In the last blog post, I wrote on melatonin. Today though, we are going to look at another vitamin that falls in the “tin” family: biotin.
What is biotin and why do we need it? Why is it so important? Well, as the old adage says, knowledge is power, and as my grandma, Elizabeth used to tell me “You can’t use the knowledge you don’t have”. So today, I am going to share the knowledge that I have of biotin with you, and I am also going to talk about our amazing biotin supplement, and then you can leave your comments in the “comments section” below and we will take it from there.
What is Biotin?
The word “biotin” is a word that originated from the ancient Greek word “biotos,” which implies “life” or “nourishment.” Biotin falls under B vitamins, and out of all the vitamins that fall under this category, biotin serves as a primary ingredient for keeping the human skin, hair, eyes, liver, and overall nervous system healthful. Biotin is also an important nutrient during reproduction, as it’s crucial for embryonic growth and the overall well being of the growing child in the belly of it’s mother.
Since Biotin (which is also known as Vitamin H) is crucial for a healthy life, it is important to incorporate it into your diet. This can be through supplements and natural foods such as eggs. Eggs are a primary source of Biotin, and we will talk about this much later in this post. Most people get the daily dosage of biotin that they need from eating a healthy diet, but there have also been many scientific claims that have said that getting more biotin can manage your blood sugar. These claims are still being researched but on a general scale, biotin is very effective for promoting healthy hair, skin, and nails. I personally take supplements to help keep my skin fresh, my nails healthy and firm, and my hair lustrous. Like I mentioned before biotin also does a great job of helping pregnant moms to birth healthier babies.
Now, you’re probably wondering what I am wondering, and you probably have a few questions like: How much biotin is enough, where else can you get it? and what can it really do for you?
You want to know the right dosage of biotin, don’t you?
The answer is this: between 30 and 100 micrograms (mcg) per day of biotin is often recommended for adolescents and adults. Because it is a water-soluble vitamin, taking in any extra for of biotin will simply pass through your body when you urinate. According to Healthline, there are no known toxicity symptoms associated with too much biotin. What this means is that if you’re taking 5,000 mcg of biotin or 10,000 mcg of biotin, there are no known issues whatsoever.
Biotin Supplements and diabetes
Some research, including an animal study, suggests that people who have type 2 diabetes may benefit from taking biotin in the form of supplements to help regulate high blood glucose levels. Although these scientific claims have been made, the research so far is completely inconclusive.
Researchers have studied how biotin supplements affect blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. Some evidence shows biotin concentrations in blood may be lower in people with diabetes, compared to healthy individuals. Studies in diabetics given biotin alone have only served to provide mixed results.
However, several controlled studies indicate that biotin supplements, combined with the mineral chromium, may lower blood sugar levels in some people with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, according to another study performed on animals, biotin may help prevent kidney damage in people who have an insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes. However, like the other study, some more research is needed to support this claim.
Fine Hair, Skin and Nails? Check
Biotin deficiencies are rare in the human body, but it is not impossible for a person to have biotin deficiency. But because people with a deficiency often show symptoms of hair loss or a scaly rash, medical practitioners generally advise that patients increase their intake of biotin through supplements.
Biotin should not only be taken when there is a deficiency though. It is important to note that the vitamin also helps to strengthen hair, skin, and nails so if you are pretty particular about holistic health, then this is something that you should have in mind.
I mentioned in the previous paragraph that biotin is extremely helpful for reproduction and pregnancy. Although such situations are extremely rare, pregnant women may become biotin deficient. To help promote baby health, take a prenatal vitamin that contains biotin and folic acid during pregnancy.
In addition to this, it has been estimated that up to 50% of pregnant women may develop a mild biotin deficiency. This means that it may start to affect their well-being slightly, but isn’t severe enough to cause noticeable symptoms. If you are an expectant mother It is still important to pay close attention to this and ensure that you are getting the maximum nutrition that you need during pregnancy.
Deficiencies are thought to occur due to the faster biotin breakdown within the body during pregnancy. A major cause for concern is that animal studies have found that a biotin deficiency during pregnancy may cause birth defects.
Nevertheless, remember to always consult your doctor or dietitian/nutritionist before taking supplements during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. If you’re a pregnant or breastfeeding, your biotin requirements may go up. Up to 50% of women may get less of this vitamin than they need during pregnancy. Also, a major side effect lies in the fact that usually, high doses of biotin can be dangerous to the baby, so additional supplementation of biotin isn’t recommended for pregnant women at this stage.
According to Medical News, Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease. In MS, the protective covering of nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord and eyes are damaged or destroyed. This protective sheath is called myelin, and biotin is thought to be an important factor in producing it. A pilot study in 23 people with progressive MS tested the use of high doses of biotin. Over 90% of participants had some degree of clinical improvement. While this finding needs much more study, at least two randomized controlled trials have been carried out in people with progressive MS. The final results have not been published, but the preliminary results are promising. In summary, high biotin doses hold promise for treating multiple sclerosis, a serious disease that affects the central nervous system.
Sources of Biotin
There are foods that naturally have biotin in them…
- Egg yolk
- Organ meat (liver, kidney)
- Nuts; almonds, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts
- Butter gotten from nuts
- Whole grains and cereals
We should be aware that food-processing techniques such as cooking can render biotin ineffective, raw or less-processed versions of these foods contain more active biotin and are much more recommended by doctors and physicians.
Biotin is necessary for normal body function, and should not be taken for granted like we often seem to take certain vitamins for granted. It is also true that supplements may help pregnant women and some people with diabetes, but that does not mean that individuals should neglect a balanced diet, maintain a healthy sleep routine and exercise regularly to maintain optimal health.
Biotin: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-313/biotin.
Palsdottir, MS Hrefna. “Biotin: Benefits, Sources, and Safety.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 16 Mar. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318724.php