Biotin for skin, hair, and nails? Does it help?
Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is a water-soluble vitamin and a part of the B complex vitamins. It acts as a coenzyme to help convert nutrients such as amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose into energy. These are nutrients released when protein, fats, and carbohydrates, respectively, get digested in the body. Without biotin, it’s difficult for the body to metabolite such nutrients.
Biotin also plays a vital role in maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Biotin is sometimes referred to as vitamin H, which comes from the German word Haut or Haar, which means hair and skin.
The fact that it’s water-soluble means it’s not stored in the body. So you have to consume it regularly to meet your daily requirements.
Biotin deficiency is very rare, making it difficult to ascertain how much biotin is too low or too high. But generally, the recommended daily value is 30 mcg per day. Nonetheless, deficiencies may result in hair loss or thinning and a scaly red rash on the skin.
Vitamin B7 is a common ingredient in most hair and skin products. But even so, most studies suggest that biotin is poorly absorbed when applied topically, and you can experience its uttermost benefits when ingested from either food or supplements.
What Does Research Say About Biotin For Skin
The role of biotin in promoting skin health has not been well established; however, researchers believe its due to its ability to produce fatty acids, which nourish the skin and maintain a clear complexion.
Additionally, biotin plays an important role in maintaining a healthy mucous membrane of the skin. It may also promote the production of new cells and regulate the oil glands on the skin to work more effectively, thus protecting the skin from dryness and excessive oil production.
However, more studies are still needed to confirm whether biotin alone can improve skin appearance.
Can Biotin Cause Acne?
There is currently no evidence that shows that biotin causes acne. There might be other ways that supplements are affecting your skin. However, anecdotal reports of people who have taken biotin and then having skin breakouts. Currently, there is no scientific evidence suggesting that biotin causes acne.
Does Biotin Clear Up Acne?
Treatment of acne with biotin is possibly advantageous in treating Comedonal acne, a type of acne where sebum and dead skin cells block the hair follicle. Read More.
Can Biotin Be Absorbed Through The Skin?
A study was done in Tokyo, to test if there was an increase in serum biotin levels with the applications of ointments containing biotin.
The study found that biotin was readily absorbed through the skin of people affected by dermatitis and normal skin.
Biotin for Hair Growth
Biotin plays a range of benefits in the human body. Healthy and fast hair growth are one of these benefits. The vitamin enhances keratin production, a protein responsible for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Your hair and biotin have a direct correlation that explains why biotin deficiency results in thin and unhealthy hair, brittle nails, and skin rashes.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that daily supplementation can promote hair growth and reduce hair loss.
A similar study published in Dermatology Research and Practice confirmed the same benefits after 3-6 months of biotin supplementation. Beyond the study durations, the researchers also found that continued supplementation for up to 90 days resulted in thick hair with increased volume and scalp coverage. In addition, those who extended their intake further for up to 180 days had an increased shine on the hair with added skin benefits like smoothness and increased moisture retention.
How Does Biotin Promote Hair Growth?
Biotin is one of the most popular over-the-counter supplements designed to promote hair growth. It works by stimulating keratin’s production and increasing the follicle growth rate. Keratin is a protein found in internal organs and glands.
Being a protective protein, it is less vulnerable to tears and scratches compared to other types of body cells. An increase in keratin thus makes your hair stronger, minimizing hair loss and making it fuller, healthier, and fast-growing.
Breastfeeding women and hair loss
Breastfeeding women tend to lose a lot of hair during the nursing period compared to other people. To minimize hair loss, they are advised to increase their biotin intake by up to 35 mcg, unlike 30 mcg for other adults.
Besides breastfeeding, other causes of hair loss may include stress, depression, genetics, and certain medical conditions.
If you are struggling with significant hair loss, you should see an expert for physical assessment and examination. The results will determine whether your case requires dietary changes, a change in your hair routine, or medical intervention.
In some cases, you may be suffering from a deficiency of other vitamins, which denies you the building blocks necessary for re-growing healthier and fuller hair.
Besides promoting hair growth and minimizing hair loss, biotin also prevents hair conditions such as dandruff and itchy scalp. These conditions hinder hair growth, cause discomfort and lower your confidence and self-esteem. If you struggle with hair issues, consider biotin and biotin supplements for the best outcome.
Biotin for Strong Nails
When applied to your nails, biotin can help strengthen them and make them less likely to become brittle or yellowed. Additionally, biotin can help improve the condition of your nails by nourishing them and promoting their growth. If you are looking for a nail treatment that will not only help improve the look of your nails but also promote their health, biotin may be the perfect option for you.
Additional Benefits of Biotin
Besides promoting hair growth, maintaining healthy skin, and promoting strong nails, biotin may offer other benefits, including
Biotin fights inflammation
Inflammation is the immune system’s response to things like environmental toxins or infections. It is a natural defense mechanism – but prolonged inflammation can lead to chronic diseases and autoimmune disorders.
There are several ways in which biotin can help to reduce inflammation:
- It can help decrease the production of inflammatory chemicals.
- Biotin can help improve the function of cells in the immune system.
- It can also increase the production of anti-inflammatory hormones.
Stabilizes blood sugar
Biotin has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for both diabetics and those at risk for developing diabetes. By keeping blood sugar levels in check, biotin can help reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage.
Boosts energy levels
One of Biotin’s most touted benefits is its ability to increase energy levels and prevent fatigue. Biotin plays an important role in energy metabolism by helping the body convert food into energy. With improved energy levels, you can perform better at work, exercise more regularly, and get more done on a daily basis.
Regulates menstrial cycle
Many women who suffer from PCOS or other hormone imbalances find that biotin helps to regulate their menstrual cycle and alleviate some of the symptoms they experience. Biotin has also been shown to improve fertility in women with PCOS.
Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Biotin has been shown to lower blood pressure by relaxing the smooth muscles in the walls of blood vessels. This can cause your blood pressure to drop, thus reducing the risk of developing these conditions.
Improves sleep quality
Biotin has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration in adults. It does this by helping the body produce melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. In one study, participants who took biotin slept an average of 30 minutes longer per night than those who didn’t. They also reported feeling more rested during the day.
High cholesterol is a serious problem because it can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other problems. Biotin can help lower cholesterol by reducing the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood and by increasing the level of HDL (good) cholesterol. Biotin also helps to break down fats so that they can be used for energy.
Protects brain function
Biotin has been shown to protect against cognitive decline and improve memory, both in young adults and the elderly. Biotin supplementation has also been linked to improved symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, taking a biotin supplement may help those who suffer from depression by promoting healthy nerve cell communication.
Promotes weight loss
Many people take biotin supplements in the hopes of losing weight. While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, some people may experience weight loss as a result of taking biotin.
Biotin is an essential nutrient that helps the body produce energy and can also play a role in fat metabolism. When taken in high doses, it has been shown to promote weight loss by helping the body break down fatty acids. So if you are looking to lose weight, adding biotin to your diet may be a good way to help.
Best Biotin Food Sources
Eating biotin rich-foods is the most effective way to meet your biotin requirements. The best plant-food sources include
- Nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts)
- Nutritional yeast
- Seeds ( sunflower and sesame)
- Sweet potatoes
How Much Biotin Can I Take Daily?
While most people meet their biotin requirements through diet, some may prefer a supplement, especially when addressing certain conditions like hair loss and skin issues.
Also, with biotin being a water-soluble vitamin, it can’t accumulate or be stored in the body, so the side effects are rare.
However, the recommended oral dose will depend on the individual client. It is advised to follow your doctor’s protocol. The typical dose is on average of 30 micrograms for adults. If your dose is different, stick to your doctor’s recommendation.
Biotin Side Effects
A report that was published in the Journal Of The American Academy Of Dermatology, stated that biotin treatment interfered with laboratory tests and mirrored Graves’ disease, which is an illness that results in the thyroid overproducing thyroid hormones.
It is important to cease taking your biotin supplement two days before testing your blood and make sure you tell your doctor when taking a thyroid function test.
Nonetheless, some individuals may experience minor adverse effects like cramping, indigestion, diarrhea, and nausea.
Additionally, excessive intake for prolonged periods may result in low vitamin B6 and vitamin C levels, high blood sugar levels, and skin rash. So it’s always good to keep your intake within the daily recommendation.
How To Help Skin Elasticity With Biotin?
Biotin or vitamin B7, b help to produce healthy hair, skin, and nails. Severe biotin deficiency leads to brittle nails, eczema, and hair loss.
Melanie Palm MD, from the University of California, is the owner of The Art Of Skin. states that supplementing with biotin may help these problems.
If you are meeting the required amount of biotin from a balanced diet then you more than likely will not need supplementation.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in many foods, including nuts, legumes, seeds, and some vegetables. It can also be obtained through supplements which are often considered safe since excess biotin is always eliminated from the body.
Biotin is best known for its role in hair and nail growth, but it can also help improve the appearance of skin and mucous membranes.
Biotin can treat various conditions, including hair loss, dry skin, poor nails, and age spots. It may also fight inflammation, promote cardiovascular health, and increase brain function.
That being said, if eating a balanced diet, there is no need to include a biotin supplement. And even though side effects are very minimal, it may still cause some effects like skin rash, low vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and gastrointestinal discomfort in some individuals.
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