What is Biotin? – Benefits, Side Effects, Does it Work?

Are you dealing with hair loss, brittle nails, or dry skin? You might have heard of biotin and its importance to incorporate into your skincare regime. It’s one of the most recommended vitamins essential for healthy hair, nails, eyes, liver, and overall skin. 

Are you interested in knowing what biotin is and how it works?

We will share helpful information about its health benefits, natural resources, side effects, recommended intakes, and much more. 

Let’s find out why biotin is crucial for your overall health!



What is Biotin?

A water-soluble B vitamin (vitamin B7) or vitamin H is a part of the B complex group of vitamins. All B vitamins help our body convert food into fuel (glucose), required to produce energy. 

These vitamins referred to as B complex vitamins, help the body metabolize fats and proteins. Vitamin B also helps our nervous system function properly. 

Our body needs biotin to metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and to help influence cell growth and amino acids— involved in protein synthesis. 


What is Biotin Deficiency?

Although vitamin B7 deficiency is quite rare, you should go to your general physician if you experience any symptoms below. 

  • Excessive thinning hair
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Red, scaly rash around eyes
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Swollen and painful tongue
  • Skin infections and rashes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Such conditions are treated with oral Biotin (vitamin H; coenzyme R, part of Vitamin B complex) supplements. 


Health Benefits

Here are some significant benefits of using biotin supplements:

Hair Growth 

Biotin stimulates keratin production in hair and increases the follicle growth rate. Although Vitamin B7 doesn’t last for long in our body, most of us obtain a healthy amount from food. 

The use of biotin as a hair and nail growth supplement is very popular, but research validating its efficiency is limited. Biotin supplements may be beneficial in case of inherited or developed causes of its deficiency and pathogens, such as uncombable hair and brittle nail syndrome. 

Although some studies have suggested a strong link between biotin deficiencies and alopecia, further analysis has not found convincing proof of benefit among healthy individuals.

Nail Health

One study backs the efficiency of taking biotin supplements for improving nail growth, making them firmer and more rigid. Since biotin guarantees the production of proteins vital for healthy nails, there’s still no concrete evidence that says it will stimulate growth. 

However, a biotin deficiency could lead to brittle, thin nails that could often break; taking biotin supplements may help improve this condition.

Support During Pregnancy and Nursing

Pregnant and nursing women need a lot of biotin. Even though biotin insufficiency is uncommon, low biotin levels are prevalent during pregnancy.

As many as half of all American pregnant women may be suffering from some degree of nutritional inadequacy. This insufficiency level may harm a person’s health, but it is unlikely to result in any apparent symptoms.

Pregnant women are more likely to suffer from a multivitamin shortage, according to doctors, because the body breaks down vitamins and nutrients more quickly during pregnancy.

Therefore, a pregnant woman may require more biotin from dietary sources than a non-pregnant woman, depending on her needs.

Pregnant and lactating women should talk to their doctor before taking any supplements.

Controlling Blood Sugar Levels for Diabetics

High blood sugar levels and decreased insulin action are hallmarks of type 2 diabetes.

A lack of biotin may affect the body’s ability to regulate glucose levels. Evidence suggests that patients with diabetes may have reduced levels of the B vitamin biotin in their blood.

Supplements containing biotin and chromium picolinate have been shown to minimize animal insulin resistance. According to the researchers, biotin supplements have also been researched for their impact on blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. A mixed bag of research suggests that combining biotin with chromium picolinate may help treat type 2 diabetes.

More high-quality studies are needed to thoroughly understand the effects of biotin on diabetes and blood sugar control.

Boosting Skin Health

Biotin’s significance in promoting healthy skin is still a mystery to scientists, while a biotin deficiency can cause skin problems such as red, scaly rashes.

People with psoriasis may also benefit from taking biotin supplements. Because of the vitamin’s effect on fat metabolism, it may affect the skin. Biotin deficiency can affect this process, which is critical for keeping healthy skin. People who do not suffer from a biotin deficiency should know that taking Biotin does not help their skin health.

Possible Help for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

MS is a chronic inflammatory illness caused by an overactive immune system. This toxic substance harms the brain, spinal cord, and ocular nerve cells. Biotin may play a crucial part in producing this protective layer, known as myelin.

According to research, people with MS seem to benefit from daily dosages of Biotin of up to 300 milligrams. There is a possibility that the disease can be slowed down or perhaps halted with the use of this supplement.



Natural Sources Of Biotin

Biotin deficiency is rare because we may find it in various meals. You can find it in abundance in the following foods:


Other Ways to Obtain Biotin

Those with biotin insufficiency can receive regular IV biotin treatment. As a result, your body will absorb and utilize the nutrients more effectively.

As a last resort, supplementation may be an option for those concerned about not receiving enough biotin from their diets. Biotin tablets are frequently touted as a miracle cure when it comes to hair, skin, and nail health.


Are You Getting Enough?

Trying to figure out if you’re receiving enough biotin? Biotin needs are easily met daily. Pregnant women should consume 35 micrograms (mcg) per day, while adults should consume 30 mcg per day. Despite the rarity of biotin deficiency, those who suffer from it generally have hair loss or a red scaly rash.

According to a study conducted in 2016, 38% of women who reported hair loss had an underlying biotin deficit. If you don’t have any symptoms of biotin deficiency, you’re probably getting enough.


Side Effects of Biotin

Biotin has been flagged as a possible interfering factor in several laboratory tests by the FDA. According to a study, the samples of people showed that test results could be “clinically significant inaccurate” if there was excess biotin.

Acne

Even if you’re taking the supplement to clear up your skin, you may end up getting more breakouts once you start using it. Biotin is absorbed in the same way that vitamin B5 is absorbed, which is another acne-fighting vitamin.

B5 cannot be adequately absorbed if your system is overburdened with Biotin. What is the outcome? Cystic acne on the chin and jawline might result from a deficiency in an acne-fighting vitamin.

Skin Rash

When the body’s immune system sees Biotin as a foreign substance, it can produce severe skin rashes, causing blood vessels to become irritated. In some instances, a biotin overload can make skin rashes, while in others, an allergic reaction to the vitamin is to blame.

Allergic Reaction

Your biotin supplement may cause an allergic response if you are very sensitive to it. A rash or swelling of the face and throat is a sign and symptom. Even though you can easily control allergic reactions, they might become serious if a doctor does not treat them.

Upset Stomach

Taking too much biotin can also upset your stomach, causing symptoms such as nausea, cramps, and diarrhoea. To maintain a healthy digestive system, it’s best to stop taking the supplement if you experience stomach discomfort after taking it.

Medication Interactions

Anticonvulsants, for example, may get affected by interactions with Biotin. What is the outcome? There is a chance it will have the opposite effect, such as making the current side effects worse. Any medication-drug interaction can be harmful. Therefore it is critical to tell your doctor about your drugs and supplements.


Proper Dosage

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not established a daily recommended dietary intake for biotin. However, it is estimated that 30 micrograms (mcg) of biotin may suffice.

This amount is commonly obtained using a healthy diet. Even so, it’s widely recommended to take 2 to 5 milligrams (mg) of biotin in supplement form every day to strengthen hair and get benefits. Consult a medical professional if you’re unsure how to begin taking biotin pills.


Take-Away

Do you want flaky, dry skin, or brittle nails? No? It’s time to take your biotin deficiency seriously. Even if you haven’t reached the point of a deficiency, why wait until you do? It’s imperative to start taking the recommended daily dose of biotin to avoid possible skin or health problems. 

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