Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a water-soluble nutrient that is important for metabolizing fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids. It particularly helps improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails. And there are other ways biotin can make your life better. Keep reading to know more about the benefits of biotin.
Table Of Contents
- How Is Biotin Good For You?
- What Are The Benefits Of Biotin?
- What Are The Symptoms Of Biotin Deficiency?
- How To Incorporate More Biotin In Your Diet
How Is Biotin Good For You?
Biotin, along with other B vitamins, is required to convert the food we eat into energy. Which is why it is essential for a healthy metabolism.
Biotin also improves nerve signaling and activity of the neurotransmitters. It enhances memory function and brain health. It also strengthens the heart as it is known to lower the levels of bad cholesterol.
There are various other ways biotin can be beneficial for you. Which is what we will discuss in this post. In detail.
What Are The Benefits Of Biotin?
1. Improves Health Of Hair, Skin, And Nails
Biotin is known to improve the structure of keratin, the important protein present in hair. In fact, in one study, women given a supplement containing biotin experienced faster hair growth and decreased hair shedding (1).
Keratin is present in the skin and nails as well – one reason biotin has benefits in this aspect too. Deficiency of vitamin B7 can often manifest in the form of brittle and thinning hair, or dry and irritated skin. Studies have shown that taking biotin can help treat weak hair and nails (2). Biotin is also known to protect the skin from acne, rashes, dryness, cracking, and other forms of fungal infections (3).
Did You Know?
Biotin was first synthesized in 1943 by Leo Sternbach and Moses Wolf Goldberg.
2. Biotin Is Beneficial During Pregnancy
Biotin is one of the crucial nutrients during pregnancy as it supports embryonic growth. There have been claims that pregnant women taking adequate biotin can have healthier babies.
Pregnant women are more likely to be biotin deficient (4). Taking a prenatal supplement that is a combination of biotin and folic acid can contribute to healthy fetal development. Pregnant women also experience hair loss post delivery – and as per the American Pregnancy Association, using shampoos containing biotin or even taking biotin supplements orally can help reduce this hair fall.
3. Improves Diabetes Symptoms
There is some early research that shows that taking biotin along with chromium can improve symptoms in diabetes patients. Taking biotin orally or receiving a biotin shot can reduce nerve pain in patients with diabetes (5).
Biotin is also known to influence blood sugar levels and lower them, especially in the case of type 2 diabetes. Biotin deficiency was also found to negatively impact insulin control, thereby increasing glucose production in individuals. Studies have shown that biotin administration can improve glycemic management (6).
4. Protects The Heart
Biotin can reduce the thickness of the arteries, and this can lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals. More interestingly, biotin, along with chromium, can lower the blood cholesterol levels – thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin B7 can also play a role in preventing heart disease by fighting inflammation, atherosclerosis, and stroke.
5. Aids Weight Loss
Obesity (and even being overweight) has been associated with elevated levels of triglycerides. Studies have shown that combining biotin with chromium can reduce the triglyceride levels, and this can aid weight loss.
Some studies have also shown that your resting metabolic rate increases and fat break down happens much faster after you consume biotin. Biotin can enhance metabolism, and this can help in weight loss as well.
However, research is limited in this regard. Do consult your doctor before using biotin for this purpose.
6. Biotin Promotes Brain Function
Biotin is required for the formation of the myelin sheath, which is a fatty substance that surrounds the nerves and aids communication between them. In fact, biotin deficiency has been associated with a delay in the production of the myelin sheath (also called myelination) (7).
Damage to the myelin sheath can lead to a condition called multiple sclerosis. And given its role in fatty acid synthesis, biotin can help prevent or even reverse multiple sclerosis. Biotin also influences memory function and defends against age-related cognitive decline. It can prevent issues like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
And as biotin synthesizes hormones related to mood regulation, the nutrient can also boost concentration and energy levels.
Did You Know?
Biotin is also nicknamed ‘Vitamin H’, which comes from the German words Haar and Haut, meaning hair and skin.
7. Repairs Tissues And Muscles
Biotin is one of the B-complex vitamins that help the body metabolize amino acids and protein. This is because muscle repair requires protein synthesis and the processing of amino acids.
Biotin also has a role to play in glucose metabolism. It provides growing cells and tissues with the energy required to carry out protein synthesis. It even heals and helps build muscles – it works to build back the strength of the muscle and tissue when it is damaged.
Biotin also works well to reduce inflammation that results in muscle or joint aches.
8. Biotin Can Boost Immunity
Biotin is essential for the production of white blood cells, which, in turn, are required for a robust immune system. Low levels of biotin are associated with decreased antibody synthesis and lower amounts of spleen cells and T cells – all of which hurt the immune system (8).
9. Fights Inflammation
Research has shown that biotin deficiency might increase the production of proinflammatory cytokines, and this can aggravate inflammatory conditions (9).
That’s about the benefits of biotin. But what happens if you are deficient in biotin?
What Are The Symptoms Of Biotin Deficiency?
Though biotin deficiency is rare in nations where people usually consume enough food, it might still be a problem. Biotin is water-soluble. It travels in the bloodstream, and any excess of it is excreted. Which means the body doesn’t accumulate biotin, and it is quite difficult to consume too much of it.
The symptoms of the deficiency include:
- Brittle hair or hair loss
- Dry and irritated skin
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestive issues
- Changes in mood
- Nerve damage
- Muscle aches
- Cognitive impairment
Certain factors that can elevate the risk of biotin deficiency are:
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Consuming lots of raw egg whites
- Long-term use of antibiotics or certain anti-seizure medications
- Intestinal malabsorption
So, how do you ensure you get enough of biotin? How can you add it to your diet?
How To Incorporate More Biotin In Your Diet
Some of the best sources of biotin include liver, eggs, salmon, avocado, cheese, cauliflower, raspberries, and whole grain bread.
- You can include eggs in your breakfast.
- Include some biotin-rich berries in your lunch. You can also have a salad with goat cheese.
- You can include cauliflower in your lunch.
And these are the recommended amounts of biotin you would need per day:
Up to 6 months
7 – 12 months
1 – 3 years
4 – 8 years
9 – 13 years
14 – 18 years
19 years and above
Though biotin is available in most foods that you consume, it is an important nutrient and deserves your attention.
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