Last Updated on February 17, 2021 by Devin Greenfield
Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7 or H, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a significant role in the human body. It is involved in metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Biotin is important for replication of genes. It promotes the growth of hair, skin and nails, as well as bone marrow and blood cells.
While biotin plays one of the leading parts in many essential functions in the body, it is not needed in big amounts. Real biotin deficiency is rather rare, as this vitamin is fairly bioavailable in foods, and exists in bacteria that live in human bowels. Averagely a person requires about 30 micrograms of biotin per day. The vitamin is sufficiently obtained from a well-balanced diet since it is found in lots of food sources including eggs and dairy products, meat and fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains. Raw, fresh and unprocessed foods contain larger amount of biotin.
Because biotin is essential for healthy hair, its deficiency may cause slow hair growth and even hair loss. Therefore, many dermatologists and trichologists routinely recommend this vitamin as a natural hair loss treatment. Apart from its functions in general metabolism, biotin promotes new hair growth by increasing production of keratin, a fibrous protein which is key structural element of hair.
Biotin can be taken orally in the form of a dietary supplement. The vitamin is water-soluble and non-toxic. It is considered to be safe even when taken in large doses. Quiet often biotin supplements also contain zinc, magnesium, silica and other minerals and vitamins for natural hair growth. If you are not comfortable with oral medications you can still get the benefits of biotin through special shampoos and conditioners. These topical hair loss treatments can help you achieve the same results as with biotin supplements. However, some individuals are unable to absorb biotin through the scalp.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is biotin really effective for hair regrowth?
Yes, it is! Biotin is vital for healthy hair. Biotin will help grow better and longer hair, healthy nails and shining skin. Biotin helps prevent degeneration of skin cells, thus, maintains the health of hair follicles. However, one has to understand that biotin tablets don’t work magic. Hair loss is a deep-rooted challenge that is the result of many factors, for example air pollution, diet and lifestyle, genetics, anxiety and so on. For that reason, you should devote yourself to healthy diet plan, organic hairсare products and balanced lifestyle.
When will I see the results?
It will take about a month or so for the biotin supplement to work. However, some people can see the difference already in a couple of weeks.
What’s the recommended dosage of biotin?
First of all, biotin deficiency is rare, since it’s contained in many foods that we take daily, for example: carrots, cauliflower, liver, bananas, salmon, soy flour, cereals, yeast, etc. Despite the fact that biotin content is lessened when meals are cooked or preserved, it is still sufficient for daily intake. Here’s the recommended dosages as per age:
- from birth to 3 years: 10 to 20 mcg (micrograms) per day
- from 4 to 6 years: 25 mcg/day
- from 7 to 10 years: 30 mcg/day
- from 10 years onwards: 30 to 100 mcg/day.
Please note, that some people may need higher dose of biotin, for example, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Which foods are most rich in biotin?
Here’s some of the best foods to introduce biotin into a regular diet that will surely provide the sufficient amount for your health:
- Eggs. These are one of the best sources of biotin. Keep in mind that only reasonable amount will work best, and, on the contrary, a diet that’s very high in egg whites can produce the opposite effect and lead to biotin deficiency.
- Carrots are another best source of biotin. They also contain beta-carotene, which helps to promote good eye sight.
- Apart from carrots, vegetables like cucumbers, onions, cauliflower, swiss chard, broccoli are all rich in biotin, and are excellent choice to add this vitamin into your meals.
- Milk is also rich in biotin, as well as calcium and protein.
- Nuts. Nuts provide a great supply of biotin. Make sure you eat them regularly. These can be almonds, walnuts and cashew nuts and others.
- Berries, including strawberries and raspberries, will provide the body with a significant amount of biotin.
- Fruits. These are excellent biotin suppliers. Among them are, bananas, watermelon, grapefruit, avocados.
- Fresh fish, especially halibut, is certainly is a great source of biotin. MAke sure you take it occasionally to ensure the necessary intake of biotin.
What time of the day is best to take biotin?
Some people ask this question, whether it’s better to take biotin in the morning or evening. Well, the answer is simple. Biotin is readily available from food, so you already take it throughout the day. Moreover, real deficiency of biotin is exceptional. Thus, in most cases it’s not necessary to take it as a supplement. In case you do take biotin pills, it is best to take them on an empty stomach one hour before or two hours after food. Take with a full glass of water. You may take biotin supplement with food, if it makes your stomach upset.
Is biotin good for weight loss?
Apart from the know biotin’s benefit to promote health hair and nails, it is also said to aid digestion, especially of carbs, that can increase energy levels and elevate metabolism. And that means that theoretically it can help you lose weight. However, it has to be said that studies are still in progress and can’t be sure that biotin can be successfully used as a weight loss pill in conjunction with healthy diet and exercise.
What is the maximum dose of biotin that you can take safely?
Just as biotin deficiency is rare, it’s overdose is rare as well. According to medical studies, no side effects have been reported for biotin in amounts of up to 10,000 mcg per day. Therefore, you can take the recommended dose of biotin supplement without fear.
How will I know that I lack biotin in my diet?
The common symptoms of a biotin deficiency are: heart related illnesses, high cholesterol, thin hair or hair loss, skin allergy.
What are side effects of biotin supplements?
At the moment, there are no known adverse side effects of biotin if consumed as recommended by a physician or as a result of usual dietary intake. However, there may be possible side effects if you take too much of biotin supplements. These may include: digestive problems, kidney problems, skin rash, insulin release problem.
Is it safe to take biotin during pregnancy?
Additional supply of biotin may be needed during pregnancy. Actually, biotin deficiency may happen in as many as 50% of expecting mothers and this may increase the risk of birth abnormalities. Please consult your physician for recommended dose of biotin while you are pregnant.
Can I take biotin together with vitamin C?
Yes, you can. No adverse side effects or interactions were found between biotin and Vitamin C.