Table of Contents
What is Biotin?
Biotin is generically known as vitamin H or vitamin B7 and it is part of the category of vitamins that can be easily extracted from our regular food. There are few cases when supplementation is required, mainly when the individual will experience biotin deficiency, either as a result of an imbalanced diet or as a symptom of some genetically inherited diseases.
Also, vitamin H deficiencies may also occur as the result of a metabolic deficit, also cause the genetic behavior. In those cases, the patients who experience difficulties in metabolizing biotin may require additional supplementation, provided that the dietary modifications are ineffective in ensuring the body’s nutritional needs.
The main role of vitamin H is the support of cellular growth, as well as regulating the production of fatty acids and amino acids. Also, due to its benefits on hair, skin, and nails, it is used in many cosmetic products, as well as in professional supplements, even though the actual deficiency, as a particular affection, is very rare, when not linked to some sort of affection.
Due to the role it plays in cell growth, biotin is essential during pregnancy, when it influences the development of the fetus, one of the many factors involved in the process. However, although there are a lot of benefits listed in regard to vitamin H, it is still uncertain whether they can be accepted as general rules or whether they only affect some people, depending on several still unknown factors. The same goes for the side effects too.
But among the benefits of biotin that we know they pose some degree of certainty, we mention:
- Cellular growth support
It is an effect especially important during pregnancy because it supports the proper development of the embryo.
- Prevents biotin deficiency in pregnant women
This is worth mentioning because pregnant women usually tend to have lower-than-normal biotin levels.
- Skin and hair health
Despite the fact that the data is not conclusive, various researchers have determined that vitamin H could be useful in maintaining the health of the skin and hair, as well as preventing the nails from becoming brittle and sensitive.
- Supports the digestive system and the metabolism
There is evidence that maintaining a healthy biotin intake could result in more balance digestive processes, as well as an increase in metabolism.
- Prevents or reduces hair loss
In this regard, we do not have enough evidence to support the claims, but preliminary researchers suggested that biotin may be effective in reducing hair loss effects.
Contrary to many different types of nutrients, vitamin H does not have any known side effects, even when the normal dose has been exceeded. Even more, we still do not know what a normal dose would be. According to specialists, biotin has no maximum threshold that needs to be respected and tests have to analyze its effects on both animals and humans, have found nothing relevant in this regard.
However, there are some cases when vitamin H intake, especially in large doses, has cause mild side effects. It is when the individual is already suffering from metabolic disorders.
The natural sources of vitamin H include liver and kidney, soybeans, bananas, cauliflower, mushrooms, cereals, peanuts and, also, supplements that are available on the market.
How much should you take?
Even though, as it has already been mentioned, it has no maximum threshold, there are certain values determining the optimal vitamin H intake, especially calculated to prevent the deficiency. In this regard, adults should consume a minimum of 30 mcg, with a plus of 5 mcg for pregnant of breastfeeding women.
For children, the consumption should increase slightly from 5 mcg per day, ever several years.