The discovery of biotin and the eventual elucidation of its structure, as well as its role in metabolism, involved diverse investigation spanning many decades.
Early in the 1900s, it was observed that certain strains of yeast required a material called ‘bios’ for growth.
Biotin was the name given to a substance isolated from egg yolk by Kogl and Tonnis in 1936 that was necessary for yeast growth.
This substance was discovered to be identical to a growth factor named coenzymes R that was required by legume nodule bacteria.
The toxic properties of feeding raw egg white to animals were first observed by Bateman in 1927.
Clinical sign of dermatitis and hair loss due to egg white injury were prevented by several researchers by feeding certain foods, notably liver and kidney.
It was recognized in 1936 that this condition can be healed by biotin supplements.
Paul Gyorky, Hungarian biochemist, studied the chemistry of this protective factor in certain foods, which he named factor H in 1937.
In 1940 Gyorky and associates found that biotin, vitamin H and coenzyme R were the same substance.
Biotin was extracted from egg yolks, but is also to be found in yeast, liver and elsewhere.
The structure id biotin was determined by Dr. Vincent du Vigneaud in 1942, and the vitamin was synthesized soon after by Harris and co-workers in 1943.
Soon after the research into its chemistry, it was discovered that biotin in involved in biochemical carboxyl transfers.
History of Biotin
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