Biotin (vitamin H) and its roles:
- Supports energy storage through enzymic glycogen production.
- Controls production of structured and hard proteins, such as keratin for skin and hoofs.
- Involved in fatty acids synthesis.
- Given in excess biotin may result in a horse being over-excited. Biotin in combination with other vitamins such as vitamin B12 will not induce this.
Biotin and its sources:
- Legumes (soya, lucerne, peas)
- Dried yeast
Biotin is a stable water-soluble vitamin largely unaffected by production processes.
Its role is generated by its action as coenzyme for carboxylation. This chemical reaction is important in gluconeogenesis and also protein synthesis, particularly the production of “hard” proteins such as keratin. In particular it controls the carboxylation of acetyl co-enzyme A in fatty acid synthesis.
Depending on the physiological status of the horse, the needs vary from 0.3 to 1.8 mg of biotin per day. In case of some poor skin, coat or hoof conditions, up to 15 mg/day may be required for a period of 1 month.