Biotin and Diabetes

Biotin, vitamin B-7, is a member of the water-soluble family of B complex vitamins. Biotin functions in fatty acid metabolism and the production of glucose. Some research has shown encouraging results for the use of biotin in the management of diabetes. Consult your doctor before using biotin for treatment of diabetes.

Biotin levels influence blood sugar levels and tend to be lower in people with Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in a 2004 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." In the study, participants took 6 micro-moles per decilitre of biotin per day for 28 days and showed increased activity of several enzymes that regulate blood sugar in both the diabetic and non-diabetic participants. However, no significant change in glucose, insulin, triglycerides or cholesterol occurred from biotin supplementation in either group.

A study published in the January 2011 issue of the journal "Molecular Genetics and Metabolism" found that biotin deficiency impairs glucose and cholesterol regulation. In the tissue culture and animal study, biotin deficiency caused energy deficiency and activated stress response mechanisms.

The researchers also noted that insulin control and production of fats were negatively impacted and glucose production and fatty acid oxidation were increased, in this preliminary study. Further research on the effects of biotin on blood sugar maintenance and diabetes in humans is warranted.

A study published in the December 2006 issue of the journal "Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics" found that doses of 2 milligrams per day of biotin and 600 micrograms per day of chromium picolinate for four weeks significantly improved results of glucose tolerance tests for 43 diabetic study volunteers. The researchers also noted reductions in levels of triglycerides and fructose — a sugar found in fruit that has been implicated in insulin resistance and elevated cholesterol. The supplement was well tolerated with no adverse side effects.

Researchers concluded that biotin and chromium picolinate supplementation shows potential for managing blood sugar and lipids in diabetic patients.

A combination supplement that contains chromium picolinate and biotin may reduce health care costs by improving blood sugar management in people with Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the August 2005 issue of the journal "Disease Management." The study found that the supplement, called Diachrome, improved Hba1c levels — a measure of blood sugar — in diabetics with poorly controlled blood sugar. The benefits of the biotin-containing supplement enhanced the benefits of diabetes medications.

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