Symptoms Vitamin B8 Deficiency?



Vitamin B8 (also known as Biotin), breaks down fats and carbohydrates from the foods you eat and converts them into energy. This energy is used throughout your body to support all processes.

In addition to breaking down fats and carbohydrates, biotin ensures a healthy skin, supports the production of keratin, and keeps your LDL cholesterol level low. Your body does not produce biotin itself, so you can only get it from food and supplements.

Vitamin B8 is naturally abundant in legumes, lentils, eggs, organ meats, dairy products, and grain. A vitamin B8 deficiency therefore does not often occur when you eat a balanced diet. Still, there are several groups at risk of biotin deficiency.

People with a higher risk of obtaining an vitamin B8 deficiency are:

  • Pregnant women,
  • Those taking a course of antibiotics,
  • Persons with a hereditary disease that prevents them from absorbing biotin,
  • People with IV nutrition,
  • Humans with an eating disorder.

A shortage of Biotin can be recognized by the following symptoms. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, it may be wise to consult a physician.


Biotin plays a major role in the production of keratin, a protein that makes up your hair. When you have too little biotin in your body, this substance can no longer contribute to a healthy structure of your hair, which can cause your hair to fall out.

When you get enough biotin again, your hair can start growing again, according to a 2012 stud (1).

In short: a biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss, but when you get enough biotin afterwards, your hair can grow back.


Since vitamin B8 is a soluble vitamin, it aids in processing multiple processes, including expanding the fatty acids in your skin. However, if you have too little vitamin B8 in your body, this process cannot continue.

As a result, your skin can become dry and show symptoms of eczema and dermatitis (2).

In short: a vitamin B8 deficiency can cause skin irritations resembling eczema and dermatitis.


Your muscles need energy and oxygen to function. Biotin converts fats and carbohydrates into energy, so that our body can use it.

However, when you have a vitamin B8 deficiency, your body does not get enough energy, so your muscles will feel weak and fatigued (3).

In short: a vitamin B8 deficiency can lead to weak and tired muscles.


Nails are largely made of keratin, just like your hair. When you have too little biotin in your body to produce enough keratin, your nails can be the first to suffer. For example, they can become weaker and thinner, causing them to break down faster (4).

However, the same research has shown that this can be quickly restored when you consume enough biotin again (4).

In short: a shortage of biotin can lead to broken and brittle nails, but this can be quickly resolved when you get enough biotin again.


A long-term vitamin B8 deficiency can lead to fatigue because your body does not receive enough energy.

A study in mice showed that as much as 72.3% of the mice with a biotin deficiency of more than 7 weeks suffered from fatigue (5). They also had worse performance in various exercises.

In short: a deficiency of vitamin B8 can lead to fatigue because the body does not receive enough energy.


When a pregnant woman does not get enough biotin, the unborn child may develop ataxia. This is a neurological condition in which the cerebellum is damaged, and the child has problems with coordination (3).

With complete ataxia, more and more nerves and brain cells will die as the child grows. However, a biotin deficiency often only causes episodic ataxia, in which the child occasionally has problems with his/her coordination. Episodic ataxia may also be treatable (6).

In short: biotin deficiency in pregnant women can lead to episodic ataxia in the child.


Children with a biotin deficiency can experience epileptic seizures (7). It is still unclear how this occurs, but the epilepsy can be treated well by means of vitamin B8 supplementation.

In many cases, a severe biotin deficiency in children can be heriditary (8).

In short: because of biotin deficiency in children, they can suffer from seizures. This can be prevented by using supplements.

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