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What is Biotin, and why is it included in the PAGG stack supplement?

Updated on May 9, 2011

Biotin is also known as vitamin B7, and it was first isolated in the 1940s as part of the B-complex vitamin group.  It is a fat-soluble vitamin, and found in a wide range of foods including egg yolk, oily fish, legumes such as peanuts, bananas and cauliflower.  It’s not always included in multivitamin supplements however, because cells in the stomach and small intestine cleverly make a useful amount themselves on a daily basis – so food sources, whilst diverse, are not regarded as essential. 

Biotin itself IS essential though, and it plays a part in a wide range of body processes.  Essential for cell growth, it is also part of the citric acid cycle, which is the means by which the food you eat is converted to energy for all the cells’ needs.  It helps to break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats that you eat, and also to manage blood sugar levels.  It even helps remove byproducts of respiration such as carbon dioxide from the cells – so, it’s important, in other words. 

Deficiencies are unusual, and tend to result from interference with the internal synthesis process rather than dietary problems.  Factors such as alcoholism affect this, as well as certain congenital conditions. Symptoms of deficiency include skin and hair problems, heart problems, depression and lethargy.

When Tim Ferriss was developing and refining the PAGG stack supplement for body recomposition, he was experimenting with the use of varying levels of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA): a powerful antioxidant that brings extensive benefits in glucose uptake.  However as the name suggests it is acidic – which explains why some people suffer from heartburn and and stomach-acid symptoms, particularly when using low-quality racemic supplements (unlike that employed by supplement specialists like Pareto Nutrition).  Because ALA alters the chemical environment of the digestive tract so specifically, it affects those cells which synthesize biotin – so even if you were otherwise in excellent health, and eating a range of good dietary sources, you could potentially develop a deficiency over time.  For this reason Ferriss advised that anyone using PAGG should ensure they also consumed sufficient B vitamins, to offset any negative effects.

Pareto nutrition prefer to take the guesswork out of it for their customers, and include 100mcg of biotin in every capsule.  This is taken along with the ALA and other ingredients of PAGG (Policosanol, Green tea extract and aged Garlic extract), and ensures optimal health and wellbeing at all times.


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