Biotin is one of the B complex vitamins that can allow our body to convert food into energy. The word biotin is derived from the ancient Greek word ‘biotin’ meaning ‘life.’ It can improve our skin, hair, nails, eyes, liver, and nervous system. You can also derive biotin through a healthy diet.
Benefits Of Biotin
1. Hair growth
Long term use of biotin can help to stimulate hair growth. For example, making use of biotin for about six months can strengthen hair follicles, and ensure a healthier, stronger, and fuller looking hair. Biotin can also improve the colour of your hair follicles and prevent graying.
2. Weight loss
Biotin can help to break down carbohydrates more easily. Biotin is useful for reducing surplus fat from our body and allows one to maintain a healthy weight. Obese people should include biotin in their daily diet if they have issues with their diet.
3. Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Biotin is effective for overall functioning of the heart and lowers the risk of heart disease. Including biotin in the diet can help to reduce the cholesterol level in our body, which causes major conditions such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and strokes.
4. Promotes Brain Function and Prevents Cognitive Decline
Biotin benefits the health and functioning of the nervous system. It improves our memory function and acts as a defense mechanism against age-related cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. These vitamins can help to improve concentration, and boost energy.
5. Healthy Immune System
Biotin is effective for white blood cell development and a deficiency of these vitamins can lead to an impaired immune system. Biotin helps in increasing the production of TH1 cytokines like IL-1β and IFN-γ, important for extracting an immune response to fight off bacterial and viral infections.
6. For Skin
Biotin is an effective component for maintaining good health of skin. Use of biotin can also revitalize skin tone due to pollution. It can protect skin against conditions like fungal infections and acne. Biotin can also keep your skin moisturized and prevent cracking.
7. For Nails
Suffering from biotin deficiency can lead to brittle nails. While taking biotin supplements can help to improve this condition, and stimulate nail growth. Cancer patients are mostly advised to increase biotin intake to strengthen their nails. The recommended dosage for chemotherapy patients is 2.5 mg daily.
8. Prevent Birth Defects
Pregnant women should ensure that they are not biotin deficient. Women with low biotin might deliver babies with birth defects. The health of the baby can be improved by supplementing the expectant mother with biotin and folic acid.
9. Protect Against Cancer
Biotin deficiency can often lead to insufficient histone biotinylation, cellular production, and hence increasing the risks of cancer. These effects are known to increase the risk of cancer in various cancer cell studies.
10. Tissue Maintenance
Biotin can help to improve the overall growth and maintenance of body tissues. It helps to repair muscles in our body and provide key nutrients needed to restore the body tissue.
11. Blood Sugar
Biotin is useful for balancing our blood sugar levels as it stimulates the insulin production needed for balancing the glucose levels. Patients with low blood sugar can maintain their sugar levels by increasing their dose of biotin.
12. Supports Thyroid and Adrenal Function
Taking biotin supplements can protect one against fatigue and stimulate thyroid activity. A biotin deficiency can lead to side effects such as fatigue, weight gain, sleep disorders, and sometimes weight loss.
13. During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Biotin helps in regulating our DNA formation for keeping our genetic cell information in place. Our cells constantly grow at a rapid pace during pregnancy. In this case, an expectant mother should not be biotin deficient. Taking biotin supplement can ensure that DNA develops properly in fetus, and lowers the risk of complications during pregnancy.
14. Affects Multiple Sclerosis
Research has established that high dosage of biotin can stabilize progressive multiple sclerosis. The study also reported the safety of its usage. Furthermore, biotin is water soluble and excess amounts in the body can be excreted through urine.
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B7 or Biotin:
- Fatigue and chronic energy loss
- Brittle nails and hair
- Digestive problems
- Skin dryness and irritation
- Nerve damage
- Muscular pain
- Mood Swings
Biotin-rich foods to eat
You should include biotin rich foods in your daily diet such as the following:
- One cup of raspberries
- One whole avocado
- One cup of cauliflower
- One cup of mushrooms
- One whole egg (with yolk as it contains biotin)
- One slice bread
- Ounce ounce cheese
- Three ounces of salmon
- One cup nuts
Biotin supplements can be found in B-complex supplements, also known as energy complex supplements. There are a full spectrum of B vitamins available such as Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin B3 (Niacin). All these B-complex vitamins can support nerve function, brain function, and metabolism. The combination of these supplements can improve mood, depression, anxiety, and cognitive functions.
|Age||Males (μg biotin/day)||Females (μg biotin/day)|
|19 years and older||30||30|
What happens if you take too much biotin?
- Too much biotin in the body can lead to cystic acne.
- Several people might develop allergies after taking biotin supplements.
- Expectant mothers should avoid taking biotin in large doses as it might lead to miscarriage.
- High dosage of biotin can result in frequent urination and excessive sweating.
- Taking an excess of biotin can lead to stomach cramps and diarrhea.
- Few people might experience mild nausea while undertaking biotin supplements for the first time.
- A high dosage of biotin supplements can result in acute respiratory problems.
Biotin before and after (hair growth)
If you experience hair loss or hair thinning, biotin can help in hair growth. There are few studies which suggest that an increase in biotin intake can help in improving the overall hair quality and texture. You can also include biotin through your diet. You can consult with your doctor to recommend certain dietary changes. And make sure to take correct dosage of the same.
- Biotin should be taken in correct doses; otherwise the body cannot tolerate the sudden change.
- Biotin should be injected into the muscles and treated accordingly.
- Pregnant and breast feeding mothers should not take biotin in high doses as it can be harmful for the infant.
- Patients with kidney dialysis should consult with their health care provider for correct dosage.
- Taking a high dose of these B vitamins can have an impact on the dosage of other vitamins.
Biotin is essential for normal body functioning, and its supplements might help pregnant women and diabetic patients. One should eat a well-balanced diet of non-processed foods for maintaining overall health.
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