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Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Feb;79(2):238-43.

Effects of biotin on pyruvate carboxylase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, propionyl-CoA carboxylase, and markers for glucose and lipid homeostasis in type 2 diabetic patients and nondiabetic subjects.

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Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico.



Several studies have shown that biotin affects glucose homeostasis. Serum biotin concentrations are lower in subjects with type 2 diabetes than in control subjects. Lymphocyte propionyl-CoA carboxylase (PCC; EC activity has proved to be a sensitive indicator of biotin status that is more accurate than is serum biotin concentration.


We studied the activity of PCC, pyruvate carboxylase (PC; EC, and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC; EC in type 2 diabetic and nondiabetic subjects. The effect of biotin administration (6.14 micro mol/d) on the activity of these enzymes and on several plasma metabolites was also studied.


We compared the activities of carboxylases in circulating lymphocytes from patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 24) with those in circulating lymphocytes from nondiabetic subjects (n = 30). We also assessed the effect of biotin administration for 14 and 28 d on the activity of these enzymes and on the concentrations of several metabolites (type 2 diabetic patients, n = 10; nondiabetic subjects, n = 7).


No significant differences in lymphocyte carboxylase activities were found between the type 2 diabetic patients and the nondiabetic subjects. Biotin administration increased the activity of PCC, PC, and ACC in all the subjects. No significant change in glucose, insulin, triacylglycerol, cholesterol, or lactate concentration was observed with the treatment in either the diabetic or the nondiabetic subjects.


The activity of carboxylases does not differ significantly between type 2 diabetic and nondiabetic subjects. Pharmacologic doses of biotin increase lymphocyte PCC, PC, and ACC activities.

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