Biotin (Vitamin B7) also known as Vitamin H, is a water-soluble vitamin which is why it must be taken daily since it is not stored in the body. Your body needs biotin to help in the conversion of fatty acids and glucose into energy.
Biotin reacts together with cell enzymes to build amino acids, which form proteins like keratin which builds up our hair structure. Biotin in our bodies is responsible for hair, skin and nail growth. Biotin leads to fast hair growth in about 3-5 weeks of use, the hair grows fuller, thicker and darker.
The keratin structure helps strengthen the hair shaft at the hair roots and reduces hair loss and produces longer hair. Besides hair growth and all biotin has many side benefits such as its beneficial in keeping the nerves working well, functioning of the digestive tract, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol.
If you are not getting enough biotin you may experience hair loss or scaly red rash. But deficiency is rare; most of the biotin you get from your diet is enough. But, in reality, we may not be able to get enough biotin from our diets as our food choices may not provide all the biotin we need. For this reason, we have to take biotin pills for hair growth, skin and nail growth.
Foods Rich in Biotin
Your diet may be providing your biotin needs, but you may need to increase your intake, you can add more biotin-rich foods into your diet, some include:
- Egg yolk
- Whole grains
- Nuts, such as Almonds, peanuts, and walnuts.
- Meats, such as Liver or kidney
- And Salmon
Biotin is heat sensitive thus; opt for raw and less processed foods
Advantages of Biotin
Vitamin H as it is known elsewhere is not only an important member of the vitamin B-complex family, but it has several benefits besides fastening hair growth.
Biotin has been known as the best hair, skin and nail growth accelerator, more the reason why most cosmetic manufacturers now fortify their cosmetic products such hair gels and hair shampoos with pro-vitamin B or vitamin H, for hair growth to Body Lotions with biotin which claim to give users a new younger skin tone. Most people take biotin pills for hair for enhancing their beauty, particularly youthful women to those past 50 years.
Moderates Blood Sugar
Since biotin helps create fatty acids by converting glucose and using it to produce energy. This helps mop up excess sugars in the blood of type 2 diabetics while lowering blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes.
Healthier Fetal Development
There has been a strong case for biotin in the healthier development of the fetus, thus biotin is highly recommended alongside folic acid for pregnant women to help reduce birth defects and lead to delivery of healthy babies with normal body weight.
Breastfeeding women might not able to provide enough biotin in their milk thus leading to biotin deficiency in their children. These women can supplement their biotin requirements by taking biotin pills.
Improves Cognitive function
Biotin alongside other B complex vitamins helps protect your brain, better your concentration and give you a positive outlook. Biotin stacked with other B complex vitamins assists in improving your memory and cognitive function as well as reducing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Side effects of Biotin Supplements
Biotin pills have been noted to react adversely with certain drugs such as anti-seizure and cholesterol lowering drugs; high biotin dosage lowers the effectiveness of these drugs and may increase their symptoms.
Though rare, biotin supplement intake has been associated with allergic reactions such as nausea, tightness, and pain in the chest, itchy rashes, and swelling of the throat. In cases of allergies, you may need to consult your doctor pronto!
Effects During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a delicate period in woman’s life. Taking high doses of biotin during pregnancy may lead to miscarriage it is, therefore, important to consult with your doctor before using biotin pills.
May Cause Diarrhea
High doses of biotin supplement may lead to stomach cramps and diarrhea. In such cases, it’s advised to stop taking the pills immediately.
Increase of Blood Sugar
Biotin can raise the production of fatty acids and glucose in the body. Biotin supplement may not be recommended for those with diabetes. It is wise to consult a doctor to avoid chances of overdosing biotin supplement if you are diabetic
Biotin supplements vary depending on the person needs, but there is a general dosage of between 30mcg-100mcg. However, you may need to consult with your doctor for dosage guidance. You can begin taking biotin supplements at any stage in life.
Lofty claims that biotin supplements can help can help grow longer, stronger and healthier hair, skin and nails have created a legion of beauty conscious generation of pill-popping women whose main goal is to reap the benefits of biotin pills for hair growth.
However, apart from the hype, biotin has found many other uses such as lowering cholesterol and improving cognitive function and brain health. But before popping those biotin pills you may need to consult with your doctor for safety advice.