Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, from the family of Vitamin B. It is also known as Vitamin H, where H stands for Haar and Haut – German words which mean hair and skin. One of the main uses of biotin in the human body is to convert certain nutrients into energy. It acts as an enzyme for fat and carbon metabolism. Uses of biotin for skin, nails and hair growth are numerous. One of the many health benefits of biotin is its perceived ability to help to manage the blood sugar level in the initial stages of diabetes, according to some studies.
Natural Ways to Consume Biotin
Food such as meat, eggs, fish, seeds, nuts, dairy products, and some vegetables such as cauliflowers generally have a high amount of vitamin B and thus, are good sources of biotin. People who are looking to access biotin hair growth, nail and skin health, generally include such food items in their daily diet, if not going for supplements. Once consumed, biotin is completely absorbed in the small intestine. Liver requires a significant amount of biotin for proper functioning. Hence a deficiency in biotin is likely to impact the liver and it needs to be taken care of.
While the healthiest and safest way of consuming biotin is through a healthy diet, in reality this may be difficult to achieve for most. Owing to today’s busy world, majority of us fail to pay conscious attention to our diet and take required actions. Hence, one simple and affordable way to access biotin health benefits is through the use of supplements, some of which have also been suggested by the National Institute of Health.
Side of effects of biotin are not known when taken moderately under medical supervision. In the rarest of cases, there could be very slight chance of side effects such as nausea, cramping and diarrhoea.
Benefits of Taking Biotin
Hair loss is one of the major problems faced by people today, and as a high amount of self-worth and self-esteem is attached to a person’s hair growth, people are always on the lookout for any and every recourse to counter it.
Hair loss may be caused by a dry scalp which may be caused by a deficiency of Vitamin B. Either through a diet rich in Vitamin B such as egg yolk, oats, white germs, white mushrooms and spinach, or through biotin supplements, hair loss may be slowed down. No solid evidence has surfaced as of yet, but according to the National Institute of Health, shampoos, conditioners, hair oils make use of biotin to make your hair shinier, thicker, smoother, breakage free and stronger in general. Hence, we can always use biotin for hair loss issues.
Biotin is also great for skin health. One of the several biotin skin benefits is that it helps maintain the mucous membranes of the skin that protects your skin from external pollutants. This helps in preventing itchiness, redness, scaliness, rashes, and other problems caused by dry skin.
As per research and analysis, it is generally decided that to access the full range of biotin supplement benefits, 30-100 micrograms of it is enough for adults. This could be through a healthy diet, and if not possible, through biotin tablet uses as well.
Due to a poor choice of nutrition, a lot of us also suffer from brittle nails. Consuming biotin for nails can be a good idea since it is believed to improve nail strength and reduce breakage. As per an experiment conducted by the National Institute of Health, participants depicted 25% thicker nails, on subjecting them to biotin supplements. Biotin boosts Vitamin B in the body, thus boosting the quality of nails. Deficiency of vitamin B leads to brittle, thin and easily breakable soft nails.
4. For Pregnant Women
Biotin helps in reducing the likelihood of difficulties faced by pregnant women during childbirth. Doctors recommend biotin supplements, especially for those who have a higher deficiency that cannot be resolved through diet alone.
5. Nervous System
The functionality of the human brain and the nervous system is also to some extent dependent on an adequate amount of biotin in the human body. It has been studied that patients suffering from depression and schizophrenia feel better and show improvement in their conditions with biotin supplements. It also plays an active part in clearing the brain fog – the inability of a person to concentrate with a stable mindset, which is most often than not, caused by stress.
Thus, for patients suffering from the above afflictions, a reasonable amount of biotin everyday can alleviate their symptoms, although proper consultations with medical professionals may be conducted beforehand. But what does this ‘reasonable’ mean? How much biotin should one take?
Ideal Intake of Biotin
The ideal intake amount of biotin for a human body varies as per age, sex, existing health conditions. However, the Food and Nutrition Board has established a comprehensive amount under the Adequate Intakes for Biotin.
For both males and females:
• Birth to 6 Months – 5mcg
• 7-12 Months – 6mcg
• 1-3 Years – 8mcg
• 4-8 Years -12mcg
• 9-13 Years – 20mcg
• 14-18 Years – 25mcg
• 19+ Years – 30mcg
For pregnant women above 14 Years – 30mcg
Biotin is an essential micronutrient that has a wide role to play in the human body. Its primary purpose is to help the body properly extract all the nutrients from the food that is consumed and metabolize the amino acids, carbohydrates and fats, but the benefits of using biotin for hair growth, and its role in maintaining healthy skin and strong nails cannot be ignored.
Biotin supplements side effects are negligible. They can seem like an easy and convenient option to opt for, instead of going through the extra efforts of maintaining a healthy diet. This is partly because of the fact that even though there are varieties of food and fruits rich in vitamin B, our modern lifestyle makes it very hard to eat healthy food all the time and take all the vitamins naturally.
Frequently Asked Question
Should I take biotin everyday?
Supplements aren’t for everyone, so definitely consult your doctor before use. They will specifically analyze your case of potential risks and benefits, as well as the proper dosage. You should always follow the dosage information on the label unless your doctor instructs otherwise.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, so any extra biotin in your body will flush out through your urine. This makes a potential overdose unlikely. Nevertheless, if you develop any unusual or unexpected skin rash after increasing your biotin intake, visit your doctor. (In rare cases, this is a sign of a biotin overdose.) Do not ignore any such abnormal symptoms.
As always though, healthy food should always be a preference for good health.