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Biotin - essential for athletes
Biotin or vitamin B7, is a water-soluble vitamin from the B complex. Biotin is one of the essential (vital) vitamins, which means the body must absorb it through the diet because it is unable to produce essential vitamins on its own. The human organism needs it, for example, for healthy skin, hair and nails. Because of this biotin is also known as vitamin H (skin and hair). In addition, biotin is involved in the metabolism and plays a role in the correct implementation of the information contained in the genome. The body needs biotin for a number of important metabolic processes. For example, the vitamin is part of the fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It acts as a so-called cofactor in gluconeogenesis. In gluconeogenesis, sugar (glucose) is extracted from the body's own proteins and fats. This mechanism helps to raise blood sugar levels. Biotin is therefore also responsible for energy production in the body, as increased insulin is expelled with rising blood sugar levels. As a component of B vitamins, biotin is also responsible for utilizing the absorbed proteins in the body. Increased protein intake, as required in strength and endurance sports, thus requires a higher vitamin intake at the same time. Only then, the body is able to absorb a larger amount of protein. Athletes should therefore be more careful to take in addition to their macronutrients also sufficient B vitamins and, where appropriate, with dietary supplements to maintain the level. The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends a daily intake of 60 micrograms of biotin. Foods that contain a small amount of biotin include oatmeal, spinach or nuts. Broken nails and brittle hair, which also tend to split ends, often indicate a biotin deficiency. However, if the biotin level of the affected person is compensated again, the appearance of the skin, nails and hair will quickly improve again. For this reason, biotin is also often referred to as a beauty vitamin.