Biotin (also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H) is a water-soluble vitamin that functions in several metabolic reactions, including protein synthesis and more specifically, keratin production. Hence, it contributes to healthy nails and hair growth. Biotin is readily found in many foods and is also produced by normal gut flora. Foods found to have high amounts of biotin include nuts, legumes, whole grains, unpolished rice, and egg yolk. Recommended daily allowances of biotin have not been established due to a lack of sufficient evidence. However, it has been estimated that in western populations, the typical dietary intake of biotin is between 35 and 70 μg/day. Biotin deficiency can be either acquired or by birth. Though an acquired biotin deficiency is possible, it is still rare. Patients taking anticonvulsant medications, such as valproic acid, can also become deficient, and therefore, are prophylactically administered biotin. Additional causes of acquired biotin deficiency include states of alcoholism or pregnancy, impaired intestinal absorption, prolonged use of antibiotics, and interrupting normal gut flora.
How Does Biotin Work For Hair Growth?
Biotin can be absorbed through the skin. In a human test, participants applied 7 grams of a topical ointment containing a concentration of 0.3 percent biotin per day, along with 1 to 4 grams of steroid ointment. Results from this study found increased serum biotin levels in both healthy subjects and subjects with atopic dermatitis. The subjects kept the ointment on their skin until it was completely absorbed. The former group showed a 21 percent increase, while the group with atopic dermatitis showed an 81.7 percent increase in serum biotin. This shows that biotin can be absorbed through the skin. However, biotin shampoos aren’t that effective in promoting hair growth. This is because shampooing doesn’t allow enough time for biotin to get absorbed through the skin. In fact, it's better to take oral hair growth supplements that contain biotin than use a biotin shampoo.
Health Benefits Of Biotin
Maintains Healthy Hair
Vitamin H stimulates the production of keratin in hair and also increases the follicle growth rate. Regularly consuming biotin supports hair health, strengthens hair, and also adds shine to it. In addition, the functions of biotin include preventing several issues such as dandruff, scalp itchiness, and hair loss.
Maintains Healthy Skin And Nails
The primary benefit of biotin for the skin is that it supports the production of fatty acids. This, in turn, helps nourish the skin and helps the oil glands function properly.
If consumed on a regular basis, this B-complex vitamin helps to improve and regulate the metabolism levels in the body. It is vital for the function and metabolism regulation of the nervous system as well. Biotin uses carbohydrates, fat, and proteins in the process of metabolism and converts them into the desired form of energy.
Protects The heart
A significant benefit of biotin is to protect the heart from possible issues. Regularly consuming this water-soluble vitamin in adequate amounts helps stimulate blood flow inside the heart. Vitamin H also helps in increasing the high-density lipoprotein and lowering the low-density lipoprotein that reduces heart risks.
Promotes Brain Function
Vitamin H is required for the brain to function effectively. Biotin is responsible for forming the myelin sheath, which is a fatty substance necessary to protect the brain from several problems. It also helps to regulate the normal functioning of the brain.
Boosts Immunity Power
A deficiency of biotin poses several risks and problems to the immunity system. Foods rich in biotin are necessary for the generation of white blood cells that are responsible for boosting the body’s immunity power.
Reduces Blood Sugar Levels And Controls Diabetes
Vitamin H helps reduce blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production and also by enhancing the levels of glucose in the body. Biotin also proves to be effective in controlling Type-2 diabetes.
Helps During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Biotin plays a vital role during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Regularly consuming vitamin B7 foods proves beneficial for the mother and the newborn during this time.
Suppresses Inflammation And Alleviates Allergic Disorders
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, there are huge benefits of biotin for issues like inflammation and allergic disorders. The anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin B7 minimize the issues and problems of inflammation. The benefits of biotin also include its properties to prevent the re-occurrence of inflammation and allergies by targeting the root cause of the issue.
Repairs Muscles And Tissues
One of the best benefits of biotin is that it helps repair the different affected muscles and tissues so that they perform their functions normally. The anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-bacterial properties of biotin help prevent the growth of problems in muscles and tissues, thereby repairing them in an instant.
Treats Multiple Sclerosis
Biotin also proves to be helpful in treating multiple sclerosis problems. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory problems of vitamin H prove to be beneficial against the problems of sclerosis in the body.
Biotin Content Of Foods
The recommended amount of biotin you need each day is thought to depend on age. Newborn babies need just 5 micrograms (mcg) daily, while adults should be getting at least 30 mcg, and breastfeeding women should aim for 35 mcg or more. For adults, a biotin intake of 30 mcg per day is easily achieved through a well-balanced diet including biotin-containing foods, such as nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, and certain vegetables like sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli. This highlights that a person eating a well-rounded diet does not need biotin supplementation.
Approximate Amount Needed For Hair Growth
For biotin use in hair growth, the number falls around 5,000 micrograms a day, and meeting this daily quota seems to be the key to making the most out of this nutrient. Having said that, if your biotin use is aimed at dealing with a medical condition, like alopecia, it is best to consult a doctor for that. A medical professional will be able to recommend the right kind and quantity of biotin.
Approximate Time Needed To See Results
If you have actively shifted focus to biotin for hair, you have to understand that it won’t magically make your hair grow overnight. Most people see a visible difference in their mane in about a month or so. Having said that, there have been reports of people noticing a change in as little as two weeks. It all depends on your individual body systems and the state of your metabolism. You also have to know that while biotin can help make your hair feel fuller and voluminous in a couple of months, it doesn't necessarily increase the number of hair strands on your head. Yes, biotin can help improve the texture of your hair that is already grown out of the follicles, but not give birth to new hair.
The Best Form Of Biotin Is Oral Biotin Supplementation
Biotin is often called “vitamin H” for its association with supporting hair health, but studies suggest it may also help to maintain healthy nails and skin. Initial research found that biotin exists in hair, skin, and nails to a significantly high degree. Research also shows that biotin plays a role in the infrastructure of keratin, a basic protein that makes up the connective fibers of skin, hair, and nails.
Research on rats and humans has found that biotin deficiency may result in forms of alopecia. This hair loss has been shown to be offset by the supplementation of biotin. Biotin deficiencies are rare, but there are numerous potential causes, including genetic predisposition to deficiency and certain pharmaceuticals. Avidin, a protein present in raw egg whites, is also known to bind tightly to biotin. This can prevent proper absorption of biotin, resulting in significantly low levels.
A Study Of Biotin On Thinning Hair
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the effect of oral biotin supplements on women with thinning hair. Patients were given either the biotin supplement or a placebo twice a day for a period of 180 days. By the end of the study, patients who took the biotin supplement showed a dramatic increase in terminal hairs, which are thick, long hairs in contrast with the thinner, fainter vellus hairs. These participants also had self-perceived improvements in scalp coverage, hair volume, and thickness of the hair body after 90 days of treatment. After 180 days of treatment, participants noted additional improvements in hair shine, skin moisture retention, and general skin smoothness.
Further research is necessary to determine the exact mechanisms of action involved, but it should be noted that most studies on biotin’s effects on hair growth and general hair health involve oral use as opposed to topical application.
Though its use as a hair and nail growth supplement is prevalent, research demonstrating the efficacy of biotin is limited. In cases of acquired and inherited causes of biotin deficiency as well as pathologies, such as brittle nail syndrome or uncombable hair, biotin supplementation may be of benefit. A proper analysis of hair concerns must be done to check whether biotin supplementation is really necessary, or the probable cause of hair loss or clinical scalp condition requires more. Hence, Traya’s FREE hair test can help you understand your hair fall better so that you choose the most suitable treatment. Because biotin for hair growth is essential, but so are other nutrients and routines.
Q1 - Can Biotin Make My Body Hair Grow Out Too?
Ans - A common misconception about biotin, or any hair growth supplement is that it can make your body hair grow out as well. This is not true since the hair follicles on your body do not follow the same rules as your scalp. Your body hair is designed to grow out only till a certain length and any amount of biotin won't change that. You might, however, notice a slight thickening of eyebrows on your face.
Q2 - What Is The Best Time To Take Biotin Supplements?Ans - The most commonly recommended time slot to consume biotin supplements is with your morning meal. The water-soluble nature of biotin will ensure that your body is absorbing it with the other nutrients in your meal. Also, vitamin B is associated with a surge of energy levels in your body, which makes it an ideal supplement for daytime, instead of night as it may hinder your sleep.
Q4 - Can Consuming Biotin For Hair Change Your Skin Too?Ans - Yes, oral biotin consumption for hair can change your skin too. But, these changes are not drastic and are on the positive side. Biotin use has been seen to help fortify dry skin by producing fatty acids that can help nourish your skin from the inside.
Q5 - Can You Keep Taking Biotin Supplements Forever?
Ans - It is often recommended to consult your doctor before starting biotin supplements so that you do not overdo them. And once started, you might consider taking the supplements till you see the desired difference in your mane. This is because your body is capable of producing biotin on its own, and does not need long-term help from supplements to meet optimum levels.