Biotin Info – By SunCoastHealthCare.com
Biotin is a water-soluble B-vitamin, also called vitamin B₇ and formerly known as vitamin H or coenzyme R. It is composed of a ureido ring fused with a tetrahydrothiophene ring. Our body needs biotin to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails, and it’s found in many cosmetic products for hair and skin. Like all B vitamins, it is water soluble, meaning the body does not store it.
A commonly recommended intake is 5 mcg (micrograms) per day in infants and 30 mcg in adults. This goes up to 35 mcg per day in breastfeeding women.
In one study, 8 people with brittle nails were given 2.5 mg of biotin per day for 6 to 15 months. Nail thickness improved by 25% in all 8 participants. Nail splitting was also reduced.
Another study of 35 people with brittle nails found 2.5 mg of biotin per day for 1.5 to 7 months improved symptoms in 67% of participants.
However, these studies were small and more research is needed.
Biotin For Stronger Hairs:
Biotin is often associated with increased hair growth and healthier, stronger hair. Surprisingly, there is very little evidence to support this.
However, a deficiency in biotin may lead to hair loss, which indicates that the vitamin is important for hair
Biotin is claimed to promote hair growth and healthy hair, but the evidence is weak. However, deficiency has been linked to hair loss, and those who are actually deficient may benefit from supplementing.
Which Foods Contain Biotin?
Biotin is found in a wide variety of foods, so an actual deficiency is rare.
Foods that are particularly good sources include:
- Organ meats, such as liver and kidney
- Egg yolks
- Legumes, such as soybeans and peanuts
- Leafy greens
- Nuts and nut butters
- In addition, your gut bacteria produce some amount of biotin. It’s also available as a supplement, either on its own or as a component of mixed vitamin supplements.
Many foods contain significant amounts of biotin, and it is also available as a supplement. Your gut bacteria can also produce it.
Safety and Side Effects;
Biotin is considered very safe. Even mega doses of up to 300 milligrams daily to treat multiple sclerosis have not led to adverse side effects.
To put this in perspective, 300 milligrams is 10,000 times the commonly recommended 30 microgram dose for adults. Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin, excess amounts are excreted in urine.
However, there have been some reports of high-dose biotin causing strange results on thyroid tests, so check with a doctor before using if you are currently taking thyroid medication.
Biotin appears very safe, even at extremely high doses. There are no known side effects of supplementing with biotin.
Many of its potential health benefits are based on weak evidence. Nonetheless, it may be important for your skin, hair and nails.
Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women may require more biotin. High doses are also being investigated as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis.
You can find biotin in a wide variety of foods, so actual deficiency is very rare.
For this reason, supplements probably have no significant benefits for healthy people who eat a balanced diet based on real food.