Avidin is a protein present in raw egg white which binds biotin. Biotin (Vitamin B-6) is required for cell growth and for the production of fatty acids. Biotin also plays a central role in carbohydrate and protein metabolism and is essential for the proper utilization of the other B-complex vitamins. Biotin contributes to healthy skin and hair, and may play a role in preventing hair loss. Consuming raw eggs in large amounts over a prolonged period can contribute to biotin deficiency. This is not a problem when consuming cooked eggs, which are a good dietary source of biotin. Some symptoms of biotin deficiency are depression, lethargy, eczema, dermatitis, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, inflammation of the tongue, and muscle pain. Infants with seborrheic dermatitis, evidenced by dry and scaly face and scalp, may also be suffering from a biotin deficiency. 2
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Prepared Summer 1997 by Bernadene Magnuson, Ph.D.
University of Idaho, Dept. of Food Science and Toxicology - EXTOXNET FAQ Team.