Sure, vitamin C can help you fight off a cold or the flu, but if you asked a random group of women what their favorite vitamin was, you would probably hear biotin more than once.
This B vitamin has become a favorite for its positive effects on hair, skin and nail health, sending women running to the health food store or onto sites like ours in pursuit of long, flowing hair for a wedding or nails worthy of a hand model.
What makes biotin such a healthy beauty secret?
Biotin is a member of the B complex family of vitamins and is actually vitamin B7. This vitamin is water soluble, meaning it breaks down in the body without fat. The B vitamins are necessary nutrients we need to consume on a daily basis to maintain health and proper bodily function.
Benefits of Biotin
The main action of biotin within the body, along with the rest of the B vitamins, is as a coenzyme, assisting in the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. This helps the body produce energy more efficiently, to keep you alert and focused throughout the day so you can get more accomplished (this is why energy drinks are often loaded with B vitamins).
Symptoms of biotin deficiency include hair loss and depression, as well as a tingling sensation in the limbs. Biotin deficiency can occur due to pregnancy, poor nutrition or rapid weight loss. Those undergoing kidney dialysis may also suffer from a deficiency, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The most common reason people, especially women, take biotin in supplement form is to support the health of the hair, skin and nails. Biotin helps strengthen the structure of these tissues, preventing hair loss and breaking nails while helping to keep skin smooth and firm with youthful elasticity. A 1993 study conducted in Switzerland and published in the medical journal Cutis found participants who took biotin for six months saw a 25 percent increase in nail plate thickness.
Getting More Biotin
Biotin is present in certain foods like swiss chard, cauliflower and chicken eggs. Try adding more of them to your daily diet. You can also try a supplement to get more biotin. The recommended daily intake of biotin for an adult is 30 mcg. It's important to note with water-soluble vitamins like biotin, once the body has had enough, the rest will be excreted as waste. Taking a super dose won't benefit you anymore than getting the recommended daily amount, unless you're suffering from biotin deficiency.
Biotin doesn't have any known interactions with medications or other supplements, but it's still important to speak with your doctor before adding this or any other supplement to your routine. This is especially true if you have a medical condition, are currently taking medication (either prescription or over the counter) or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctor can determine if you have a deficiency based on your physical symptoms.
Biotin supplements are available in a variety of strengths an forms, so shop eVitamins' selection today!