Biotin Supplements - Benefits for Skin, Nails, and Hair
Biotin supplements are a must have if you love having healthy skin, nails, and hair! Although it's best known for it's beauty benefits, it also has many health perks too! It is therefore essential that you get enough in your daily diet! This key resource is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin, and is a co-factor in the metabolism of fatty acids. Once you start taking it, you should notice improvements very rapidly!
Biotin, also called B7, vitamin H, and Coenzyme R, is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. It plays a role in the Citric acid cycle, which is the process by which biochemical energy is generated during aerobic activities. Biotin not only assists in various metabolic reactions, it also helps transfer carbon dioxide out of the blood and is helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level. Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails. Consequently, it is found in many hair and nail vitamins and *other products on the market.
*Note - Today, there are many shampoos and conditioners that contain biotin. They promise you longer and stronger hair but do they work?
In a word, no.
This is because of the way biotin is delivered for transport in the body. Your pores/scalp/skin cannot absorb biotin from products that contain it. This is just another example of deceptive practices made by manufacturer's to get you to buy their products!
Deficiencies are extremely rare, as intestinal bacteria naturally produce an excess of the body's daily requirement. However, you may need it, even if you don't have a deficiency. (see deficiencies below)
Biotin Food Sources
Biotin can be found in a variety of foods that you already consume. Estimates are that the typical U.S. diet provides roughly 40 micrograms a day. There are only a couple of foods that contain biotin in large amounts, including royal jelly, egg yolk, and brewer's yeast. The most important natural sources of biotin in food nutrition are milk, liver, and some vegetables like Swiss Chard.
Other Food Sources
Excellent sources of biotin supplements include tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and carrots. Very good sources include almonds, onions, cabbage, cucumber, and cauliflower. Good sources include goat's milk, raspberries, strawberries, halibut, oats, and walnuts.
Biotin Supplements Benefits
Biotin supplements are often recommended as a natural product to counteract the problems of hair loss in both children and adults. There have been no studies that show any benefit of taking extra Biotin in any case where the subject is not actually deficient but the benefits from taking it are huge!
The signs and symptoms of extreme deficiencies include hair loss, which can progress in severity to include loss of eye lashes and eyebrows. Some shampoos contain biotin but it is questionable whether they would have any useful effect, as biotin supplements are not absorbed well through the skin.
Studies has shown that increasing your intake can improve nail strength and nail growth in as little as three months, however I noticed a big difference in my nails after the first week of taking biotin supplements, and I NEVER had good nails before! My nails are whiter, stronger, and much longer than they've ever been!
Synthesis of Fat
Many symptoms of a deficiency include skin related problems. Biotin is required for proper function of an enzyme in the body called acetyl Co-A carboxylase. This enzyme forms the building block of fat production in the body. This is crucial for all cells in the body since the membranes of the cells must contain the correct components of fat to function properly. Fat production is essential for skin cells since they die off and must be replaced very quickly. They are in contact with the outside environment and serve as a barrier to unwanted toxins.
When cellular fat components cannot be made properly, skin cells are among the first cells to develop problems. In infants, the most common biotin deficiency symptom is cradle cap. Infants with the condition develop a crusty yellowish/ whitish patches around their scalp, head, eyebrows and the skin behind the ears. In adults, the equivalent skin condition is called seborrhea, although it can occur in many different locations on the skin.
Children with a rare inherited metabolic disorder called PKU often develop skin conditions such as eczema and seborrhea in areas of the body other than the scalp. The scaly skin changes that occur may be related to poor ability to process biotin in the body. Increasing dietary biotin has been known to improve seborrhea in many cases.
If biotin supplements do not improve the condition, most likely there is a yeast infection on the scalp causing it. Nizoral shampoo will clear up the condition quickly by killing the yeast. However, a totally clear scalp may also be dependent on vitamin D alone. Find out more about deficiencies in vitamin D here.
People with type II diabetes often have deficiencies of B7. Studies have shown that biotin may be involved in the formation and release of insulin in the blood. Preliminary studies in both animals and people suggest that biotin supplements help improve control of blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes. Higher doses of biotin lower post-prandial glucose and improve glucose tolerance.
The incidence of low circulating biotin levels has been associated with alcoholics, in those with a partial gastrectomy, burn patients, epileptics, the elderly, and athletes. Pregnancy and lactation may also be associated with an increased demand for biotin supplements. Additionally, smoking cigarettes may further accelerate deficiencies in women especially.
Biotin is involved in the metabolism of both sugar and fat in your body. In sugar metabolism, biotin helps transfer sugar from initial stages of conversion into usable energy. Muscle cramps related to physical exertion, may be the result of your body's inability to efficiently use sugar as fuel and may signal a deficiency.
Nervous System Activity
Because glucose and fat are used for energy within the nervous system, biotin functions as a supportive vitamin. Numerous nerve related symptoms have been linked to a deficiency. Symptoms include seizures, lack of muscle coordination (ataxia), and lack of good muscle tone. (hypotonia).
Biotin Toxicity Symptoms
There is no current Tolerable Upper Limit set for biotin. So far, research has indicated that high levels of intake, has no known detrimental effects on the human body.
The Adequate Intake (AI) levels for biotin, set in 1998 by the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences, are as follows:
0-6 months: 5 micrograms
6-12 months: 6 micrograms
1-3 years: 8 micrograms
4-8 years: 12 micrograms
males 9-13 years: 20 micrograms
males 14-18 years: 25 micrograms
males 19 years and older: 30 micrograms
females 9-13 years: 20 micrograms
females 14-18 years: 25 micrograms
females 19 years and older: 30 micrograms
Pregnant females of any age: 30 micrograms
Lactating females of any age: 35 micrograms
Super Biotin is equivalent to 5000 micrograms (mcg.) per capsule. Most people only need around 30 mcg.’s a day if you don’t have a deficiency. However, taking a higher dose can’t hurt you because it's a water soluble vitamin, so your body naturally eliminates excesses. It's such an easy way to promote growth of the things you want to grow, like your hair and nails!
It is clear that biotin supplements offer something good for just about everyone! You can also include the foods that contain it to INCREASE your levels! So great!
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.