 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: US
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ntqt HB User
How Did We Become Biotin Deficient?

In a nutshell, I've had many health issues for many years. I asked for vitamin levels to be drawn but was refused by 3 different docs. Finally I refused a major surgery and said "no" until you check them. After an argument he agreed to B12 only. When that was bad, he did some others, but refused Biotin because "it's impossible to be deficient in biotin". WRONG! when I got all of my alarming results I told my adult kids to be tested and had to fight their docs as well, but not so hard when they heard my results.

All 3 of us are deficient in B12, and Biotin wasn't even measurable in 2 of us it was so low, the third was very low. I was very low in B6 and Riboflavin (only a couple of days after stopping B2 supplementation) was non-existent. Daughter was extremely low in Thiamin. The tests run also included folate which were ok in all. I read later that a single meal can normalize blood levels of folate tho, so hard telling.

There is no other B12 deficiency in my family that I am aware of. No other vitamin deficiencies period. We all look healthy. We eat a lot of protein and drink absolutely no alcohol. Our lives are squeaky clean. We have had occasional levels low in Albumin which is usually waved off by the doc. He says we need to eat more eggs. We eat a lot of eggs actually, and it makes no difference. No, we don't eat them raw, but boiled, or cooked in our food. All food is made from scratch. Docs say the diet is not the issue, but that we suffer malabsorption issues. My daughter is overweight, my son is skinny as a rail but he was the healthiest of all of us. Our thyroids are being treated but are not terribly out of range, tho in the past this was a major issue (about 2 years ago). I was hypERthyroid, then went hypO after RAI, my kids are hypO. Daughter has swelling. We have all have thyroid antibodies. We all have allergies, tho daughter's don't bother her but rarely for a day or two.

I want to fix the PROBLEM not just treat a symptom. I have a lot of permanent damage as a result of this going on for many years. My kids were beginning to show the same symptoms at the same age I began to show them. Their symptoms have begun reversing themselves with treatment, but our docs don't know really how to treat us. They didn't even know how to test us!

Anybody have a clue what is happening?? Can anybody help us??

Thanks to all...

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Old 03-28-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: emerald city
Posts: 1,309
rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: How Did We Become Biotin Deficient?


It must be very frustrating to be doing all the "right" things and still have health problems!

It's interesting that "Docs say the diet is not the issue, but that we suffer malabsorbtion issues." There are lots of reasons for malabsorbtion, but some of the reasons actually do have to do with diet.

As you alluded to, egg whites have a substance (a glycoprotein called avidin) that binds to biotin and makes it unavailable for absorbtion. Theoretically, if you cook your eggs, as you say, this should not be a problem. And egg yolks have a lot of biotin in them.

I read that strong acidic conditions can disable biotin. I don't know if this means using too much vinegar or what. I am not a nutritionist -- just trying to eat a healthy diet like you, so I look things up and don't always understand all the issues. Interestingly, tomatoes are supposed to be a good source of biotin, but good tomatoes are acidic. {shrugs}

A deficiency of pantothenic acid (B5) can impair the absorbtion of biotin.

Intestinal malabsorbtion problems can cause a lack of biotin. Have you considered gluten sensitivity (a milder form of celiac/coeliac)? People who are sensitive to gluten have an auto-immune reaction in their intestines that often causes malabsorbtion of various nutrients, depending on which portion of the intestines is affected.

Also, an imbalance of intestinal flora can weaken the specific bacteria that produce biotin in our intestines.

I hope that you find out what's going on!


Old 03-30-2008, 04:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 575
aussiejono HB User
Re: How Did We Become Biotin Deficient?

Must be very frustrating for you, all I can suggest is taking a daily high potency multivitamin, with extra B12 (2000mcg per day) and biotin (1mg per day) to try and overcome malabsorbsion.

It may be sprue (bacterial overgrowth in the gut)

Taking a baily probiotic may be a good idea, NSI make a very good one

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