Biotin deficiency reduces fetal growth and increases miscarriage and birth defects in hamsters

The effects of maternal dietary biotin deficiency on hamster embryos were examined. On d 10 of gestation, reduced dietary biotin resulted in a high incidence of resorbed and dead embryos (miscarriage). In addition, both the crown-rump length and head length of dietary biotin-deficient embryos were lower, and their digit development was retarded. These embryos were characterized by pericardial cavity enlargement (40%) and zig-zag closure line of the neural tube (44%). Some embryos exhibited abnormalities of the craniofacial region and tail. On d 14 of gestation, embryonic growth retardation, morphological abnormalities and skeletal defects were seen in the dietary biotin-deficient group. The striking abnormalities were cleft palate, micromelia, micrognathia and rib deformities in approximately 10% of the fetuses. The teratogenic effect of dietary biotin deficiency previously observed in mice was confirmed in hamsters.

Biotin and Insulin Resistance

Biotin deficiency has been associated with hyperglycemia and insulin resistance in animals and humans.

Administration of high-dose biotin has improved glycemic control in several diabetic animals models, and a recent Japanese clinical study concludes that biotin (3 mg t.i.d. orally) can substantially lower fasting glucose in type II diabetics, without side-effects.

Oral glucose tolerance test was abnormal in 4 patients before biotin administration and became normal in 3 patients (75%). Our results offer support to the findings of other studies about the beneficial effect of biotin in experimental or clinical diabetes mellitus, and argue for the involvement of biotin in glucose metabolism.

Compared to controls, biotin treatment lowered post-prandial glucose levels, and improved tolerance to glucose and insulin resistance.

Biotin Information

IGF-I serum levels, but not GH ones, were decreased in biotin deficient mice.

Other topics covered under Vitamins:

Biotin, Calcium, Choline, Chromium, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Multivitamins, Phosphorus, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Zinc