Toddler dying of an incurable disease one day, saved by a vitamin the next

The then 17-month old toddler fell limp and was unable to stand or even lift his head.  His weight fell to less than his birthweight.  Diagnosis: Leigh’s syndrome, a mitochondrial disease that has a typical life expectancy of just 3 years after diagnosis.  Then a specialist intervened to conduct more tests.  Doctors were baffled said the news report when tests came back showing it was indeed Leigh’s syndrome.  The child was lifeless and suffering recurrent nose bleeds.

But then the child suddenly improved.  He began walking and eating.  Turns out a vitamin tablet given to the child to ease symptoms of the condition saved his life.  The child was suffering from a severe vitamin B7 (biotin) deficiency.  [Daily Mail UK Aug 19, 2016]

A frank biotin deficiency can result in loss of taste, which might explain why this child wouldn’t eat and might help explain anorexia. [Journal American College Nutrition June 2011]  A substantial proportion of pregnant women are marginally biotin deficient. [Journal Nutrition 2009]

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