Vitamin B7, also referred to as Biotin, is one of the vast group of B-complex vitamins. It is a water soluble vitamin that has an important role in many biological functions. Among the other benefits, it may help you improve the conditions of your nails, hair and skin. In fact, the German term for Biotin is Vitamin H, which is related to the words Haut and Haar (German expressions for skin and hair).
Biotin helps the cells of your body convert food into energy, which is why we say vitamin B7 has a metabolic function. It also helps propagate nerve impulses through the nerve cells, neurons, which is why it is believed this nutrient is good for the brain function. Besides, it may help your body reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol.
In the following we are going to list some of the most important benefits of Biotin:
Table of Contents
- 1 Health Benefits
- 2 Great for the Skin, Hair, and Nails
- 3 Biotin During Pregnancy
- 4 Biotin and Diabetes Symptoms
- 5 Biotin For Weight Loss
- 6 Biotin For Heart Health
- 7 Biotin for the Brain
- 8 Inflammation Fighter
- 9 Good for Tissue Repair
- 10 Biotin as Immuno-Booster
- 11 How to Tell if You are Biotin Deficient
- 12 Food Rich in Biotin
- 13 The Bottom Line
- 14 Related Posts
Great for the Skin, Hair, and Nails
Biotin is one of the supplements that is often used in cosmetic products for skin, hair, and nails. Animal food, like nuts, eggs, and meat, is rich in natural biotin that can improve the condition of your skin, hair and nails based on ingested nutrients. The reason Biotin works so well is that on the micro-plane, it facilitates the transport of oxygen to the affected areas of your body, like the follices of the hair and the scalp of the head. Another way Biotin may help is because your body can use this vitamin to produce the types of protein that are being converted to keratin.
Deficiency of Biotin is not so frequent, but it may show as hair thinning, dry brittle nails, and dry skin. Biotin can protect your skin from infection, acne, and dryness.
Biotin During Pregnancy
Biotin supports the growth of the embryon growth during pregnancy. Moreover, women in pregnancy have increased risks of biotin deficiency.
In pregnancy, Biotin is usually combined with other vitamins from the B-complex, especially folates. One of the better sources of natural vitamin B is nutritional yeast.
Pregnant women may also consider using Biotin fortified shampoos to strengthen the condition of their hair.
Biotin and Diabetes Symptoms
There are some indications that Biotin and chromium supplementation can help improve the symptoms of diabetes, especially nerve pain in diabetes patients. Also, some sources say that low biotin levels may occur as a complication from diabetes condition:
There is some evidence that diabetes could cause low biotin levels.
In addition to this, Biotin may help control the levels of blood sugar in diabetes type 2 patients.
Biotin For Weight Loss
We have to say that Biotin is no magical supplement for weight loss. Still, Biotin’s action may support a healthy weight loss plan. It helps fight high levels of triglycerides in the blood. Lower triglycerides levels help lose weight and improve the condition of the heart and circulatory system.
The other pathway of Biotin’s action in the body is metabolic action. Upon Biotin consumption, studies have found increased metabolic rates and faster fat elimination.
If you are going to use Biotin, note that there is not enough evidence of Biotin supplementation for weight loss.
Biotin For Heart Health
One of the possible benefits of Biotin can be seen in reducing hypertension and in lowering high cholesterol blood levels. Both of these functions are heart protective, and as a result Biotin may help diminish cardiovascular problems.
Studies have shown that a combination of Biotin and chromium reduces cholesterol in a natural way and improves the risk factors for diabetes caused by fatty acids.
In addition, every nutrients, including Vitamin B7, that fights inflammation is good for heart health, for prevention of strokes and atherosclerosis.
Biotin for the Brain
Biotin is also good for promoting the function of the brain. One of the key ingredients for formation of myelin – the molecule that builds the outer sheath of the neurons – is Biotin. Thus this vitamin enhances the communication between the neurons helping them function much better and in unison.
One of the adverse effects of damaged myelin sheath is multiple sclerosis. Biotin is one of the 3 supplements that can prevent or reverse this condition.
Other than that, Biotin is effective for age-related mental decline and similar issues, like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Biotin is a good fighter against inflammation, preventing the formation of cytokines, which are inflammatory substances produced in the human body as a reaction to stressors and damage. In particular, Biotin deficiency may be one of the main reasons for cellular inflammation.
Good for Tissue Repair
As already mentioned, Biotin is one of the vitamins responsible for the proper metabolic processes in the body, in particular, for the metabolism of the amino acids. This vitamin therefore immensely helps tissue repair and muscle repair.
As we already indicated, the role of Biotin in the metabolism of glucose additionally helps the tissue repair by providing enough energy (glucose) to the cells.
Biotin as Immuno-Booster
Biotin is closely related to white blood cell production. If we just remind ourselves how important the white blood cells are for a good immune system, the role of Biotin in improving the body’s immunity becomes quite clear.
Scientists have discovered that Biotin deficiency may lead to low levels of T cells and overall bad immunity.
How to Tell if You are Biotin Deficient
This is not easy to determine on your own. The best way is to let your doctor determine if you are Biotin deficient.
As a general rule, if you a healthy individual and if you consume a wide variety of foods, including animal products, Biotin deficiency shouldn’t be an issue. However, certain bad habits may promote Biotin deficiency, including smoking, excessive alcohol consummation, excessive antibiotic use, and bad intestinal food absorption. Some women may be prone to Biotin deficiency during pregnancy.
It is important to know that the human body cannot store Biotin. Every time you ingest Biotin rich foods, your body uses the necessary amount of it, eliminating the rest of Biotin.
Let’s see what the most common symptoms of Biotin deficiency are:
- Hair loss
- Frail hair
- Mood swings
- Persistent fatigue
- Cramps and muscle pain
- Dry skin
- Problems with food digestion
- Cognitive problems
Biotin is present in many types of foods, you if you take them regularly, you can improve your levels and you won’t need to take supplementation.
Food Rich in Biotin
As already mentioned, most animal foods are great sources of biotin. For example, try to take organic free range eggs, wild caught salmon, organic beef or chicken liver, cheese, and organic pastured meat. Plant sources are not that efficient, but you may still find it in cauliflower, some grains, avocado, and various berries.
Nutritional yeast is one of the best sources of Biotin and highly recommended because of the other Vitamins from the B complex, including the very important B12.
The daily dosage is somewhere between 30 and 100 micrograms (mcg) per day.
The Bottom Line
If you are having a balanced diet with enough animal source, chances are that you already have proper levels of Biotin in your body. If your levels are below the normal value, consult with your doctor before taking any supplementation on your own. If you have to take Biotin as a supplement, try Nutritional yeast as one of the best sources of Vitamins from the B group.