Biotin: 5 healthy benefits of this B vitamin

From preventing hair loss to regulating blood sugar, find out how biotin can help you maintain optimal health.

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Biotin, or vitamin H is part of the complex B vitamins. Along with helping the body metabolize fats and carbohydrates, biotin has been linked to improved hair health and maintaining proper function of the nervous system. Though it’s uncommon to have a deficiency in biotin, chronic smokers, alcoholics, pregnant women, those with Crohn’s and/or liver disease and anyone eating a diet loaded with processed foods are most likely to have a deficiency. Symptoms often reveal themselves through dry eyes, cracking on the sides of the mouth, scaly skin, depression and hair loss.

I spoke with registered nutritionist and dietitian, Susan Fyshe for more on why you should ensure you’re getting enough of this essential vitamin, found in many nutrient-rich foods, including nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

1. Strengthen hair and nails
Though there’s minimal research to support the effects of biotin on hair growth, there’s strong evidence to support a deficiency will cause hair loss. Similarly, the vitamin also helps thicken nail cuticles and prevents breakage. A number of hair care companies are now including biotin directly in their products though Fyshe suggests taking biotin orally for optimal results. Thirty micrograms (mcg) a day is the adequate intake level listed for adults over the age of 19.

2. Improve the health of your skin
A biotin deficiency can lead to a variety of skin problems including rashes, acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and overall itchiness. “B vitamins play a key role in the function of the nervous system and do affect hormone function, which suggests why depleting biotin levels can in turn play a significant role in skin health,” says Fyshe. If skin isn’t nourished from the inside out, toxicities will form throughout the nervous system and manifest itself on the skin’s surface. This is one of the biggest signs that suggest a deficiency in biotin or vitamin B.

3. Aid in weight loss
Biotin plays a pivotal role in supporting metabolic function and works as a co-enzyme to help break down food, particularly carbohydrates. This reaction is further accelerated when biotin is paired with chromium. Your resting metabolic rate is elevated and food breaks down faster when consuming biotin, which is why there’s a link to biotin and accelerating weight loss. However, research is still preliminary and in no way does biotin act as a weight loss pill. It is still important to pair the supplement with a healthy diet and exercise regime to make sure you meet your slim-down goals. The good news: biotin is widely available and can be found in many foods such chicken, soy, walnuts, whole grains, beans and legumes.

4. Lower cholesterol
Biotin has shown to play a role in lowering cholesterol, which when too high, can lead to heart disease including heart attack and stroke. Preliminary research has shown biotin can help reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

It’s important to note that raw eggs can inhibit the absorption of biotin so if you’re drinking a raw egg shake or eat raw eggs in food, beware that it can reduce the amount of biotin you’re metabolizing.

5. Regulate blood sugar
Biotin intake has been associated with helping to fight and preventing diabetes, particularly type 2. Pairing biotin with chromium has been show to have an even greater effect. A study conducted at the Alpha Therapy Center in Corpus Christi, Texas found that, “a chromium picolinate/biotin combination…can improve glycaemic control in overweight to obese individuals with type 2 diabetes; especially those patients with poor glycaemic control on oral therapy.” A 2005 study found that, “Biotin deficiency has been linked to impaired glucose tolerance and decreased utilization of glucose.”

Who should take it?
Anyone can take biotin as it is treated as a supplement and not a drug. “Since it’s found in most foods, most of us already meet our daily requirements simply by consuming a nutrient-rich diet,” notes Fyshe. Biotin is also safe for pregnant women, but it’s always best to check with your doctor to determine what dosage is right for you (by romus at dress head). It can be found in a multivitamin, B complex or in pure tablet form and is readily available over the counter.

Try making this biotin-rich roast chicken

18 comments on “Biotin: 5 healthy benefits of this B vitamin

  1. Pingback: Natural hair loss treatments for women - Chatelaine

  2. I began taking biotin, because of alpoecia. i did not realize the other health benefits. My cholesterol is normal now, and my Hemoglobin A1C went down 4 points. I’m so grateful for the help.

    Reply

  3. I have taken biotien for a couple of years and it does make a huge huge difference! it make your skin so healthy looking and takes years off your face..i am 32 and people think I look 25..they are like what is your secret??I said healthy eating vitiames and a lot of water. I did stop taking it for 6 weeks I was out of town forgot to bring it with me and I do stress out so hair starting to fall out..so when I got home started taking it again and noticed that less hair is falling out I have more energy to go all day,. Biotin is a life saver for me because we do have heart disease and diabetes in our family. So it keeps that under control. I want to live not have health issues at this age that going to stop me from living my life to the fullest! so thank you on the research you have provides I know now I am on the right track!

    Reply

    • You are clearly a sales representative of the product ‘biotin’ so cut me the crap, fool.

      Reply

      • Then why are you reading this article?

        Reply

  4. The Farrier was out today to trim my horses hooves. The hooves are very dry and it was difficult putting shoes on. I asked about a supplement. He said anything with Biotin in it. So here I am reading up on Biotin.

    Reply

  5. I always spent my half an hour to read this blog’s articles
    all the time along with a mug of coffee.

    Reply

    • What in the heck does this add to the discussion

      Reply

  6. I researched information to help encourage eye lash growth and Biotin was recommended so I am off today to get some, nothing ventured nothing gained , so I am going to give it a shot .

    Reply

  7. I take Biotin for bloodpressure and matabolissen recommended by my doctor. Dad

    Reply

  8. Hi,
    How Can I order this vitamin ? I have used many of vitamin since I have lack of vitamin D which is 16 only .As well as lack in iron ,right now i am taking vitamin D once in a week with 20000 unit . Is this can help in reducing that feeling of depression and unsatisfacto

    Reply

  9. YEP…I HAVE TAKEN BIOTIN BEFORE FEW WEEKS IT IS REALY WORK I AM TAKING BIOTIN 10,000 MCG FOR HAIR DENSITY AND HAIR THICKNESS I AM NOTICE THAT IT IS WORKING ON MY DESIRE I AM VERY THANK FULL TO BIOTIN

    Reply

  10. Does biotin really help you lose weight? Some recommendations?

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    • Biotin is great and really has helped me! 10 000mcg was too much for me tho. My energy levels are high. I remember that at the beginning i did cardio and interval training which helped me lose weight but i did not realize how biotin played a part in my weight loss until AFTER i stopped working out. I continue to take biotin 5,000 mcg every day and now that I am no longer on my diet i eat whatever i want and i don’t gain weight. It appears the biotin may be keeping my metabolism to the level it was at during my training.
      Also my hair and nails grow SO much quicker. Hair has increased in the rate and are so long now. Dreams come true :)
      I’ve been taking 5,000mcg of Biotin every day for years. I’ve tried like 4 different brands until i found that the best one for me.
      So i highly recommend it to you. For me the best is certifiedbiotin.com my friends also use this one.

      Reply

  11. I have been taking biotin for 5 months now and can swear on it that it works, I was going bald prior to taking it and my nails wouldnt grow. But now I can see baby hair forming on my forhead line and my hair is not falling like crazy anymore and my nails are longer and stronger, I definitely recommend you taking one pill a day for stronger nails and thicker hair

    Reply

  12. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some extensions. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my natural hair. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

    Reply

  13. I have been taking Biotin for a couple of years. My nails and hair had always been ok but now they are very good! I have a friend who had extremely thin hair (you could clearly see her scalp). She could not grow her hair at all mostly due to breakage. I told her to try Biotin. After taking it for 2 years her hair is thicker (no scalp showing) and half way down her back. She is thrilled to say the least!

    And no, I’m not a salesperson!

    Reply

  14. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some extensions. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my natural hair. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

    Reply

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