by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Have you ever dreamt of having head-turning mermaid-length hair or clear and glowing skin? Of course, who doesn’t? But hair growth varies from person to person and depends upon various factors like genetics, stress, and more. And, with age, people start using beauty supplements to improve their overall appearance. One such product that many people start using daily is biotin and biotin supplements.
Well, if you keep up with the health and beauty trends, there’s a high probability that you might have already heard about biotin and its benefits of adding it to your skincare regime. Let’s check out in greater detail what biotin is and the benefits it may offer.
Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, is part of the Vitamin B complex family. It is a water-soluble vitamin that your body cannot make, and you need to get it from food and through the use of biotin supplements. It can be found in various food items like fruits, seeds, meat, nuts, and more.
Next, let’s look at some of the benefits of biotin and biotin supplements and how they can help you.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition or disease. You should always consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your regimen to ensure you are healthy enough to do so and to ensure the supplements will not interact with any medications you may currently be taking.
The Benefits of Biotin and Biotin Supplements
Below are some of the many benefits you can experience through biotin and using biotin supplements.
1. Improves Hair Health
If you want long, healthy, and lustrous hair, then biotin can help you achieve your goals. One of the most significant and most important benefits of biotin is that it helps stimulate hair growth. It is because the B vitamins help create amino acids that produce keratin, which plays a role in helping strengthen the hair.
Now you might be wondering if biotin supplements can help in hair growth? Well, as per a 2016 study, the answer is actually pretty slim. But another study shows that using biotin supplements for three months can reduce hair loss and speed up the growth process.
2. Enhances Skin Health
Biotin helps to enhance and nourish the skin. Because of an imbalance in the outer protective layer of the skin, the skin can become dry and dehydrated. That’s where biotin comes in to save the day. It helps in the production of new cells and ensures that the oil gland functions properly. This, in turn, helps improve the skin’s overall health.
Though most skin and hair care products contain biotin, you cannot simply absorb it through skin or hair. Therefore, biotin supplements in pills, capsules, or powders can be extremely beneficial.
3. Strengthens Nails
Apart from hair and skin, biotin also helps to strengthen the nails. Studies show that consuming biotin supplements helps thicken the nails by around 25% and can reduce nail splitting and breakage.
So, biotin can act as a savior if you are a nail biter or someone who is experiencing thinning of nails because of wearing acrylic nails.
4. Boosts Energy and Mood
Biotin helps to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It also works as a coenzyme and aids in synthesizing fatty acids and amino acids. Without the help of the B complex, your body cannot use the energy it consumes.
Biotin and various other B vitamins convert nutrients into fuel that your body can use. Lack of biotin in the body can cause fatigue or even digestive issues. So, you need to supplement your body with biotin to get back on a positive track.
The recommended daily allowance of biotin is between 30-100 mcg for adolescents and adults. Since biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, the excess biotin passes through and gets excreted when you urinate.
Who is at Risk of a Biotin Deficiency?
There are various factors that include the risk of biotin deficiency, such as:
- BTD (Biotinidase Deficiency): BTD is a genetic disorder where the body is not able to recycle or reuse biotin. In the US, newborns can be detected with this disorder.
- Chronic use of alcohol: Overconsumption of alcohol can reduce biotin levels, as alcohol can inhibit biotin absorption.
- Malnutrition: Inadequate consumption of food and nutrients can lead to a deficiency of biotin.
As per studies, pregnant and breastfeeding women can also develop low biotin levels because of the increased use of vitamins and minerals to help develop the baby. Apart from that, people who are on medications like retinoids are also at risk of having a deficiency.
Side Effects of a Biotin Deficiency
People may experience the following symptoms due to a deficiency of biotin:
- Dry eyes
- Brittle hair
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain and more
What’s the Bottom Line?
Biotin is vital for the overall growth and development of the body. If you have long hair and clear skin, you can thank biotin. If not, you can start using biotin supplements to help improve your hair and skin health.
But before you add biotin supplements to your routine, make sure to consult your healthcare professional. They can determine the risk associated and recommend what is best for your body and particular situation.