Friday, August 02, 2013

History of biotin (Vitamin B7)

The discovery of biotin or vitamin B7 occurred in response to research investigating the cause of what was then called ‘egg white injury’. It goes back to the year 1927, when it was observed that rats fed egg white developed dermatitis and lost hair. This was named as egg white injury.

At that time, there was observation that the raw eggs in the diet are toxic to animals and that the skin lesions caused by the diet can be cured by treatment with a heat stable factor from yeasts or liver.

In 1924 three factors were identified as necessary for the growth of microorganisms. They were called bios II, vitamin H, and coenzyme R. It soon became clear that all three were the same water soluble, sulfur containing vitamin – biotin. Others name given to this factor were protective factor X, egg white injury protection factor, factor S, and factor W or vitamin Bw.

Using feeding studies with dried egg white, M. A. Boas first described in 1927 that mammals require the water soluble vitamin biotin.

Later in 1932 Koegl and Toennis isolate the vitamin from egg yolk. In 1936 they gave the name of biotin as the substance isolated from egg yolk. In that year it was first time recognized that egg white injury can be healed by biotin supplements.

The structure and properties of biotin were established by US and European investigators between 1940 and 1943. The first chemical synthesis was completed by Harris and Associated of the Merck Company in 1943.
History of biotin (Vitamin B7)