International Scientific Vocabulary, from Greek biotos life, sustenance; akin to Greek bios
First Known Use: 1936
Medical Definition of BIOTIN
: a colorless crystalline growth vitamin C10H16N2O3S of the vitamin B complex found especially in yeast, liver, and egg yolk—called also vitamin H
Organic compound, part of the vitamin B complex, essential for growth and well-being in animals and some microorganisms. A carboxylic acid with two rings in its structure, it includes nitrogen and sulfur atoms as well as carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. It functions in the formation and metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. It is widely distributed in nature and is especially abundant in egg yolk, beef liver, and yeast. A biotin deficiency can be induced by consuming large amounts of raw egg white, which contains a protein (avidin) that combines with biotin and makes it unavailable. Biotin is needed to synthesize fatty acids and convert amino acids to glucose in the body.