Biotin, also referred to as vitamin H, is a type of B complex vitamin that occurs naturally in a variety of common foods. The optimum amount of biotin aids in the metabolization of fatty acids and amino acids. Research also suggests its role in stabilization of blood sugar levels. Biotin also promotes hair health and this idea has its roots in science. Biotin deficiency is characterized by symptoms of unexplained hair breakage and hair loss along with cracked and brittle nails. Hence, there is a common belief that taking extra biotin will result in healthier hair.
Hair growth and biotin are related closely. Biotin not only promotes healthy hair growth but also prevents hair dryness. Moreover, biotin also increases the elasticity of cortex of a hair, thereby, preventing and minimizing hair breakage. Therefore, biotin helps induce growth of both hair and new skin cells, and making them healthy. For people who are suffering from hair loss, taking extra biotin may aid their hair grow longer, healthier and thicker.
Though deficiency of biotin is not commonly encountered, it can develop in individuals who intake alcohol in excessive amounts or who eat large quantities of raw egg white. Biotin needs are also increased in conditions such as infant seborrheic dermatitis and genetic disorders or in people whose stomach has been surgically removed.
You should consult your doctor in case you develop any symptoms that indicate biotin deficiency which can produce the following symptoms: hair thinning, red scaly rash specifically around nose, eyes and mouth, tiredness, tingling in arms and legs, depression and hallucinations.
Biotin is naturally present in a variety of foods such as halibut, eggs and dairy, wheat products, carrots, Swiss chard, liver and kidney, nuts, some soy, vegetables, fruits, beans and mushrooms.
Ideally you should obtain your daily requirement of biotin from the diet. However, due to poor dietary patterns, deficiencies of various vitamins and minerals may occur these days. Hence, you can take a biotin supplement to fulfill your requirements.
Moreover, all individuals are not able to absorb the biotin found in food. These include people who have an A blood type and who suffer from symptoms of GERD or severe acid reflux. Such individuals should consider taking biotin supplements to fulfill their dietary requirements.
The daily requirement of biotin for majority of the adults is 30 micrograms to maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. However, when you are taking biotin to increase the growth of hair, then the dose is much higher. It is usually recommended by physicians to take between 500-700 micrograms per day initially. The amount can increase to 1000 micrograms. Results are seen after taking biotin supplements consistently for 3-6 months.