Biotin is often also referred to a Vitamin B.  Did you know that the word derives from the Greek word “biotos” which means “life” or “sustenance”.  It supports a range of metabolic processes not only in human beings but also other species.  It helps in the way fats, carbohydrates and amino acids can be used in the body.  Biotin plays an important role in keeping skin, hair, eyes, live and nervous system healthy.

It is an essential vitamin, and has been grouped with the B complex vitamins since it was discovered, in yeast alongside other B vitamin. 

Biotin has been discovered within a component of nails, skin and hair.  In fact, for many decades, it has been the supplement to reach out for if women particularly were suffering from brittle nails.  Currently, there is a lot of commercial interest in biotin, and is being marketed for improving nail, skin, and hair aesthetics.  More research is required to verify the claims, but it can plausibly have these actions mechanistically.  

Health Benefits of Biotin

Biotin is known for this positive effects on hair including hair growing stronger and thicker.  

Protects hair:  As biotin strengthens hair it is less likely to break off at the ends, promoting and protecting length.  

Enhances shine:  Research suggests that biotin intake can improve quality of the hair in a comprehensive way, and assist in making the hair shine and get thicker.

Pregnancy Support:  There are cases where pregnant women can become deficient in biotin.  Many practitioners recommend biotin as a prenatal vitamin, those that contain biotin and folic acid.  

Promotes healthy hair and scalp:  Research indicates that biotin is seen to improve the infrastructure of keratin which is a basic protein that makes up hair, skin and nails

Other benefits include

  • Regulation of metabolism levels
  • Protection of liver
  • Promoting brain function
  • Immunity booster
  • Regulation of blood sugar levels
  • Suppression of inflammation and allergies
  • Aids in the repair of tissues and muscles

Research also indicates that supplementing your diet with biotin can help particularly those who have acquired or inherited causes of biotin deficiency as well as pathologies such as brittle nail syndrome or hair difficult to comb.  

As indicated above, biotin’s general role as an enzymatic co-factor has supported suggestions that it may positively interact with glucose metabolism.  

Beef liver, cooked eggs, salmon, avocados, pork, sweet potato, nuts and seeds are some of the food sources for biotin.  

Symptoms that suggest that you may have a biotin deficiency include hair becoming thinner, brittle nails, and scaly skin rashes particularly around eyes, nose and mouth.    

To note:  Alcohol reduces the absorption of biotin within the body.

Final Thoughts

 Biotin has certainly become very popular and is used commercially for the benefits to hair and nail growth.  We absolutely need more research to comprehensively support the utility of biotin in healthy people.  

The best way to give your body a healthy dose of biotin is to get it from natural sources.  Often sometimes this can be difficult.  In such times, reach out for a supplement from a reliable brand.

A final word, biotin may have a role as a beauty supplement.  So make sure you incorporate food rich in biotin, or have a good supplement.

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