Vitamin B8 is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as Vitamin H or biotin. The body produces significant quantities of this vitamin, but it is not yet known whether these quantities are sufficient for the body's needs.
Principal natural sources of Vitamin B8
Animal sources: Vitamin B8 is principally found in offal (liver, kidneys etc.), meat (pork and chicken), egg yolks and dairy products.
Plant sources: Vitamin B8 can also be found in chocolate, leguminous vegetables (lentils), dry vegetables (dried beans and peas), dry fruits (nuts), certain other fruits (bananas, redcurrants, strawberries and apples), certain vegetables (cabbage, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, avocado, carrots, soya), yeast (especially brewer's yeast) and cereals (wheat and oat flakes).
Recommended Daily Intake
The recommended dietary intake varies between 15 and 300 mcg daily depending on the population; the average recommended daily intake is set at 50 mcg daily.
Properties of Vitamin B8
Vitamin B8 is involved in normal function of the nervous system, production of energy needed for good cellular function, and maintenance of normal hair, skin and mucous membranes.
Vitamin B8 requirements increase in pregnant and nursing women. It is however preferable not to take supplements during these two periods, as a matter of precaution. Requirements are also higher in sporting people, especially during intense activity.