What is biotin?
Biotin, like all essential vitamins and minerals, has a plethora of effects on your body and is indispensable to your health. In your body, biotin acts as a coenzyme that helps you metabolize sugars, fats, and amino acids from the foods you eat. Biotin is involved in hair growth, skin and nail health, mood regulation, and immune system function.
In other words, you need biotin to turn the food you eat into fuel for your cells and building blocks to build and repair your tissues. For this reason and others, biotin affects your health and even your appearance.
What are the signs of biotin deficiency?
1. You have high blood sugar.
2. You have hair loss.
3. You have brittle nails.
Biotin is needed for the production of the strong keratin protein that gives nails their hardness and strength 5†.
4. You have allergies.
Researchers have shown that the immune system can overreact to irritants if someone is deficient in biotin 6†.
5. You’re depressed.
Your brain is very hungry for biotin. The brain contains up to 50 times the amount of biotin that is in your blood 7. In medical literature, depression is cited as a potential symptom of biotin deficiency 89.
Biotin is involved in glucose and energy metabolism, and the neurons in your brain use glucose for energy 8.
6. You have skin rashes.
Biotin deficiency can cause skin problems because your immune system is not well regulated and inflammation is out of control 10.
7. You have poor heart health.
Biotin’s role in sugar metabolization affects your cardiovascular system. If you’re not using glucose efficiently, you’ll get high blood sugar levels, and this can damage the lining of your blood vessels so that you may develop high cholesterol 11. That sets you up for the development of plaque in your arteries.
8. You are pregnant.
Researchers say a “substantial proportion” of pregnant women are mildly deficient in biotin 12. Possibly as many as “18 out of 22” pregnant women are not getting enough biotin 12†!
9. You’re tired all the time.
Ways of Getting Enough Biotin
There are two ways of getting the biotin you need: (1) eating the right foods, and (2) supplementing.
If you need to supplement, it’s very safe. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that your body doesn’t store it in fat so it doesn’t carry the risk of overdosing like with some fat-soluble nutrients. Extensive research has shown that even very high doses of biotin is not toxic and does not cause noticeable symptoms 15. Only a tiny amount is needed to fulfill your needs. For adults, 25-100 mcg is often recommended.
These foods are excellent sources of biotin:
- Sweet potato
- Egg yolk
- Leafy greens
The Benefits of Biotin
1. It can lower “bad” cholesterol levels.
Research has shown that when people with high blood sugar supplemented with biotin and the mineral chromium, cardiovascular risk factors, such as triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol were lowered 15†.
2. It might tone down your allergic reactions.
Research suggests that supplementation can improve allergies because biotin plays a role in moderating your immune function 16†.
3. It can lower high blood sugar levels.
4. It can improve nail appearance.
Biotin supplementation consistently improves the nail health of people with “brittle” nails 19†.
5. You’ll have more energy.
If you’re a little low in biotin, getting more of this B-vitamin will give you an energy boost because your cells will use the calories you eat more efficiently.
6. You’ll grow hair better.
Studies have shown that biotin supplementation can boost hair growth in people who are battling baldness20.
1. Does biotin cause constipation?
There’s not much evidence for this in research, and there are only some anecdotal reports of biotin loosening stools.
2. Does biotin cause headaches?
Research shows that biotin, when included in a multivitamin, can reduce migraine pain and frequency21.
Many biotin supplements have very low amounts of biotin compared to the high levels used in experimental research. You’re unlikely to experience headaches when using biotin, but if you feel like you’re having them more often, stop taking your biotin supplement or take a very small dose (300 mcg).
3. Does biotin cause acne?
There is a concern that if you take too much biotin, it can cause a pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) deficiency that can then contribute to acne. If you want to avoid acne, take more conservative but adequate doses of biotin (300-600 mcg instead of higher doses like 10,000 mcg).
Top Biotin Supplements
Life Extension offers low-priced and high quality supplements. They maintain some of the highest quality controls in the industry so that you’re getting the right amount of active ingredients, free from any toxic contamination.
This supplement offers 600 mg of biotin, a moderate dosage and not on high end of the spectrum.
If you want a lower dose biotin supplement that’s cheap, Natural Factors’ “Biotin” is a good buy. Remember that to satisfy your body’s needs, only 100 mg is usually required. Natural Factors’ supplement supplies enough biotin for your needs (300 mg per pill).
Now Foods offers a simply formulated higher dosage of biotin that is affordable. They use simple, healthy ingredients like silica and rice flour to accompany the biotin in their pills, and no allergens are added.
Do you have dry skin, brittle nails, and frizzy hair?
Did you know that you can achieve healthy hair, skin, and nails all at the same time by consuming the right nutrients?
You also won’t have to depend on harsh chemical products or an extensive morning and night routine just so you can look your best! And it all comes down to these simple, beautifying principles.
Our lead nutritionist Evan Burns shares his most effective all-natural remedies and holistic approach to give you soft skin, strong nails, and smooth hair!