Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 and vitamin H, plays an important role in hair skin and nail health. In fact, it is also called vitamin H because the H stands for Haar und Haut, German words for "hair and skin". Biotin plays a role in many complex metabolic processes inside your body. It enables your body to convert different forms of energy for use and the production of proteins. Your hair is a protein synthesized by cells inside the root, or hair follicle. Proteins are made up of individual molecules called amino acids and biotin helps with the production and synthesis of amino acids. Like all B vitamins, biotin is water-soluble, which means it cannot be stored in the body and must be obtained from food or supplemental sources.
How Much Biotin Do You Need Per Day
The FDA regulates the labels you see on food and dietary supplements. The FDA lists the daily value of biotin to be 300 mcg. This is the amount that the FDA recommends people age 4 and over consume daily. Surprisingly biotin is one of the few vitamins whereby the NIH recommends less than the FDA. The NIH publishes Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for many vitamins and minerals.
These are the NIH RDAs for biotin.
From birth to 12 months: 7 micrograms (mcg).
Birth to 3 years of age: 10 to 20 mcg.
4 to 6 years of age: 25 mcg.
7 to 10 years of age: 30 mcg.
Adolescents and adults: 30 to 35 mcg (depending on pregnancy and lactation status).
Common preparations of biotin in pill form are 10 micrograms (mcg), 500 mcg, and 5,000 mcg.
Sources of Biotin
Small amounts of biotin can be found in some foods, such as:
- Liver: 3 ounces cooked: 27-25 micrograms
- Salmon: 3 ounces: 4-5 micrograms
- Avocado: 1 whole: 2-6 micrograms
- Eggs: 1 whole: 13-25 micrograms
- Yeast: 7 grams/about 1 tablespoon: 1.4–14 micrograms
- Raspberries — 1 cup: 0.2–2 micrograms
- Whole Grain bread: 1 slice: 0.02 - 6 micrograms
If you feel you may not be getting enough vitamin B7 from your diet, the best solution is to take a daily vitamin supplement with biotin. Here is a rundown on the 7 main benefits of biotin.
7 Benefits of Biotin
Metabolism of Nutrients
Biotin acts as a coenzyme, which assists with the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids, and glucose, as well as assists with the metabolism of micronutrients and their conversion to energy. If you have a deficiency of biotin, you may feel lethargic and depressed, as well as have a loss of appetite.
Benefitting Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Though it is uncommon to be deficient in biotin, pregnant women may be more susceptible. An estimated 50 percent of pregnant women may develop a slight biotin deficiency, though they may not even notice the symptoms. This is thought to occur because biotin breaks down faster in the body during pregnancy.
Biotin is also important for nursing mothers. Because it is used to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins, as well as convert food into energy, mothers need plenty of it to keep them and their baby healthy. When one is breast-feeding, they pass biotin to their infant through breast milk. The more one feeds their baby, the more biotin there is in their breast milk. This vitamin also supports an infant’s healthy growth.
Finger nails and toe nails are comprised of several parts. The visible part of the nails, the nail plate, is made from a tough protein called keratin. The skin beneath the plate is the nail bed, and the skin that overlaps the base of the nail is the cuticle. The part of the nail that is hidden under the cuticle is the matrix. Finger and toe nails grow from the matrix, where new cells push out the older cells as they grow. If your nails are brittle and break easily, you may need to boost your biotin intake with a supplement. In one study, biotin was shown to strengthen nails by 25 percent over a period of six months.
Supporting Hair Growth
Biotin can improve the health and appearance of your hair by strengthening the structure of hair. It is particularly helpful for hair that has suffered damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays, hair styling tools, and the harsh chemicals found in many hair products. Hair loss is a common symptom of biotin deficiency, so if you are noticing hair thinning or excessive hair loss, a biotin supplement helps support hair growth.
Blood Sugar and Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high levels of blood sugar and insulin resistance. There is some evidence to show that people with this form of diabetes may have lower biotin concentrations in their blood than healthy individuals. Studies indicate that in combination with chromium, biotin supplements may lower blood sugar levels for some individuals with type 2 diabetes.
The benefits of biotin for the skin lie in its metabolic synthesis of amino acids, which is how skin receives nutrients. Creatine (produced by the amino acids glycine and arginine) is particularly important for the skin because it helps with the cell’s metabolism of energy and can help reduce the effects of aging and fatigue on the skin.
Supporting Neurologic Health
Myelin is the protective sheath covering the nerve fibers in the spinal cord, eyes, and brain. The protective sheath is made of a material known as myelin. It is thought that biotin plays a role in its production by activating acetyl-CoA carboxylase, an enzyme involved in myelin synthesis. Recent research reveals that high doses of biotin support the health of myelin sheaths.
When you want to keep a young-looking, healthy appearance, taking care of your hair, skin and nails is a priority, and these are some of the things that biotin does best. Taking DrFormulas HairOmega hair growth supplements every day will ensure you always have enough biotin in your diet for maximum hair growth. Having the correct amount of biotin will also support healthy hair and nails. The proprietary blends of all-natural ingredients in HairOmega hair supplements also includes vitamins C and E to support collagen production and skin health, so taking care of your hair, skin and nails is easier than ever before.