During pregnancy, getting enough of this nutrient becomes even more essential as it plays a role in embryonic development, Shapiro said.
According to Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, the average adult needs 30 micrograms, or 0.03 milligrams, of biotin each day. Pregnant or lactating women, however, need 35 micrograms. These are the baseline daily levels (i.e., Recommended Dietary Allowance, RDA) issued by the National Academies.
Biotin is important for overall health, with functions ranging from blood sugar to beauty benefits.* For example, “it may help to normalize blood glucose levels,” Shapiro explains, a role that has been supported by preclinical research demonstrating this B vitamin’s ability to support pancreatic beta cell function and improve glucose tolerance.*
Additionally, there are many mechanisms to support the hair, skin, and nail benefits of getting adequate levels of this B vitamin, but more research is needed to expand our understanding in these areas of health.
However, its most notable role has to do with cellular energy production: Biotin is a coenzyme for carboxylases, or enzymes that help metabolize macronutrients.* Carboxylases are involved in the process of insulin release and gluconeogenesis, or the synthesis of glucose.
So it’s safe to say—getting enough biotin for whole-body health is important. Here, you’ll find a list of biotin-containing foods to consume that will help you hit your daily goal (keep in mind: some are richer sources than others).