Biotin is a B vitamin found in food. It helps the body convert food into energy and plays many other important roles in health.
Biotin boosts the health of the hair and nails, supports a healthy pregnancy, and helps manage blood sugar levels, among other benefits.
Benefits of Biotin
Biotin is necessary for the function of several enzymes known as carboxylases. These are part of important metabolic processes, such as the production of glucose and fatty acids.
The Office of Dietary Supplements recommend the following biotin intake per day:
- 30 micrograms (mcg) for adults, including during pregnancy
- 35 mcg when lactating
Biotin deficiency is fairly rare. However, some people — such as pregnant women and people who drink high amounts of alcohol — may develop mild deficiencies.
Breaking down macronutrients
Biotin helps the body convert food into energy — it supports a number of enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbs, fats, and proteins.
Specifically, biotin is involved in:
- Gluconeogenesis: This is the synthesis of glucose from sources other than carbs, such as amino acids, and biotin-containing enzymes help initiate this process.
- Fatty acid synthesis: Biotin assists enzymes that activate reactions that are important for the production of fatty acids.
- Amino acid breakdown: Biotin-containing enzymes are involved in the metabolism of several important amino acids, including leucine.
Biotin is one of eight B vitamins. It is also known as vitamin B-7 or vitamin H, in which case the H stands for “Haar und Haut,” the German words for “hair and skin.”
Biotin is water-soluble. The body does not store water-soluble vitamins, so people need to absorb them from their diets.
Biotin for hair growth
One of the biggest benefits of biotin is that it helps stimulate hair growth, causing hair to thicken and appear more lustrous. Biotin can also help hair look healthier while growing more quickly and sustainably.
Biotin improves your skin
Vitamin H deficiency can also lead to significant problems with their skin’s inner health and outer appearance. Dry, itchy skin is one of the most common issues, although more serious conditions like acne and psoriasis can also arise. Keep in mind that if you don’t nourish your skin from the inside out, resulting in hormonal issues can result in serious skin problems.
Biotin to strengthen nails
Along with improving hair and skin, biotin is known for its ability to strengthen nails. In fact, higher doses of biotin have resulted in significant nail health improvement. Studies have shown that those who take a biotin supplement can thicken their nails by up to 25 percent and decrease the amount of nail splitting and breakage they endure. Trial studies also have shown that an impressive 91 percent of participants experience improved nail strength when taking a biotin supplement.
Biotin Lowers cholesterol
High cholesterol is much more than just a large number on a chart. High levels of low-density lipoprotein, better known as the bad cholesterol, can actually lead to heart disease. This in turn can increase your chances of having a stroke or a heart attack. If you struggle to maintain healthy LDL levels, biotin may be able to help get them within a reasonable range.
Biotin weight loss benefits
Along with boosting metabolism, biotin can also aid in weight loss. Essentially, consuming or ingesting biotin elevates your resting rate of metabolism. As this vitamin increases your metabolism, it can help accelerate weight loss, especially when paired with chromium.
If you’re considering taking a biotin supplement to help with weight loss, keep in mind that this B complex vitamin doesn’t act as a diet pill. Instead, it helps your body speed up the weight loss process as you consume a healthy diet and get regular exercise.