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The Importance of B7: Functions, Sources, and Recommended Daily Intake

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B7, also known as biotin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions. This essential nutrient helps the body to break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to produce energy. It also supports healthy skin, hair, and nails, as well as the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Despite being essential for many bodily functions, B7 cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from food sources or supplements. Therefore, it is essential to consume enough of this nutrient in your diet to maintain good health.

Brief History and Discovery

Biotin was first discovered in 1927 by a Hungarian biochemist named Paul Gyorgy. He observed that the symptoms of a disease called "egg white injury," which caused hair loss and skin inflammation in rats fed a diet high in raw egg whites, could be cured by feeding them a substance found in liver.

This substance was later identified as biotin, and it was found to be an essential nutrient for both animals and humans. Today, biotin is widely recognized as an essential nutrient and is often included in multivitamin supplements.


B7 can be found in a wide variety of foods, including:

  • Egg yolks
  • Liver and other organ meats
  • Nuts, especially almonds, peanuts, and walnuts
  • Soybeans and other legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Cauliflower

Biotin can also be obtained through supplements, which are available in various forms such as capsules, tablets, and gummies.

Functions in the Body

B7 is involved in various bodily functions, including:

  1. Energy production: B7 helps the body to convert food into energy by breaking down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
  2. Healthy skin, hair, and nails: B7 is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and nails. It plays a role in the production of keratin, a protein that is a building block of these tissues.
  3. Nervous system function: B7 is involved in the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit signals between nerve cells. It also supports the proper functioning of the nervous system.
  4. Blood sugar regulation: B7 helps to regulate blood sugar levels by assisting in the production of insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels.
  5. Pregnancy: B7 is essential for fetal development during pregnancy. It helps to prevent birth defects and is involved in the growth and development of the baby.

Recommended Daily Intake

The recommended daily intake of B7 varies depending on age and gender. According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily intake for B7 is as follows:

  • Infants (0-6 months): 5 micrograms (mcg)
  • Infants (7-12 months): 6 mcg
  • Children (1-3 years): 8 mcg
  • Children (4-8 years): 12 mcg
  • Children (9-13 years): 20 mcg
Caroline Buckee

Caroline Flannigan is an epidemiologist. She is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and is the Associate Director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics.

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