Here’s the thing: It’s actually pretty rare to have a biotin deficiency if you eat a varied diet, Cording says. The Mayo Clinic specifically cites conditions like a genetic disorder of biotin deficiency, seborrheic dermatitis in babies (a skin condition that causes a scaly, itchy rash), and surgical removal of the stomach as possible causes of a biotin deficiency. A heavy drinking habit can also inhibit your body’s ability to absorb biotin, the NIH says.

At least a third of pregnant women have a slight biotin deficiency, even when they have more than the average amount of it in their diet.

Things are a little different during pregnancy, though: At least a third of pregnant women have a slight biotin deficiency, even when they have more than the average amount of biotin in their diet, the NIH says. A biotin deficiency can cause a skin rash around your eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as seizures, brittle nails, and thinning hair, Angelone says.

If you suspect you have a biotin deficiency, talk to your doctor: She can order a blood test to find out whether that’s the case.

What should I know about taking a biotin supplement?

For starters, many biotin supplements contain way more biotin than the generally accepted amount you need per day, with many supplements containing anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 micrograms of biotin per pill. If you take too much biotin, it’s likely that you’ll just pee out what you don’t need, Cording says. The NIH even says that there’s no evidence that biotin is toxic at high levels.

But there’s something else that’s really important to keep in mind. “Taking biotin supplements might interfere with the results of many different lab tests that test the blood,” Warren says. The FDA specifically warned about this in 2017, releasing a safety communication that states that biotin can “significantly interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect test results which may go undetected.” The FDA reports that they’ve seen an increase in the number of “adverse events” that have been reported due to incorrect test results from biotin, including one death. That’s why it’s so important to let your doctor know in advance if you’re taking biotin (or any supplements), Warren says.

If you’re on biotin supplements and you have an upcoming scheduled blood test, Angelone recommends stopping the supplements three days before your lab work. (It’s still a good idea to let your doctor know you’ve been taking them, though.) Biotin supplements can also interfere with medication, including anticonvulsants, so be sure to flag them to your doctor if you’re taking any regular medication.

If you want to take a biotin supplement, you’re probably OK to do so — just mention it to your doctor first to make sure there are no potential issues with your health. And if you’re diagnosed as having a biotin deficiency, talk to your doctor about how much more biotin you’ll need, plus which supplements might be right for you. Here are a few to consider.

Courtesy of brand

This supplement is suitable for vegetarians and is gluten-, wheat-, and dairy-free. Since it’s especially potent, it’s likely best for people with an actual biotin deficiency.

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These tablets contain a few extra vitamins in addition to biotin, including A, C, E, and B6. They’re also easy enough to digest that you can take them on an empty stomach.

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If you’d rather chew your vitamins, Sundown Naturals has you covered with gummies in natural grape, orange, and cherry flavors.

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Read more stories about supplements and nutrition:

  • How to Tell Whether You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D
  • What You Should Know Before Taking Probiotics
  • Do You Need Protein Powder Supplements? Here’s What Nutritionists Say

Now, watch what makes this cystic acne sufferer feel beautiful:

Contents

Are Biotin Supplements the Miracle Beauty Fix Everyone Says They Are?

Getty Images/kokouu

If you’ve ever wanted longer hair or stronger nails, you’ve probably heard of—or even taken—biotin. The vitamin is the star of the show in a wide array of beauty and hair supplements, but is there any validity to all of the biotin buzz? We asked top dermatologists to weigh in.

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 and vitamin H, is one of many B-complex vitamins, says Gretchen Frieling, M.D., a dermatopathologist in Boston. “It’s a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it’s not stored in the body and any excess is eliminated through urine,” she explains.

There are plenty of biotin-rich foods, including ones most of us eat daily, like almonds, sunflower seeds, egg yolks, dairy, avocados, sweet potatoes, and spinach. Most people get plenty of biotin via their diet (clipboard that thought; we’ll get back to it in a minute), says dermatologist Keira Barr, M.D., who adds that it’s also produced by the bacteria in your gut.

What does biotin do?

The vitamin is essential for overall health, not just healthy skin and nails. “It’s useful in metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy, meaning it’s important for metabolic health, as well as for maintaining nervous system functions,” says Dr. Frieling, who adds that it’s also essential for embryonic growth during pregnancy and that some studies have shown it can also reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.

What are the beauty benefits of biotin?

The big takeaway here: Biotin is, in fact, an essential nutrient for healthy skin, hair, and nails, says Dr. Frieling.

And there have been studies to back this up. For example, clinical studies show that biotin supplements can improve hair growth, says Howard Sobel, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologic surgeon based in New York, and director of Sobel Skin. A daily 2.5 mcg biotin supplement improved nail thickness and reduced flaking after several months, according to a small Journal of Dermatological Treatment study.

Credit the vitamin’s effect on keratin. Biotin has been found to strengthen the infrastructure of keratin, a key protein found in both our hair and nails. There’s also been some indication that biotin supplementation can help alleviate dry, itchy rashes, which is likely linked to its ability to produce skin-nourishing fatty acids.

The caveat? All of these studies and reported benefits all occur in people who are biotin deficient to begin with. And, per our earlier point, very few people actually have a true biotin deficiency since it’s found in so many of the foods we eat.

Case in point: While there’s no recommended dietary allowance for biotin, according to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily intake for teens and adults is 30 mcg to 100 mcg. Per the National Institutes of Health in Western populations, average intake is 35-70 mcg. In other words, most people are getting enough of the vitamin without needing to take supplements. So, basically, if you’re not biotin deficient, popping that supplement may not have much of an effect on your hair, skin, or nails.

But it most likely won’t hurt, either. “There hasn’t been a large-scale study of biotin effects on normal hair, but it doesn’t mean that biotin doesn’t help normal hair grow healthier and faster,” says Dr. Sobel.

Dr. Frieling adds that biotin is generally safe to take even if you’re not deficient. Plus, many of the more beauty-focused supplements blend it with a host of other nutrients and vitamins, too. (Fun stat alert: In a survey of 300 dermatologists, 66 percent said they recommend dietary supplements to their patients, and 81 percent of those were for reasons related to hair, skin, and nails.)

A few to try:

  1. Hair La Vie Clinical Formula Hair Vitamins has 5000 mcg of biotin, plus 20 different natural ingredients such as flaxseed and bamboo stem. (Buy It, $60, hairlavie.com)
  2. Better Not Younger Significant Other Hair Fortifying Vitamins also have vitamins A, C, D3, and zinc. (Buy It, $25, better-notyounger.com)
  3. myKind Organics Hair, Skin & Nail contains 2500 mcg of biotin and other good-for-your looks antioxidants, all derived from fruits, veggies, and herbs. (Buy It, $20, amazon.com)
  4. Nutrafol Core for Women uses biotin and a laundry list of studied plant extracts and antioxidants. (Buy It, $88, nutrafol.com)

Does biotin have any side effects?

If you want to give it a try, go for it (just keep your expectations realistic), but it’s important to talk to your doctor before you start popping biotin on the reg for a few reasons.

One, if you’re trying to address an issue such as hair loss, brittle nails, or dry scaly rashes (all symptoms of a biotin deficiency, FYI) you want to make sure that there’s not something else causing those problems.

Two, biotin supplementation can make some funky stuff show up on blood work: “The FDA issued a recent warning that biotin consumption might significantly interfere with laboratory testing,” warns Dr. Barr. “It can affect various blood tests, leading to false negatives or false positives,” adds Dr. Sobel.

It’s worth being cautious if you struggle with acne. “We’re seeing a link between biotin intake and increased acne, because excess biotin actually decreases the amount of vitamin B5 that’s absorbed, a vitamin thought to help protect the skin’s protective barrier and to help reduce acne,” explains Dr. Sobel.

Do you need to take it as a pill?

No, but you’ll probably have better results. “Given that our microbiome and gut bacteria play a role in synthesizing biotin, the bioavailability of the vitamin would be most readily available from an ingestible,” says Dr. Barr.

Still, even though all of the current studies have been done with ingested biotin supplements versus topical applications, it doesn’t hurt to use hair products or nail solution with biotin in it, adds Dr. Sobel.

And per our same point as with the supplements, many contain other ingredients that can be beneficial. The Foligain Triple Action Targeted Formula for Thinning Hair for Women (Buy It, $30, amazon.com) contains both copper peptides and biotin, while the OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo ($8; ulta.com) also has wheat protein and collagen to plump up strands. And for weak nails, swipe on the Butter London Horse Power Nail Rescue Basecoat (Buy It, $18, amazon.com) which contains both strengthening biotin and horesetail extract.

  • By Melanie Rud

Biotin acts as a coenzyme in the body that’s needed for the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids and glucose. This means that when we eat foods that are sources of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, biotin —also called vitamin B7 — must be present in order to convert and use these macronutrients.

Our bodies then have the energy they need to carry out physical activities, for proper psychological functioning, and for growth.

Biotin benefits include helping to give us a young, attractive appearance since this vitamin plays a major part in maintaining the health of our hair, nails and skin.

In fact, it sometimes gets the nickname the “H” vitamin. This stems from the German words Haar and Haut, which mean “hair and skin.”

Is biotin for hair growth a real possibility? Thinning hair is one symptom that is tied to biotin deficiency.

Vitamin B7is commonly added to hair and skin beauty products, although it’s believed to not be absorbed very well through the skin. Some research suggests you get the most biotin benefits when it’s ingested from either food sources or supplements.

What’s the best way to obtain biotin from your diet? By eating biotin foods — things like organ meats, eggs, avocado, cauliflower, berries, fish, legumes and mushrooms.

What Is Biotin?

Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a water-soluble vitamin that’s a part of the vitamin B complex — a group of key nutrients needed for healthy metabolic, nerve, digestive and cardiovascular functions.

A vitamin B7/biotin deficiency is rare in nations where people generally consume enough calories and food in general. This is mainly because of three reasons:

  1. The recommended daily requirements are relatively low
  2. Many biotin foods are commonly eaten
  3. Researchers believe our intestinal digestive bacteria have the ability to create some biotin on their own

Biotin Products

Biotin products have recently become a trend among consumers wishing to have longer, healthier hair and nails. If you’re looking to take a biotin supplement for this purpose or for other health improvements, you have several options, such as: biotin pills, biotin vitamins that include other B vitamins, skincare serums and lotions that contain biotin, and biotin shampoos.

Supplements are available over-the-counter in tablet or capsule forms, and you can also find liquid biotin online or in your local vitamin shop.

Vitamin B7 can also be found as part of B-complex supplements, which include a full spectrum of B vitamins, including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin B2 riboflavin and vitamin B3 niacin. Together, the B vitamin complex supports metabolism activity, brain functions, nerve signaling and many other important daily functions.

The vitamins also work with one another, so taking B vitamins together is always the best way to ensure you’ll get the most results.

If you want to try biotin supplements, start with smaller doses and work your way up if you’re noticing positive changes. Keep in mind that not all types are created equal.

To get the most biotin benefits, purchase a high-quality multivitamin or supplement product that is made from real food sources and doesn’t contain fillers or toxins in order to get the most benefits. These are made by joining together different collaborative nutrients so your body recognizes the vitamins and minerals and can use them in a synergistic way — similar to how they appear in food sources.

Will Taking Biotin for Hair Growth Actually Help?

Here’s the good news for people who choose to take biotin for hair growth and younger-looking skin: There’s some evidence to suggest that biotin benefits may be helpful, although research focused on biotin for hair health and skin renewal is limited and somewhat lacking.

We do know that biotin benefits extend to helping build proteins needed to maintain youthful hair and skin, including keratin.

At least several studies, including one published in Dermatology Research and Practice and another in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, have found evidence that taking supplements daily that include biotin for about 3 to 6 month can help to promote hair growth and reduce hair loss/shedding. One of these studies found that compared to control-treated subjects, those taking the biotin-containing supplements perceived improvements in overall hair volume, scalp coverage, and thickness of hair body after 90 days, and hair shine, skin moisture retention, and skin smoothness after 180 days.

A 2017 review focused on the effectiveness of biotin for hair growth states that “we found 18 reported cases of biotin use for hair and nail changes. In all cases, patients receiving biotin supplementation had an underlying pathology for poor hair or nail growth. All cases showed evidence of clinical improvement after receiving biotin.”

That being said, according to the conclusion of the review, biotin supplementation may only really be effective if someone is deficient (which is rare).

The authors of the review note, “In cases of acquired and inherited causes of biotin deficiency as well as pathologies, such as brittle nail syndrome or uncombable hair, biotin supplementation may be of benefit. However, we propose these cases are uncommon and that there is lack of sufficient evidence for supplementation in healthy individuals.”

Biotin Benefits

1. Supports a Healthy Metabolism

Biotin regulates gene expressions that are critical for carrying out functions of the metabolism. Vitamin B7, along with other B vitamins, is needed to convert the food you eat into useable energy that supports a healthy metabolism.

It does this in several ways:

  • It converts glucose from carbohydrates and sugar sources into useable “fuel” that is the body’s preferred source of energy.
  • It helps the body use amino acids from proteins to carry out multiple body functions.
  • It activates fatty acids from fat-containing foods like oils or animal fats.

Without enough vitamin B7 present in the body, symptoms of a sluggish metabolism may appear like low energy levels, fatigue, weight gain, digestive problems, possible development of diabetes, changes in appetite, poor moods and more.

Only once the body can use macronutrients from food for energy will normal, healthy metabolic activity take place. Vitamin B7 also improves the metabolism and utilization of glucose, offering some protection against insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes.

2. May Improve Glucose Intolerance and Help Balance Blood Sugar

Vitamin B7, especially when combined with chromium, has been shown to help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. This is especially true for those who have blood glucose (sugar) levels that are not controlled well by prescription medicines.

Biotin benefits blood glucose levels because it facilitates the activity of insulin, which is the crucial hormone needed to bring blood sugar back to a balanced state. Better insulin response helps to reduce the risk of widely fluctuating blood sugar levels, which can lead to prediabetes symptoms, type 2 diabetes, weight gain and forms of metabolic syndrome.

Biotin decreases the expression of enzymes that stimulate glucose production by the liver, therefore less sugar is released into the bloodstream. For this reason, vitamin B7 deficiency has been linked to impaired glucose tolerance and decreased utilization of glucose, which are risk factors for diabetes.

Vitamin B7 can also help reduce symptoms of existing cases of diabetes, including nerve pain.

3. Maintains Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

Vitamin B7 is needed to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails, so when someone experiences a vitamin B7 deficiency, symptoms may manifest in the form of thinning, splitting and brittle hair, or dermatitis that results in dry, irritated skin.

How does biotin help hair growth? Taking a biotin supplement (or “vitamin for hair growth,” as some supplements may be marketed) can help to reverse deficiency in this vitamin and support production of proteins and enzymes that are needed for hair growth.

Biotin benefits hair since it’s been shown to help decrease alopecia (hair loss) in adults and to improve protein synthesis and the infrastructure of keratin, which is a protein that makes up hair, skin and nails. Keep in mind that research shows deficiency in other nutrients, such as zinc, selenium and iron may also contribute to thinning hair, not to mention that many health conditions such as hormonal imbalances/endocrine disorders may be to blame.

According to studies, taking high doses of biotin can also help treat weak hair and brittle nails. In fact, this benefit of vitamin B7 was first discovered when horses were effectively treated with biotin to correct problems with the horses’ hoofs becoming brittle and cracked.

Other biotin benefits include helping to protect skin from acne, fungal infections, rashes and severe dryness and cracking.

Something important to note is that although biotin is included in many cosmetic face creams, hair masques and other over-the-counter beauty products, it appears to be much more effective when it’s ingested/eaten, rather than applied topically.

4. Protects Brain Function and Fights Cognitive Decline

Biotin benefits the health of the nervous system because of its role in nerve signaling and neurotransmitter activity. B vitamins together influence memory function and defend against age-related cognitive impairment, such as neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Because of their role in synthesizing hormones that are related to a mood regulation, B vitamins like vitamin B7 help to keep up a positive mindset, boost energy and increase concentration.

5. Helps Maintain a Healthy Cardiovascular System

B vitamins like vitamin B7 play a part in defending against common causes of heart disease including inflammation, atherosclerosis (or plaque build-up in the arteries), heart attacks and stroke.

Vitamin B7 and chromium together can help improve cholesterol levels, according to some studies. Vitamin B7 has been shown to have positive results with increasing “good” HDL cholesterol, while helping to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

This is especially true in people with diabetes who are susceptible to heart disease.

6. Supports Thyroid and Adrenal Function

B vitamins like vitamin B7/biotin are needed for proper thyroid activity and defending against adrenal fatigue. The thyroid plant and adrenal gland are “master” glands that are responsible for multiple body states, including hunger, sleep, pain perception, mood and energy.

A deficiency in B vitamins can result in thyroid and adrenal complications — and thus create many negative symptoms, such as fatigue, weight gain or loss, trouble sleeping, and more.

That being said, there’s evidence that taking very high doses of biotin can lead to incorrect results on various thyroid/endocrine laboratory tests, so working with your doctor if you have a history of thyroid dysfunction is important.

7. Needed to Build and Repair Tissues and Muscles

Biotin benefits include helping the growth and maintenance of bodily tissues, including to help repair and build muscles. When tissue or muscle is broken down, B vitamins like vitamin B7 biotin work to build back the strength of muscle and tissue that leads to growth.

B vitamins also help reduce inflammation that can result in muscle or joint aches, pains, or trouble moving. Even more seriously, a deficiency in vitamin B7 and other B vitamins can stunt growth and result in improper development in fetuses and infants.

This is one reason why acquiring enough vitamin B7/ biotin and all other B vitamins is crucial during pregnancy.

Supplement Dosage and RDA of ‘Vitamin B7’

Most healthy adults meet biotin requirements through a well-balanced diet. Keep in mind that in supplement form, common biotin dosages range from 1,000 micrograms to 10,000 micrograms, which is much higher than your daily recommended value, or the amount considered to be an “adequate intake.”

“Recommended daily allowances” (RDAs or RDIs) of biotin have not been established due to a lack of sufficient evidence. According to the National Institutes of Health, the “Adequate Intake” (the level that is assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy) to obtain biotin benefits for different age groups is as follows:

  • 5 micrograms daily for infants
  • 6–8 micrograms daily for infants ages 7 months to 3 years old
  • 12–20 micrograms daily for children ages 4–13 years old
  • 25 micrograms for adolescents
  • 30 micrograms for male and female adults over 19 years old
  • 30 milligrams for pregnant women and 35 milligrams for women who are breastfeeding

How much biotin should you take for hair growth? The proper dosage depends on a few factors, including your age and whether or not you have a biotin deficiency.

When it comes to using biotin benefits for hair loss/to promote growth, you can start by taking 1,0000 mcg of biotin daily and increasing the amount of biotin foods you consume in a day. A general recommendation is try working your way up to taking about 2.5 to 3 mg (or 2,500 to 3,000 mcg) daily, which will cover your needs and then some.

Having dry, irritated skin, brittle hair or hair loss, a lack or energy or chronic fatigue, or going digestive and intestinal tract issues can all be signs that you may not be getting enough biotin. Why might you be low in biotin, and therefore benefit from taking a higher biotin dosage?

According to an article that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, some underlying causes of biotin deficiency include:

  • pregnancy
  • long-term use of certain anti-seizure medications
  • excessive alcohol use
  • consuming lots of raw egg whites
  • smoking
  • prolonged antibiotic use
  • intestinal malabsorption issues or serious digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease or leaky gut syndrome.

Food Sources

Experts estimate that in Western populations, typical dietary intake of biotin is between 35 and 70 mcg per day. You ideally want to ingest small amounts of vitamin B7 daily from a variety of biotin foods in order to keep your body’s supply high enough.

There are actually eight different forms of biotin, but only one is naturally occurring — the kind found in food sources. This type is called “D-biotin” and is believed to be the only type that has full vitamin capabilities.

This is another example of why it’s always best to get your vitamins and minerals from real food sources whenever possible, since they include nutrients just as nature intended for the body to use.

Which foods are high in biotin? In 2004, when researchers examined 51 different foods to identify how much biotin was available, they found a wide range of varying biotin levels within each food.

For those reasons, many authorities (including the USDA) do not list the amount of biotin available in common foods. However, according to studies, the foods below were some of the highest to be tested, although you will see the amount of biotin within each still ranges quite a bit.

Here’s a list of the top biotin-rich foods to include in your diet regularly:

  • Liver — 3 ounces cooked: 27–35 milligrams
  • Eggs — 1 whole: 13–25 milligrams
  • Yeast — 7 grams/about 1 tablespoon: 1.4–14 milligrams
  • Salmon — 3 ounces: 4–5 milligrams
  • Cheese (try organic goat cheese) — 1 ounce: 0.4–2 milligrams
  • Avocado — 1 whole: 2-6 milligrams
  • Raspberries — 1 cup: 0.2–2 milligrams
  • Cauliflower — 1 cup: 0.2–2 milligrams
  • Whole Grain Bread (try Ezekiel bread) — 1 slice: 0.2–6 milligrams
  • Additionally, other berries, mushrooms and other types of fish are also thought to be good sources of biotin.

Interestingly, vitamin B7 is found exclusively in the yolk of the egg and is not at all present in egg whites. Some reports have shown that not only do people miss out on B vitamins when they only eat egg whites and discard the yolk, but that egg whites actually have the ability to deplete the effects of B vitamins, too — possibly even creating a vitamin B7 deficiency.

To get more biotin benefits from your diet naturally, try some of these recipe ideas that include the top biotin foods mentioned above:

  • For healthy breakfast or lunch ideas, you can make one of these many protein and nutrient-packed egg recipes
  • For lunch, have some biotin-rich berries in this Berry Goat Cheese Salad or as a snack, have a Frozen Berry Coconut and Lime Smoothie.
  • If you like cauliflower, try Lemon Roasted Cauliflower or healthy Cauliflower Mac’ and Cheese.
  • For ideas for side dishes rich in vitamin B7, try having some avocado in this Mango Avocado Salsa recipe or this Creamy Cucumber Avocado Soup. For plenty more ideas, pick out a recipe from this list of 50 Amazing Avocado Recipes.

Risks, Side Effects and Interactions

Are there side effects to taking biotin? Biotin side effects for rare because this vitamin (like other B vitamins) is water-soluble, which means it travels in the bloodstream and any excess or unused quantities present in the body are eliminated through urine.

Therefore, the body doesn’t build up reserves of biotin, and it’s very difficult to consume too much or to reach toxic levels.

Very few side effects have been reported when taking doses that are less than 10 milligrams per day. So taking biotin pills or supplements is considered safe when the dosage is within the recommended amounts.

That being said, it’s possible to experience minor adverse reactions like indigestion, nausea, cramping or diarrhea. And if someone were to take a very high dose for an extended period of time they may possibly develop biotin overdose symptoms like skin rashes, lower vitamin C and B6 levels, and high blood sugar levels.

Certain medications — including the skin medication isotretinoin (Accutane) that is prescribed for acne — may reduce the activity of vitamin B7. Abnormally high doses of other B vitamins like pantothenic acid can also lower levels of vitamin B7 biotin in the body.

Vitamin B7 levels may also be affected if someone is taking anti-seizure medications or oral antibiotics, or if they have a known digestive disorder that can disrupt normal intestinal bacteria levels.

The bottom line? True of all B vitamins, very high doses of vitamins from supplements can impact doses of others, so it’s always advised to only take the recommended dose, unless your doctor advises you otherwise.

Final Thoughts

  • Biotin, also called vitamin B7, is a water-soluble vitamin that’s a part of the vitamin B complex — a group of key nutrients needed for healthy metabolic, nerve, digestive and cardiovascular functions.
  • Biotin benefits include supporting your metabolism, glucose tolerance, heart health, muscles and tissues, and skin and hair health.
  • Does taking it for hair growth work? This vitamin has been shown in limited studies to help decrease alopecia (hair loss) in adults and to improve protein synthesis and the infrastructure of keratin, which is a protein that makes up hair, skin and nails, among other biotin benefits.
  • Deficiency in vitamin B7 is rare because it’s found in many foods such as meat, fish, cheese, legumes, nuts, eggs, etc. In supplement form, dosage recommendations range from about 1 mg to 3 mg (or 1,000 to 3,000 mcg) daily, which will cover your daily needs and then some.
  • What are the side effects? Side effects are rare, but when taken in very high doses may include indigestion, skin rashes, lower vitamin C and B6 levels, and high blood sugar levels.

What are the health benefits of biotin?

Biotin has a range of possible benefits

1. Macronutrient metabolism

Biotin is important for energy production. For example, several enzymes need it to function properly.

These enzymes are involved in carb, fat and protein metabolism. They initiate critical steps in the metabolic processes of these nutrients.

Biotin plays a role in:

  • Gluconeogenesis: This metabolic pathway enables glucose production from sources other than carbs, such as amino acids. Biotin-containing enzymes help initiate this process.
  • Fatty acid synthesis: Biotin assists enzymes that activate reactions important for the production of fatty acids.
  • The breakdown of amino acids: Biotin-containing enzymes are involved in the metabolism of several important amino acids, including leucine.

Summary: Biotin assists in energy production. It supports a number of enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbs, fats, and protein.

2. Brittle Nails

Brittle nails are weak and easily become chipped, split or cracked.

It’s a common condition, estimated to affect around 20 percent of the world’s population.

Biotin may benefit brittle nails (7).

In one study, 8 people with brittle nails were given 2.5 mg of biotin per day for 6 to 15 months. Nail thickness improved by 25% in all 8 participants. Nail splitting was also reduced (8).

Another study of 35 people with brittle nails found 2.5 mg of biotin per day for 1.5 to 7 months improved symptoms in 67% of participants (9).

However, these studies were small and more research is needed.

Summary: Brittle nails are fragile and easily become split or cracked. Biotin supplements may help strengthen the nails.

3. Hair health

Biotin is often associated with increased hair growth and healthier, stronger hair.

There is very little evidence to support this.

However, a deficiency in biotin may lead to hair loss, which indicates that the vitamin is important for hair (2, 10).

While it is often marketed as an alternative treatment for hair loss, only people with an actual biotin deficiency get significant benefit from supplementing (11).

It is recommended that people with biotin deficiency take 30 to 100 micrograms (mcg) per day. Infants would need a smaller dose of 10 to 30 mcg.

Whether it improves hair growth in healthy people has yet to be determined.

Summary: Biotin is claimed to promote hair growth and healthy hair, but the evidence is weak. However, deficiency has been linked to hair loss, and those who are actually deficient may benefit from supplementing.

4. Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Biotin is important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. These life stages have been associated with an increased requirement for this vitamin (12, 13).

In fact, it has been estimated that up to 50% of pregnant women may develop a mild biotin deficiency. This means that it may start to affect their well-being slightly, but isn’t severe enough to cause noticeable symptoms (14, 15, 16).

Deficiencies are thought to occur due to the faster biotin breakdown within the body during pregnancy (17).

Additionally, a major cause for concern is that animal studies have found that a biotin deficiency during pregnancy may cause birth defects (18, 19, 20).

Nevertheless, remember to always consult your doctor or dietitian/nutritionist before taking supplements during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Summary: If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, your biotin requirements may go up. Up to 50% of women may get less of this vitamin than they need during pregnancy.

5. Reduced blood sugar in people with diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease. It’s characterized by high blood sugar levels and impaired insulin function.

Researchers have studied how biotin supplements affect blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics.

Some evidence shows biotin concentrations in blood may be lower in people with diabetes, compared to healthy individuals (21).

Studies in diabetics given biotin alone have provided mixed results (21, 22).

However, several controlled studies indicate that biotin supplements, combined with the mineral chromium, may lower blood sugar levels in some people with type 2 diabetes (23, 24, 25, 26).

Summary: When combined with chromium, biotin may help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

6. Skin health

Biotin’s role in skin health isn’t well understood. However, it is known that you may get red, scaly skin rashes if you’re deficient (27, 28).

Some studies also suggest that biotin deficiency may sometimes cause a skin disorder called seborrheic dermatitis, also known as cradle cap (29, 30).

Biotin’s role in skin health may be related to its effect on fat metabolism, which is important for the skin and may be impaired when biotin is lacking (27).

There is no evidence showing that biotin improves skin health in people who aren’t deficient in the vitamin.

Summary: People with a biotin deficiency may experience skin problems. However, there is no evidence that the vitamin has benefits for skin in people who aren’t deficient.

7. Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease. In MS, the protective covering of nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord and eyes is damaged or destroyed (31).

This protective sheath is called myelin, and biotin is thought to be an important factor in producing it (32).

A pilot study in 23 people with progressive MS tested the use of high doses of biotin. Over 90% of participants had some degree of clinical improvement (33).

While this finding needs much more study, at least two randomized controlled trials have been carried out in people with progressive MS. The final results have not been published, but the preliminary results are promising (34, 35, 36).

Summary: High biotin doses hold promise for treating multiple sclerosis, a serious disease that affects the central nervous system.

Biotin 101: What is it and why your skin, hair & nails love it

If you’re looking to improve the quality of your skin, hair and nails, you may have heard people extolling the virtues of biotin. But what exactly is biotin, and what role does it play? The short story: biotin is a vitamin, and an essential one. It’s part of the family of B vitamins (which we know are great for our health, energy levels and mood). Biotin is thought to contribute to strong, healthy nails, hair and skin. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll see that biotin also plays a vital role in our whole system.

What is Biotin?

Biotin is a part of the B complex family of vitamins. B vitamins are crucial to our overall well-being. They help with physical and emotional health. Feeling frazzled? You may just be deficient in B vitamins.

Thankfully, it’s rare to be deficient in biotin. We only need small amounts as a daily requirement and it’s readily available in the average diet. Biotin deficiency is seen in conditions like celiac disease and sometimes in pregnancy. And when there is a deficiency, it will show up as dry, scaly skin, hair loss, brittle nails, and a number of other issues.

Biotin is key for keeping our metabolic, nervous, and digestive system healthy. Known as vitamin B7, or vitamin H, biotin is responsible for converting food into energy. Our metabolism needs biotin for top level functioning. And besides being a supporting player to the heavy hitters of our system, it also promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails.

Where do I get my Biotin?

Biotin is found in a wide variety of foods. The biotin in our diets typically comes from things like eggs, organ meats, soy, nuts, walnuts, whole grains, beans and legumes, cauliflower, and bananas.

Gut Health & Biotin

Digging into the role of biotin becomes even more interesting when you learn how it behaves in our little microbiome. Our gut is host to an amazing variety of bacteria. And in terms of your energy levels, mood and even your weight, they’re kind of running the show.

Not to get too black and white, but you can think of your gut bacteria in terms of good and bad. And both are needed for optimal gut health. In the world of the gut, balance is key. An imbalance means that the ‘bad’ bacteria outnumber the ‘good’ bacteria, and that’s when things go off the rails. Lifestyle factors like, lack of sleep, too much processed foods, sugars and even chronic stress can throw your whole system out of whack.

And when it comes to biotin in the gut, there is an interesting symbiotic relationship. You see, biotin is actually produced by gut bacteria. It’s also consumed by bacteria in the large intestine. In terms of biotin levels, balance really is key. One more reason to take charge of your gut health!

Top 6 Benefits of Biotin

1. Clear, Healthy Skin

In search of clear, glowing skin? While we know that people rely on supplements like collagen for skin health, biotin also has a role to play. While there isn’t currently enough research to suggest that taking biotin helps with skin health, the benefits can be inferred as biotin deficiency results in a number of skin issues including cracking skin on the sides of the mouth, rashes and cradle cap.

2. Good Hair Days

Biotin is often suggested as a supplement to improve the health of hair. In fact, biotin has been shown effective at helping with hair growth in women with thinning hair. A biotin deficiency has been directly linked to alopecia. Alopecia is a condition where the immune system goes haywire and attacks itself, resulting in temporary or permanent hair loss. Scientists have experimented with the production of gut bacteria that produce biotin and have linked it to hair loss (in mice).

3. Strong Nails

Nails feeling a little … fragile? Biotin can help. A recent study showed that biotin supplementation was effective in 91% of the participants to growing healthy, strong nails. Studies have also shown that women with brittle fingernails who supplemented with biotin experienced less fingernail splitting and an increase in thickness of their nail plates.

4. High Achiever Metabolism

The real heavy lifting of biotin comes from its key functions in metabolic processes. Biotin is an essential cofactor for a number of different metabolic processes, meaning it’s key in producing the energy we need. Not only does it break down fats, carbs and proteins, it’s also a key player in the formation of fatty acids and glucose. And speaking of metabolic functions … biotin seems to be playing a role in metabolic diseases like Type 2 Diabetes. When combined with chromium, biotin appears to lower blood glucose in people living with the disease.

5. Robust Immune System

Biotin plays a starring role in your immune system. It’s key in the production of white blood cells. White blood cells can be thought of as the defense mechanism in our body. Come into contact with bacteria or a virus? You want your white blood cell count in tip top shape to fight it off. Combine that with the fact that a healthy microbiome produces biotin,

6. Brain Function

Biotin is needed for myelin sheath production. Our myelin sheath covers our nerves, and assists with neurotransmitter activity and cognitive function. And when all systems are firing on all fronts? You’re unstoppable.

Now that we’re all schooled on the benefits of biotin, we know that making sure it’s available to our system is key for the health of our skin, hair, nails and major processes like metabolism and more.

But how to make sure you’re getting enough biotin? Besides eating a balanced diet and paying careful attention to your gut health, you can also find it as a supplement. Sproos Up Your Skin and Hair contains biotin as one of its superstar active ingredients. Add it to your water for a delicious, sugar free way to get your daily dose of collagen and biotin.

  • Biotin itself is just a fancy word for a type of B-vitamin, vitamin B-7 to be exact. This vitamin is linked with healthy hair, nails, and nerves. Doctors have even found that a lack of biotin is what can lead to hair loss in many individuals; therefore it is necessary to get your maximum daily allowance for healthy hair.

    B7 isn’t just for healthy nails and hair; your body also needs it to help your body process glucose. Additionally, you need biotin to help metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

    Biotin naturally occurs in foods like bananas, eggs, and milk. But you can also get it in in certain algae, molds, and yeasts.

    The vitamin is water-soluble, meaning if you take too much of it, your body will expel it through your urine. But, this also means that your body needs it continually.

    Because the human body cannot create biotin, you need it in your diet. And because it is water-soluble, your body doesn’t store it. You need to have some of it every single day in order for your body to function properly.

    And of course, if you want healthy hair and nails, you’ll need to ensure that you consume the recommended amount at least once per day.

    As this vitamin is so necessary for maintaining healthy hair, it’s sometimes nicknamed “vitamin H.”

    Almost supplement that helps you achieve long, luscious hair, will have biotin in it.

    Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

    Vitamin B is sometimes called folic acid. If you’ve ever been pregnant or gone on a journey to conceive a baby, you’ve more than likely taken folic acid. But it isn’t just for moms to be or women hoping to be mothers, it’s a crucial vitamin that’s in the majority of multi-vitamins.

    Not only that, but the vitamin itself is necessary in order to function, not to mention have a luscious head of hair.

    Folic acid works to help the body produce red blood cells. But, that’s not all it does. It can also help your body create DNA and RNA, as well as encourage cells to divide and grow. That means it can help your hair’s growth process moving along faster.

    You can get folic acid through vegetables and leafy greens, but it never hurts to have a little bit of extra through a vitamin supplement. As a bonus, if you become pregnant while taking folic acid, or a multi-vitamin with folic acid in it, you’re actively helping promote your unborn child’s health. The vitamin helps protect against spinal deformities and other congenital issues relating to the brain and spine specifically.

    If you’re on the mature side and trying to get your hair to grow as an older adult, taking folic acid can help cut down on age-related hearing loss. Losing hearing as an older adult is very common, so taking vitamins to help mitigate it is a great way to ensure you have healthy golden years.

    Vitamin A (Retinol)

    If you’ve ever even casually looked at anti-aging products, it’s likely you’ve heard the word retinol. Like biotin is to haircare, retinol is in almost every single item that helps reduce the signs of aging. This is partially because retinoids can help increase collagen and reduce the signs of fine lines and wrinkles.

    But how does this help your hair, you might ask? Well, it turns out, it’s got some great benefits for your mane as well.

    Vitamin A keeps skin healthy, which in turn helps keep your hair healthy. It also helps your immune system work to its highest potential, and a healthy immune system means healthy and gorgeous hair. With a healthy body, your system won’t be working to eliminate the illness, but instead to help you radiate health.

    As an added bonus, vitamin A works to keep your vision in its tip-top shape, especially in dim lighting. As you age, your vision also begins to deteriorate, so it is important to ensure you get the right amount of vitamin A.

    You can also thank vitamin A for helping keep the lining of your nose healthy–and keeping it moist when it needs to be.

    You can find vitamin A in many meats and dairy products, which can make it tricky for vegans to get their full amount of it. Most people get their daily allowance via milk, yogurt, oily fish, cheese and eggs. If you’re vegan or aren’t a dairy and fish fan, it’s important that you get a good supplement to keep your hair looking fly.

    Beta Carotene

    Beta carotene is often discussed in conjunction with vitamin A, which can be confusing to some people. They function identically, but you don’t always ingest them in the same way.

    Beta carotene converts into vitamin A once your body ingests it, so if you take a supplement with the mineral beta carotene, you’re also getting a supplement of the vitamin. Beta carotene is often found in leafy greens, but you can also get it in carrots and red peppers.

    It’s also rife in yellow fruits, especially papaya and mangoes. If you love your exotic fruit, you’re on your way to getting the correct amount of beta carotene in your diet.

    Essentially, beta carotene functions the same way as vitamin A, so once you’ve ingested it (either via food or supplementation), it works the same way. It will support your hair and your skin, keeping you looking glowing and with hair to-die-for.

    Vitamin C

    When you think of vitamin C, orange juice and other citrus drinks might immediately come to mind. You may also recall from grade school that a lack of vitamin C caused outbreaks of scurvy amongst olden day pirates who spent too long at sea without it.

    In western society, a lack of vitamin C is rare, as most food is fortified with it to prevent mass scurvy outbreaks. But eating fortified food in itself doesn’t always mean that you’re getting the correct amount of vitamin C–and as you’ve probably guessed, it is crucial to maintaining a healthy head of hair.

    Vitamin C not only helps with healing wounds and maintaining healthy skin, but it also protects cells. This means that it helps to protect the cells everywhere in your body: even in your hair.

    As a bonus, it helps with healthy bones, cartilage and blood vessels, all of which are necessary to keep your body in as healthy and strong as it can possibly be.

    You can get vitamin C from broccoli, strawberries, potatoes, and peppers in addition to the obvious: orange juice. Supplementation can also ensure you get enough of the vitamin to keep your body in working order.

    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is most closely associated with sunlight, and you’ve likely heard at some point that in order to get vitamin D, you need to get out in the sun. While that is one way of absorbing the vitamin, you can also get it through red meat, eggs, and fish in addition to taking a supplement.

    Not getting enough vitamin D can lead to serious complications, including a disease known as rickets. Most commonly a problem for children who are still developing, it can cause pain as well as soft bones.

    It goes without saying that vitamin D is necessary for adequate bone health, as it works to help keep the proper amount of calcium and phosphate in your body.

    Vitamin D also works to keep your teeth and muscles healthy, meaning it works on a variety of bodily systems. As such, it can also keep your crowning glory as healthy as possible, as well as ensure it grows.

    Biotin Benefits for Fitness Fans

    The benefits of biotin also extend to fitness fans, bodybuilders, and weightlifters too. People who consume protein shakes that contain raw egg have an increased risk of biotin deficiency. Raw egg white bonds to biotin so that it can’t be used in metabolism. This prevents it from supporting amino acid breakdown which is an important part of the muscle-building cycle. So, whilst you’re trying to increase muscle mass through a protein shake, you may actually be sabotaging your efforts. The odd raw egg won’t hurt, but frequent ingestion (such as regular shakes) can result in a significant deficiency. In this case, biotin supplementation may be beneficial to your training goals.

    During Pregnancy

    In the United States, up to 50% of pregnant women develop a slight biotin deficiency. This is especially common during the first few weeks. However, biotin supplementation (along with folic acid) can address the vitamin requirements of both mother and baby. This has been shown to reduce the likelihood of some health conditions, such as the nervous system and neural tube defects like spina bifida.

    Treatment of Diabetes

    One of the health benefits of biotin is its use in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Because biotin plays a role in carbohydrate breakdown, it can be prescribed as a health supplement for diabetic patients. It has been found to reduce the fasting blood sugar levels of people with diabetes.

    Smokers

    People who smoke may also be at risk of biotin deficiency. One study found that people who smoked also broke down and excreted biotin at a much faster rate than those who didn’t. This increases the chance of becoming deficient as the body cannot replace the lost biotin fast enough.

    People with Epilepsy

    Some medications such as anticonvulsants can reduce biotin levels. Anticonvulsants are commonly used to treat epilepsy and are thought to increase biotin breakdown, as well as inhibit absorption. If you take this type of medication, then consult your healthcare professional about whether biotin supplementation may be appropriate to maintain vitamin levels. However, it’s important to note that oral biotin supplements are affected in the same way by these medications and is one of the many situations where patches can be more effective.

    Beauty

    There are also many beauty-related benefits of biotin too. The vitamin can support the health and resilience of our hair, skin, and nails. Conversely, levels of biotin can lead to a deficiency that negatively impacts these key contributors to our looks.

    Tips and Tricks for Longer Hair That You Can Employ While Taking Your Vitamins and Supplements

    In this section, we’ll go over some of the natural ways to keep your hair longer and thicker. These tricks and tips should be performed in tandem with taking vitamins and supplements for the maximum benefit.

    Implement a regime of using the proper vitamins and supplements listed above and some of the tips below. You’ll be blown away by your princess-worthy mane in no time!

    First Tip for Hair Growth: Keep Your Hair Trimmed

    While this tip doesn’t involve vitamins and supplements, it’s still a time-honored tip that we had to include here. You can’t write a guide for ways to get long, thick hair without including it.

    The myth persists that if you cut your hair often enough, your hair will grow faster. Kind of like the myth that if you shave off your body hair, it’ll grow back with a vengeance.

    In reality, cutting and trimming your hair isn’t going to make a difference to overall hair growth, so you can skip your monthly trim every once in a while. However, it works by creating the illusion of longer, more luscious hair.

    Trimming away the flyaways and dead ends will instantly give your hair a lift and make you look runway ready.

    Cool It on the Lightening Hair Dye

    Every lady needs a secret, and for many, that’s her natural hair color. While dying your hair is a fun way to express yourself, it can also make your hair more prone to breakage and fragility. Going blonde over a long period of time over and over leads to hair that won’t grow past a certain length.

    If you’re doing everything possible to get your hair to grow and the last possible issue is your hair color, switch it up. Going with a darker color can make your hair healthier and longer.

    Give Your Hair a Break

    Avoid over-styling your hair with heat. In fact, only use heat when absolutely necessary. If you’re not going anywhere, try letting your hair air dry. If you want straight hair or beachy waves, you can easily find ways to create them without using heat.

    Additionally, you shouldn’t pull your hair too tightly too often. Wearing your hair in severe buns, braids, and other similar hairstyles can lead to breakage at the root. This means your hair might go thinner more quickly than usual, and you may even develop a bald spot where your hair has been tugged too often.

    Don’t Wash Your Hair Everyday

    The oil-phobes reading this article might freak out by these words, but it’s actually better to not try and wash your hair every single day. Doing so strips your hair of its natural oils, making it drier, prone to breakage and harder to grow. Instead, you want to keep the natural oils in your hair as much as possible, even if it doesn’t sound particularly glam.

    If you have trouble controlling oil in your hair, you can use dry shampoo or baby powder on your roots to soak up some of the excess oil. This way, your hair gets everything it needs without you looking like a T-Bird from Grease.

    Rinse Your Hair with Cold Water

    While a hot shower is a great way to relax, it isn’t always the kindest to your hair. Luxuriate in a hot shower or bath only when you’re not washing your hair and have a shower cap on. Or, switch the tap to cooler to finish off your bathing process.

    Cool water not only helps wake you up and get you ready for your day, but it also helps you keep your hair strong. It’s also said to help seal your hair cuticles, keeping your hair from breaking off at the root.

    Ultimately, Be Careful with Your Locks

    If your hair is tangled, don’t brush through it until it makes you cry. Not only is this an exercise in pain tolerance that’s thoroughly unnecessary, but it can also cause you to make your hair become weak. You can also inadvertently pull off a chunk of hair while trying to get your comb or brush through it.

    Instead, be very careful with how you comb or brush your hair, especially when your hair is wet. Brush your hair from the bottom and work your way up. If you brush your hair starting from the top and pulling to the bottom, the knots you have in your hair will just become bigger. After a while, you might need a pair of scissors to rid yourself of them!

    You should also try to brush your hair sparingly. This doesn’t mean turn up at your Monday morning meeting with a rat’s nest on your head, but you don’t need to brush your hair as often as you think you do. Better yet, choose styles that you can go comb-free with or that will allow you to skip combing it throughout the day for maintenance.

    Massage Your Scalp

    There’s a reason people pay extra at the salon to get a scalp massage: it feels really good. But beyond that, there are health benefits to it too. Having your scalp massaged can help increase circulation to your scalp, prompting your hair to grow even longer than it was before.

    If you want a truly luxe experience, try putting a tiny bit of coconut oil into your fingers before massaging your scalp. Or, have your significant other do it as a way to bond and get intimate.

    Biotin for Glowing Skin

    Biotin deficiency is associated with dermatitis and a red, scaly rash. A lack of vitamin means the body can’t break down and replace the fatty acids that are used to make new skin cells. However, a plentiful supply of biotin can help your body to regenerate skin cells quickly and easily. This ensures that your skin is constantly renewed and regenerated for that glowing look.

    Benefits of Biotin for Nail Health

    Biotin can also be beneficial for nail health as it helps to maintain a good supply of proteins. This complex vitamin contributes to their strength and avoids brittle nails that are easily damaged. If you find that your nails break or chip easily, then increasing your biotin intake may help.

    Vitamin supplementation can be helpful for anyone who wants to improve their health, looks, and energy levels. However, the benefits of biotin are especially relevant for people who are considering pregnancy, those who smoke, suffer from diabetes, or take anti-epileptic drugs.

    Patch MD’s Biotin Plus Topical Patch for Beauty

    While you can get most of these vitamins through food and supplementation, the Biotin Plus Topical Patch gives you everything you need for beauty without the extra fuss. Without the patch, there’s no need to sort through endless vitamins to try and find the right combination for a beautiful head of hair.

    You also won’t need to lug around a pharmacy any time you’re out for the day or if you decide to travel. Instead, you’ll have your patch or patches, which won’t take up much room at all.

    If you hate swallowing pills, you won’t need to worry about it. And, PatchMD is so simple and doesn’t involve taking vitamin injections as an alternative.

    It’s so simple to use that your kid could do it (and it sure beats fighting them to take their daily supplements and vitamins). You receive 6 patches in each pack, which look a little bit like Band-Aids. Peel them back, and place on an area of your body with little or no hair.

    As a bonus, they’re latex-free, meaning you won’t have to worry about waking up with any rashes or surprises.

    Leave each patch on for about eight hours and peel off and dispose.

    Reap the Benefits of Biotin Today

    We all want to look polished and feel our best. However, none of us has an excessive amount of time to commit to a lengthy and laborious supplement routine.

    Whether you’re exhibiting signs of a vitamin deficiency or you just want to improve your energy level and help alleviate certain medical conditions, biotin can get you there. The simplest way to reap all of its powerful benefits? Apply our Biotin Plus Topical Patch and get on with your day.

    Are you interested in learning more about this patch or our many others? Whether you want more energy, need to supercharge your workout, or just want to prevent or treat a hangover, we’ve got you covered.

    Feel free to contact us today to learn more.

    Our Biotin Plus Topical Patch supports your body with a high dose of biotin, along with folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D3. Patches allow for better absorption of vitamins and avoid any digestive discomfort or side effects that can sometimes arise from tablets. Each pack contains a 30-day supply of patches, which can be worn while you sleep or go about your daily routine. Check out the 5* reviews to see what other people think of our Biotin Plus Topical Patches.

    If you’ve been hanging out in your drugstore’s vitamin aisle lately, you’ve probably bumped into the newest cool kid on the block: biotin. Sellers of this beauty supplement make some pretty big promises. People claim it can give you hard-ass nails, hair that’s sleek AF, and flawless skin that could only otherwise be achieved by a Snap filter.

    It’s cheap and easy to access over the counter (plus celebs like Kylie Jenner post #ads for biotin for hair on IG), so it comes as no surprise that women are popping biotin in droves.

    But is this supplement really the godsend it claims to be? And are there any biotin side effects of biotin you should know about? Your guide, ahead.

    What is biotin, anyway?

    Biotin (a.k.a. vitamin B7 or H) is a B-complex vitamin that’s found in many foods, including eggs, milk, nuts, and grains, says Shaemah Khan, DO, diplomate of the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians and clinical associate of family medicine at University of Chicago Medicine. “One of the effects of biotin is that it helps turn the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the food you eat into the energy you need.”

    Related Story

    Because it’s water-soluble (meaning it dissolves in water), excess biotin isn’t stored in your body; it actually just flushes right out of you when you pee. But if you follow a healthy, balanced diet, it’s likely you already get all the biotin you could possibly need, anyway. (More on recommended biotin levels later.)

    But do you really need a ton of biotin to, ya know, live well? “Biotin deficiency is extremely rare because our bodies require only a very small amount, which is easily achieved if you’re eating a relatively normal American diet,” says Kimbre Zahn, MD, family medicine physician at Indiana University Health. “Additionally, our gut bacteria create biotin that gets absorbed systemically, .”

    Aside from being touted as a magic remedy for thinning hair, brittle nails, and dry, itchy skin, biotin supplements can sometimes be prescribed by doctors for other reasons too, like easing disabilities brought on by multiple sclerosis, alleviating diabetes and diabetes-related nerve damage, or encouraging baby growth and development during pregnancy, according to the National Library of Medicine.

    Tell me: Does biotin work for hair growth?

    Don’t get toooo excited. A few studies point to biotin as an effective supplement for hair growth, but the cold, hard truth is that there isn’t much scientific proof to show just how effective it really is at treating any of these health conditions—or whether there are long-term benefits to the dietary supplement.

    “While there are some preliminary studies that may suggest a benefit , overall there is a lack of evidence to support these claims,” says Dr. Zahn.

    Does biotin have side effects?

    Truth is, you’re most likely never going to hear about someone ODing on biotin. It almost never happens. “Side effects from having a high dose or overdose of biotin are rare,” says Dr. Khan. “Because it is so easily excreted in urine and feces, the body can simply get rid of any excess.”

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    However, hair, skin, and nails supplements do come with one warning: Even in small amounts of biotin, one of the side effects of biotin is that it can sometimes totally screw with your lab test results. This is especially true if you’re testing for issues with your thyroid or hormone levels, cardiac troponin levels (used to diagnose heart attacks), or vitamin D levels. This could lead to bogus results and misdiagnosis, which could potentially be dangerous or lead you to worry or spend money on medical procedures or meds unnecessarily.

    “The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) further warns that the biotin effect on the monitoring of cardiac troponin has resulted in at least one death due to a falsely reported low results,” says Michelle Galant, MD, dermatologist at Stanford Health Care.

    If you do take biotin, keep this in mind the next time your doc orders a routine lab test. “It’s best to disclose to your doctor and dietitian which supplements you are taking to avoid misdiagnosing a medical condition,” says Sandra Arévalo, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Association for Diabetes Educators, and director of nutrition services outreach for the community pediatrics programs at Montefiore Hospital.

    There’s no hard evidence that says exactly how long biotin stays in your system after you take it, so your doctor might recommend you stop taking the supplement a few days before you head to the lab.

    Another potential biotin side effect? While it’s supposed to strengthen hair, skin and nails, it could cause a skin rash if you’re taking large amounts of biotin. See your doctor if you develop a rash after taking biotin or increasing your dose. It should resolve itself if you lower the amount of biotin you’re taking or stop taking the supplement altogether.

    Should I even bother taking biotin?

    Honestly, probs not. Thanks to its lack of scientific backup and its reputation as a lab test saboteur, biotin isn’t generally recommended by most doctors. But if you still want to take it anyway, just make sure you’re buying a reputable brand (look for the “USP verified” on the label), and are aware of the side effects.

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    In terms of how much biotin you need, the recommended “adequate intake” (AI) level for biotin is up to 30 micrograms (mcg) for women 19 years old and up, says Arévalo. “Pregnant women should consume 30 mcg; 35 if nursing,” Arévalo adds.

    But remember: If you are eating a healthy diet that includes meats, seeds, nuts, and vegetables, you are most likely reaching this intake already, and the biotin side effects might not be worth it. “If you are skipping certain foods or food groups, it will be good to talk to a registered dietitian to help you find which nutrients you might be deficient in, and whether you need to supplement or just eat more of other foods,” says Arévalo.

    Kristin Canning Kristin Canning is the associate editor at Women’s Health, where she covers fitness, health, mental health, sex and relationships, nutrition, active travel and wellness entrepreneurs.

    Your Biotin Might Not Be Working, Unfortunately

    If you’re in the market for Rapunzel-length hair, then you’re surely familiar with biotin—there are biotin-infused shampoos, biotin scalp treatments, and the ever-popular biotin supplements…quite honestly, they’re hard to avoid. And they’re intriguing as hell, all promising substantial hair growth that’s thick and healthy.

    Given its ubiquity, seems like a ripe time for a definition: Biotin (also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H) belongs to the group of B vitamins. It’s found in foods like egg yolks, salmon, and leafy greens, and it’s also produced in our bodies from intestinal bacteria. Our bodies don’t actually require much biotin to get by, but since it plays a role in cell growth, it’s billed as a way to lengthen hair and strengthen nails.

    There’s a catch, though—the research on the stuff is patchy at best. A few super small-scale studies have shown biotin’s positive effects on strengthening nails, but there’s basically nothing to suggest that it promotes hair growth in healthy people. It’s water-soluble, so any excess in the body is turned into waste. The exception is in people who have a biotin deficiency—a disorder marked by brittle hair and nails, among other unpleasant symptoms, wherein biotin supplements are actually really effective.

    Some derms still recommend biotin, since it’s not harmful to take. It’s not really designed for people without biotin deficiency, so “there is no consensus on the dosage of biotin for hair and nail health,” says Dr. Jessica Weiser, a board-certified dermatologist for the New York Dermatology Group. “But the most commonly suggested dose is 2,500 mcg or 2.5 mg daily.”

    While the effects on hair growth are unclear, there’s another reported side effect from taking biotin: It makes some people break out. Dr. Weiser says that could happen because of an imbalance of vitamins in your body.

    ‘Both biotin and pantothenic acid–vitamin B5—are absorbed from the intestines via the same receptors,” she explained. “When taking biotin supplements, the amount of biotin in the gut far outweighs the quantity of vitamin B5, thereby leading to a relative vitamin B5 deficiency. Pantothenic acid is thought to regulate the barrier function of the surface layer on skin and can reduce acne lesions. Therefore, a deficiency of pantothenic acid—or excess of biotin—could lead to acne flares.”

    In simpler terms, you could be giving yourself a deficiency of B5 by taking an excess of biotin—and that’s what’s making your skin freak out.

    Dr. Jessica J. Krant, a board-certified dermatologist at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, has heard of this happening, too. “Many reports indicate that excess ingested biotin can lead to rashes and acne breakouts,” she said. “There are no real scientific, blinded, placebo-controlled research trials to prove this, but if you start taking biotin and get worsening of your acne, the biotin may indeed be the culprit.”

    Her solution? Stop taking the damn thing. “I personally have stopped directly suggesting that patients with nail or hair problems take biotin,” said Dr. Krant. “If someone asks about it, I explain that I am not against it, but that it only helps a few people in rare, specific cases.”

    On the other hand, if you’re seeing improvements in your hair or nail health from biotin (hey, just because there are no scientific studies to back it up doesn’t mean it’s impossible), you don’t have to give up just yet. Dr. Weiser suggests taking vitamin B5 along with biotin, to reinstate a balance. Or you could just wait for your hair to grow—totally up to you.

    —Arielle Pardes

    Photographed by Tom Newton. Read about the pill for hormonal acne readers can’t stop talking about.

    Does Biotin Cause Acne?

    Biotin has been among our favorite supplements here at HBFIT. It’s used to grow healthier hair, skin, and nails, and it’s been known to really do the trick. You can find it in all kinds of hair products and supplements. But is it possible that biotin can actually cause acne instead of reducing it?

    What Is Biotin?

    Biotin goes by many names — sometimes it’s referred to as vitamin B7, or as vitamin H. Biotin is a B complex vitamin that’s critical in converting food into energy and helps in the promotion of cell growth. If you don’t have enough biotin in your diet, it can lead to hair loss, brittle nails, or itchy skin.

    Biotin can do more for you than just improve your hair growth. It can also help metabolize carbohydrates, fats and amino acids and help in the development of a pregnancy. There’s even some evidence to suggest that it also helps with regulating blood sugar in people with diabetes.

    While you can get biotin in a supplement or multivitamin, it’s actually also to get biotin from your diet alone. If you want more biotin in your diet, all you have to do is add more biotin-rich foods. Eggs, seafood, chicken, and legumes are all rich in biotin.

    How Does It Cause Acne?

    Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is supposed to help with the regulation of the surface layer of the skin. In short, it helps prevent acne. B7 helps with the breakdown and distribution of fatty acids and improve the keratin infrastructure. This creates a gloss on your skin that gives you both a glow and a protective layer. Working together they can give you healthy looking skin.

    Vitamin B7 is absorbed through receptors in the intestines, and so is vitamin B5. Because they are both absorbed through the same receptors, if there is an excess of one, there is a deficiency in another.

    This means that if you’re taking biotin supplements, especially pure biotin, then you won’t be able to absorb the vitamin B5 in your diet. This means that the surface of your skin will be more prone to breakouts. It’s not that biotin causes acne, but a deficiency in vitamin B5 will.

    What Can You Do to Prevent It?

    If biotin is the only thing that works for your hair and you’re worried about breakouts, don’t panic. To avoid causing breakouts in the first place, you need to make sure that you don’t have an excess of biotin to pantothenic acid. There are a few ways to do that.

    If you’re taking supplements, skip the pure biotin. A biotin multivitamin instead can give you a boost of vitamin B5 without risking any of the potential problems of an excessive dosage. Whatever supplement you take, make sure not to go over a 2.5mg dose per day — any more than can lead to a deficiency of B5.

    Alternatively, you can skip supplements all together and just enjoy a biotin rich diet. Eggs, seafood, and leafy greens are not only rich in biotin but are packed with many other vitamins as nutrients as well. The best beauty routines start with a healthier food plan. That means you’re more likely to get the right balance of nutrients by trusting in your healthy diet.

    Wait, can taking biotin be bad for you?

    Unless you’ve been MIA for the past few years, you know that biotin is the holy grail for fabulous hair, nails, and skin. Why? Your hair, skin, and nails are made up of a protein called keratin (yes, like the semi-permanent hair straightening treatment you get to tame your locks). Biotin helps to improve your keratin levels, and as a result, strengthens your hair, skin, and nails. Research is limited on the success of taking biotin, but from the countless celebrities who promote biotin-rich gummies (or start feuds over them—I’m talking to you, James and Tati) and from my own friends’ personal experiences, it can work. Want long locks? Biotin. Nails that won’t break? Biotin. Hydrated and acne-free skin? Biotin. Or so we’ve been told by the beauty industry. But there’s surely a catch, right? We can’t have nice things without consequences, RIGHT?? Ugh, you know the world too well. Of course, there is.

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    What’s the catch?

    Recent research has shown that biotin can skew medical tests. Uhh, what? The FDA warns that taking an excess of biotin, also known as B7, can cause tests to come back falsely negative or positive. In a recent statement, the FDA said that there has been “an increase in the number of reported adverse events related to biotin interference with lab tests.” Yikes. Some common tests that can be impacted by your biotin pills and cause possible misdiagnoses include troponin (diagnose heart attacks), vitamin D levels, thyroid and other hormone tests, such as parathyroid hormone and cortisol.

    The recommended dose for biotin is 30 micrograms, but many of the pills on the market range from 5,000 to 10,000 micrograms. For example, the beloved SugarBearHair gummies contain 5,000 micrograms of biotin, 1667% of your daily recommended dose. That’s not a typo—that is way more than you need every day. But, despite the potential test complications, taking that much Biotin all the time doesn’t necessarily pose an immediate health risk. Since biotin is a water-soluble vitamin (meaning you pee out any excess of the vitamin in your system), overdosing is unlikely, according to Health Line. TG for small miracles.

    So should I stop taking my gummies?

    Wow, don’t do anything drastic. While biotin can skew some medical results, it doesn’t mean it will skew all of them. The best thing to do? Tell your doc that you’re taking biotin (and any other meds or vitamins) before you get any testing done. This way, they can advise you on if you need to stop taking the pills for a period of time before getting bloodwork or to keep it in mind when they analyze your results. If you want hair that makes people think you bought it, and you feel like the supplements are helping, and your doctor is fully aware and on board, stick to taking the pills.

    If you’re now worried about taking biotin (sorry), there are tons of foods to help you get your daily dose in. Almonds, egg yolks, spinach, and sweet potatoes are just a few foods that can help with your locks.

    This article originally appeared on Betches Lifestyle.

    For many years now, biotin has been considered a miracle supplement by many because our hair, skin, and nails derive immense benefits from it. It has many names, but scientifically it is known as vitamin B-7. Being a water-soluble vitamin, it is not stored in the body. Regardless, it is extremely important for our bodies. It is essential because it improves the body’s ability to extract energy from food and process carbs.

    As we age, biotin deficiency symptoms may start to show. It is better to start taking biotin supplements beforehand to avoid hair loss and skin related issues as you grow older. Despite the fact that many people take biotin supplements around the world, they come with advantages and disadvantages. Many people are unaware of biotin side-effects and keep taking them only for its benefits. Sometimes people take biotin in excess to promote overall hair or nail growth, but it ends up backfiring.

    Here are the benefits and side effects of taking biotin supplements.

    Benefits of Biotin

    Helps Maintain Balance in Cases of Biotin Deficiency

    If your body starts showing any symptoms of biotin deficiency, it is best to start taking biotin supplements regularly. They will increase biotin levels in the body and ward off all the symptoms. There are many reasons for biotin deficiency, so it is important to take supplements or eat foods that will help restore your vitamin B7 levels.

    Effective Hair Loss Supplement

    Biotin supplements promotes hair growth and improves overall hair health. They have been known to do wonders for people suffering from hair loss or thin hair. Regularly taking biotin supplements can increase the growth rate of hair by almost twice, and they become much shinier and healthier as well.

    Regulates Insulin Levels

    Biotin regulates blood sugar levels and helps diabetic patients in many ways. They prevent nerve endings damage caused by diabetes and thus reducing pain as well. People who have type-2 diabetes should take biotin as it maintains levels of insulin and also decreases insulin resistance.

    Beneficial For Nails

    It strengthens nail cuticles and effectively decreases their brittleness. It also increases the thickness of nails thus preventing breakage and cracking. Since nails and hair both contain keratin, taking biotin supplements really proves effective for their growth and health.

    They Are Highly Affordable

    Many health and vitamin supplements tend to be very expensive and hard to get. Biotin, on the other hand, is really affordable and available everywhere. In safe levels, it does not have many side effects either. All these factors make biotin supplements great value for money. Everyone should try to incorporate them in their lives for healthier hair, skin, and nails along with many other health benefits.

    Aid in Processing Energy And Food

    Biotin helps our body process carbohydrates, fat and other components of food. It aids the body in extracting energy effectively. Biotin also proves helpful in transporting carbon dioxide from cells. Increased metabolism improves all body functions.

    Improves Skin

    Taking biotin has proven highly effective in fighting skin diseases like eczema. It also improves overall skin health, making it glow and look smoother. Regularly taking biotin increases resistance against all skin related problems.

    Biotin Helps With Weight Loss

    Biotin increases the metabolism rate of the body. Because of that, the body processes food faster and improves all functions. Another advantage of that is that the body tends to burn fat and calories at a higher rate. This will greatly help in losing weight. Increased metabolism would result in burning more calories during your workouts and therefore make you lose fat at a higher pace.

    Boosts Immune System

    Biotin promotes the production of certain chemicals that help cells heal faster. It also makes cells more resilient. What this mean is that the body is at a lower risk of developing diseases. Even if diseases develop, biotin may help eliminate it at a faster rate. The boost in the immune system increases resistance against many diseases.

    Helps With Depression

    There is not a lot of evidence to support this, but many psychologists believe that biotin supplements promote mental health and are highly effective in fighting mental illnesses such as depression.

    Biotin Supplements and Side Effects

    While biotin has so many benefits, it also has some side effects. Most of these occur as a result of taking too much biotin or taking it at irregular intervals. Consistency and amount should be maintained. Here are some side effects of biotin supplements:

    May Cause Excessive Facial Hair

    Although biotin is great for hair growth, it may cause excessive facial hair in some people. It is important to note that some people take biotin so they grow even more facial hair. If this is you, then I won’t consider this a side effect. If considered a side effect, then it’s a good side effect for those taking biotin to grow facial hair.

    Can Cause Skin Problems

    Taking biotin excessively, especially over 10000 MCG, can cause acne, rashes and other skin diseases. Biotin is good for the skin but only under controlled and reasonable dosages.

    Biotin May Interact With Drugs

    If you are taking other drugs, especially for cholesterol, you should consult with your doctor before taking biotin. Biotin may interact with antibiotics as well, thus reducing their effectiveness.

    It May Lead To Allergies

    Some people have been known to develop allergies as a result of biotin intake. This allergy can be from foods and drugs, but also from biotin itself. Therefore, biotin should be started in small doses to ensure that the body does not react to it. If you do feel allergic to it, then biotin supplements may not be the right option for you.

    Biotin Affects Everyone Differently

    Biotin has different effects on everyone. Some people may greatly benefit from it whereas others may develop allergies. Some would get healthier hair, skin, and nails, and it may cause acne and other nasty side effects on others.

    Conclusion

    Biotin is a great vitamin that has countless benefits. It is also great for hair, skin, and nails. If your body is exhibiting symptoms of biotin deficiency, it is advised to start taking biotin supplements. Since biotin is available in many foods we eat, the symptoms may be for something else. So be sure to get yourself checked before you start taking biotin supplement since it can be harmful if taken in excess.

    POST INFO:

    Back in February I did what most would consider the “big chop”. After 11 months of transitioning I took out my protective style and cut off all the remaining relaxed ends. I was excited and nervous but most of all impatient and wanted my hair to grow back as quickly as possible. I was hearing all these great things about all of these “miracle” hair growth pills and decided to dive in head first. I went to my local GNC and bought their “Be-Beautiful Hair Skin & Nails” dietary supplement with a whopping 6000mcg of Biotin in them. The bottle directs to take one tablet a day and you will receive 2000% of the Biotin you need for the day.

    For those of you who are unaware extremely high levels of biotin is the “miracle” worker that can be found in 99 percent of these hair growing medications that are being sold on the market today. Biotin is a water soluble B vitamin that produces keratin, increases hair elasticity, and protects the hair from becoming dry. It also helps thicken the hair to give the appearance of fullness. It is usually paired with MSM which my vitamins did contain 100mg of.

    I started taking the pills and decided to talk to my other natural friends about their success and experiences while taking Biotin. I was shocked to hear more negatives than positives but still wanted to give it a try for myself after all just like hair products, pills also work differently for different people. I went home to do some research on biotin myself (which I should have done before I started taking the pills) and saw a lot of people had issues with acne. Again I wrote it off and still decided to proceed to gather my own experiences.

    The first two weeks I didn’t notice any major changes to my hair, skin, or nails but I noticed a few small pimples formulating around my lower cheek area close to my jaw. I wrote it off as poor eating for that week but also decided that if this was the worst that Biotin would do then that would be just fine if it would make my hair grow at rapid speeds. About a month into the process I was terribly disappointed and upset with myself more so than with the actual supplement. My face had completely broken out all over and I noticed no major changes to my hair’s length of thickness. I stopped taking the pills immediately and decided maybe the Biotin levels in this supplement were too high and my system did not agree with it. I moved on to taking Trader Joe’s “Women’s once Daily Multivitamin & Mineral” Dietary supplement which only possessed 150mcg of Biotin (50 percent of my daily value). Along side the multi vitamin I began taking their Vitamin C complex.

    That seemed to make the problem even worse. I’ve always had very clear skin except for my short battle with puberty back in high school. I just couldn’t get my face to stop breaking out and it was driving me crazy. I drink more than the recommended amount of water on a daily basis but just couldn’t seem to flush the vitamins out quickly enough. It was then I decided to just stop taking any pills all together.

    I was fighting a losing battle and my face was taking the worst part of the beating. My regular skin regimen wasn’t working even after I stopped taking the pills therefore I had to create a more aggressive regimen to get my face back to normal. I started using 100 percent tea tree oil to decrease the pimple size. I would pair it with my face wash diluted in water to prevent excessive drying of my skin. For the really big pimples I’d place the tea tree oil undiluted directly on there with a Q-Tip as the applicator. I started using Queen Helene face masks once a week to tackle the oiliness that was building up around the breakouts and would finish off with an Aveeno moisturizer.

    I can finally say after almost two months since I took my last “miracle” pill my face is at about 90 percent where it was before. The breakouts have stopped now I’m just battling with the remains. The face masks helped quite a bit but it was the tea tree oil that really did the trick. So… my overall experience with Biotin was unsuccessful the negatives outweighed the possible pros that my have come had a I continued to take them. This doesn’t mean that it may not work for you… again my body just personally did not respond to it well. I suggest reading into Biotin a little further and testing out a lower level before diving into 6000mcg like I did. My body my have been shocked and refused to go into submission… therefore more over all recommendation for those who want to give it a try is to start with the Trader Joe’s multi vitamin first and see how your body responds. Then you can slowly increase the levels of Biotin you are willing to ingest. I personally will just take the normal patient route from now on and enjoy my hair grow at its own speed.

    12 Impressive Benefits of Biotin (Vitamin B7)

    Biotin plays a major role in helping the human body convert food into usable energy (also referred to as vitamin H and B7). This B complex vitamin is plentiful in a wide range of foods including nuts, legumes, cauliflower, whole grains, mushrooms, eggs, oysters, and organ meats.

    Though biotin is present in a number of foods, not everyone can consume enough of them on a regular basis. When this happens, taking a biotin supplement is a smart way to take advantage of these 12 impressive benefits of biotin.

    1. Thickens Hair

    One of the biggest benefits of biotin is that it helps stimulate hair growth, causing hair to thicken and appear more lustrous. Biotin can also help hair look healthier while growing more quickly and sustainably. This is good news for healthy people who want their hair to look its best, as well as those with health issues that lead to lackluster hair.

    While people with healthy digestive systems can absorb some biotin simply by eating a healthy diet every day, those who suffer from digestive disorders struggle to absorb adequate vitamins and nutrients. Those diagnosed with malabsorption problems like leaky gut syndrome, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease often require elevated nutrient levels in order to receive the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. Along with giving healthy people an extra boost, biotin supplements can help people who struggle with nutrient deficiencies to improve their unhealthy hair loss and dry, brittle hair.

    2. Improves Skin

    For many people, a Vitamin H deficiency can also lead to significant problems with their skin’s inner health and outer appearance. Dry, itchy skin is one of the most common issues, although more serious conditions like acne and psoriasis can also arise. Keep in mind that if you don’t nourish your skin from the inside out, resulting hormonal issues can result in serious skin problems.

    In most cases, a biotin supplement can correct the issue, improving skin and helping to create a youthful glow. To address biotin deficiencies, it’s important to access the vitamin in the most effective way. While many topical skin and hair products include added biotin, you can’t usually absorb this B complex vitamin through skin or hair cells. Instead, you must ingest a biotin supplement to receive all of the vitamin’s benefits.

    3. Strengthens Nails

    Along with improving hair and skin, biotin is known for its ability to strengthen nails. In fact, higher doses of biotin have resulted in significant nail health improvement. Studies have shown that those who take a biotin supplement can thicken their nails by up to 25 percent and decrease the amount of nail splitting and breakage they endure. Trial studies also have shown that an impressive 91 percent of participants experience improved nail strength when taking a biotin supplement.

    4. Rebuilds Tissues

    Neither muscle nor tissue lasts forever, and your body relies on B vitamins to help rebuild after tissues break down or muscles sustain damage. Biotin is one of the components necessary for rebuilding muscle strength and helping tissues grow. This vitamin also has a key role in alleviating muscle and joint inflammation, aches, and pains. If you continually experience joint pain or struggle with muscle strength, a biotin supplement might be just what you need to help your tissues rebuild.

    5. Assists With Cell Growth

    In addition to making you look great, biotin also helps with some of your body’s most essential functions. One of vitamin H’s primary roles is to regulate the formation of DNA. This ensures that the genetic information in each cell works properly and replicates correctly. Though strong cell development is always important, it’s especially critical when your cells are dividing rapidly, such as during pregnancy.

    Keep in mind that biotin supplements provide you with an ample supply of this water-soluble vitamin. Once it travels through your bloodstream, however, your body eliminates any excess biotin. That means your body never builds up a toxic reserve of this vitamin, and overconsuming it is nearly impossible.

    6. Promotes Fetal and Child Development

    Since biotin is necessary for many bodily functions, it’s especially important for pregnant women supporting a new life. In fact, a recent study shows that many pregnant women don’t receive enough biotin naturally on a daily basis. Since this has led to serious birth defects, many doctors recommend that pregnant women supplement their regular healthy diets with additional biotin. For many pregnant women, taking additional biotin is as important as taking folic acid for ensuring baby health, encouraging fetal development, and minimizing pregnancy complications.

    In some cases, new mothers don’t provide enough biotin in their breast milk, leading to a biotin deficiency in their babies. Young children with allergies to or a distaste for foods high in biotin are also at risk of developing a deficiency. A biotin supplement can easily remedy low levels of biotin in new mothers, babies, and children. Expecting and new mothers should talk with a physician before taking a biotin supplement while pregnant or nursing or before giving biotin to babies and children.

    7. Protects Your Brain

    Along with the other B complex vitamins, biotin keeps your nervous system in working order by assisting with neurotransmitter activity and helping with nerve signals. Together, B vitamins also protect your brain, improve your memory, and help form a defense against cognitive issues and neurodegenerative disorders. Along with preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, biotin and the other B vitamins can help you better your concentration and keep a positive outlook.

    8. Stabilizes Blood Sugar

    One of the most beneficial ways biotin can affect people is by stabilizing blood sugar. For diabetics or those who struggle with maintaining a healthy blood sugar level, biotin can be particularly helpful. Studies have shown that this B complex vitamin has the power to lower blood glucose levels in people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes by stimulating the secretion of insulin.

    Some diabetics also suffer from nerve damage due to enzyme buildup. Since biotin is necessary for certain enzyme activity, low levels of this vitamin can lead to dangerous levels of buildup. A biotin supplement can get enzyme activity back on track and help some diabetics prevent additional nerve damage.

    9. Boosts Energy and Mood

    One of biotin’s primary functions is its ability to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This vitamin also functions as a coenzyme and aids in synthesizing fatty acids and certain amino acids. Without the B complex vitamins, your body can’t use the energy that your body consumes.

    Since biotin and the other B vitamins play a big part in converting nutrients into fuel that your body can access, a lack of biotin can cause you to feel a serious slump in energy. In fact, it can also lead to feelings of fatigue, mood swings, and even digestive issues. If you don’t receive a steady supply of biotin from your daily diet, a supplement can help you harness the energy you’re missing and help you get your mood back on a positive track.

    10. Supports Thyroid Function

    In addition to your nervous system, your body relies on key glands to normalize functions and keep you going. Biotin is necessary for maintaining appropriate thyroid activity and regulating sleep, hunger, energy, and even pain. If your body has trouble controlling these basic functions or if you experience weight gain, trouble sleeping, or constant fatigue, additional biotin can help with thyroid regulation.

    9. Lowers Cholesterol

    High cholesterol is much more than just a large number on a chart. High levels of low-density lipoprotein, better known as the bad cholesterol, can actually lead to heart disease. This in turn can increase your chances of having a stroke or a heart attack. If you struggle to maintain healthy LDL levels, biotin may be able to help get them within a reasonable range.

    Research has shown that this vitamin can help lower LDL levels while increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein, otherwise known as the good cholesterol. Since B complex vitamins are also important in reducing inflammation and plaque buildup in arteries, biotin can also help lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Diabetics and others who are particularly susceptible to heart disease will find this benefit particularly helpful.

    12. Aids in Weight Loss

    Along with boosting metabolism, biotin can also aid in weight loss. Essentially, consuming or ingesting biotin elevates your resting rate of metabolism. As this vitamin increases your metabolism, it can help accelerate weight loss, especially when paired with chromium.

    If you’re considering taking a biotin supplement to help with weight loss, keep in mind that this B complex vitamin doesn’t act as a diet pill. Instead, it helps your body speed up the weight loss process as you consume a healthy diet and get regular exercise.

    From healthy hair, skin, and nails to assistance with cognitive function, weight loss, and energy levels, biotin is a major contributor to a healthy lifestyle. Adding a biotin supplement to a healthy diet can allow you to take full advantage of all the benefits that this B complex vitamin has to offer. If you have any questions or comments about biotin, feel free to leave a comment below! Or, you can reach out to us directly at (800) 940-1972 or via email at [email protected].

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