Vitamins and its supplements have emerged as a promising component for delivering the best nails, skin, and hair. Many online and offline drug stores are offering them for stronger hair, thicker nails, and healthier skin. The primary focus currently trending is on one particular vitamin called Biotin. It is believed to offer many other health benefits too. Read below to learn more about it!
What is biotin?
Biotin gets its name from the Greek word ‘Biotos’ which gives the meaning ‘life’ or ‘sustenance’. It is also known as Vitamin H and is among the B complex vitamins. It is a water-soluble nutrient that helps in the conversion of food into energy. Biotin is obtained from a healthy diet and aids in promoting healthy liver, eyes, skin, nails, and hair. It is also a crucial vitamin for pregnant women to have healthy babies.
What can cause biotin deficiencies?
Biotin deficiency can be caused due to malnutrition or improper functioning of the gastrointestinal system. Some of the factors that can cause deficiency are:
- Excess avidin which impaired the absorption of biotin. Foods like raw eggs have this compound.
- Using anticonvulsant medicines, antibiotics, isotretinoin for a long time
- Lack of biotin in pregnant or breastfeeding mother can lead to a deficiency in the baby
- Genetic conditions which lead to a deficiency in enzymes that is essential for biotin to be released from food
- Excessive use of intravenous drugs or alcohol or smoking
- Gastrointestinal issues that prevent biotin absorption
- Malnutrition conditions like bulimia or anorexia
Natural sources of biotin
Biotin is present in many foods and some of the good sources are:
- Egg yolk
- Liver, kidney and other organs meat
- Leafy vegetables
- Legumes like soya beans
- Nut butter
Apart from the above natural sources of biotin, the gut also produces a small amount of biotin. It is also found in stores as a supplement either as a stand-alone vitamin or a mix of many vitamin supplements.
Recommended daily dose of biotin
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin and any excess amount present in the body goes out of in the form of urine. The recommended dose of biotin per day for adults is 100 mcg, for adolescents, it is about 30 and for infants, it is about 10 to 30 mcg. As per Patch MD experts, the biotin patches are highly recommended for pregnant women as it helps in fetal development and breastfeeding women. Infants who are born with biotin deficiencies should also use supplements to ensure the proper functioning of the body.
Health benefits of biotin
Biotin is an important nutrient that can convert food into energy. It also offers many health benefits and some of them are listed below.
Improves metabolism: Biotin acts as an enzyme and aids in breaking down food that contains carbs, proteins, and fats. When biotin is consumed as a supplement or as a natural source of food, the resting metabolism rate is increased and results in faster digestion of food. Along with an exercise routine, and a healthy diet biotin consumption can lead to weight loss.
Converts food into energy: The presence of biotin in your diet is essential as it helps in producing energy by releasing several enzymes. These enzymes aid in the metabolic process of carbs, fats, and protein. They help in
- Gluconeogenesis: The enzymes contained in biotin help in glucose production from amino acids too apart from carbs.
- Synthesize fatty acids: It helps the enzymes that are involved in reactions that aids in the production of fatty acids.
- Amino acid synthesis: The enzymes present in biotin helps in the metabolism of leucine which is an essential amino acid.
- All-in-all the biotin supports many enzymes required for carbs, fats and protein metabolism which results in improved energy production for the body.
Reduces cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein known as the bad cholesterol can lead to heart ailments. It can also lead to heart attack and stroke if left untreated. If you have high LDL, biotin consumption can help in bringing it back to a reasonable number. As per research, it lowers LDL and increases the HDL which is the good cholesterol. It can aid in reducing the inflammation and buildup of plaque in the arteries. So it can lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Regulates blood sugar levels: A study conducted by a therapy center in Texas has found that biotin, when used in combination with chromium picolinate, can aid in lowering glucose levels. It was found especially useful in obese patients who have type 2 diabetes. Also, biotin deficiency is found to have lead to glucose intolerance and lesser utilization of glucose.
Improves skin health: Lack of required amount of biotin in the body can cause many skin ailments. It can include itching, rashes, dermatitis, acne or even psoriasis. B Vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the functioning of the hormones. That plays a key role in skin health too. The toxins present in and out of the skin can cause the nervous system to manifest itself on the skin. Consuming biotin supplements or food can nourish the skin and remove those toxins.
Thickens hair: Stimulating hair growth is among the biggest benefits of biotin. It can make the hair look thick, lustrous and also aid in quick growth. It is best for people who have brittle or have no luster in their hair. Biotin supplements are also useful for people who have dry and brittle hair due to nutrient deficiencies or for people whose digestive systems are unable to absorb vitamins and nutrients.
Make nails stronger: Apart from making the skin and hair look healthy, it is also known to make the nails stronger. As per studies, people who consume biotin supplements can increase their nail thickness by up to 25%. It also resulted in less breakage and splitting.
Biotin is an essential nutrient which aids in the normal functioning of the body. If you are not getting enough of it from the food you eat, supplements can help. Along with this B-complex vitamin, having a healthy diet and a regular exercise program helps in maintaining optimal health.