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The word “biotin” is acquired from the ancient Greek word “biotos,” which means “life”.
Biotin helps to keep your skin, hair, eyes, liver, and nervous system healthy.
Biotin is also a nutrient that is a trusted source during pregnancy, as it is very important for embryonic growth. People usually get the Biotin they need by eating a healthy diet, but getting more Biotin can regulate blood sugar, promote healthy hair, skin, and nails, and help pregnant moms have healthier babies.
But it is very difficult to make out how much Biotin is enough for your body and where can you get it?
Biotin consists of vitamin B, and your body needs Biotin to help convert certain nutrients into energy. Most biotin vitamins are often recommended for hair health, and Biotin deficiency can cause thinning of hair or red scalp rashes.
Although biotin deficiency is rare, therefore the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t offer a recommended dietary allowance (RDA). RDAs vary on the basis of age, sex, and overall health.
Many experts recommend the following dosage guidelines.
- For Infants and children:
From 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
- 10 years or older should get between 30-100 mcg per day.
Though Biotin requirements are different in different bodies, so it is highly commended to consult a doctor before taking any such supplements.
Benefits of Biotin
Breaking down macronutrients
- This helps in converting food into energy. This can be done through:
- Fatty acid synthesis
- Amino acid breakdown
Supporting nail health
- Biotin supplements can improve the strength of their nails.
Boosting hair health
- Deficiency of Biotin in the body can result in hair loss, so adding Biotin to your routine can help you stop your hair fall like eggs, Brazil nuts, and fatty fish.
Supporting pregnancy and breastfeeding
- As vitamin breaks down faster in pregnant women, so it is very important for them to take on Biotin.
Reducing blood sugar in people with diabetes
- A biotin deficiency can disrupt blood sugar, specifically with people with type 2 diabetes. A study says taking Biotin can treat them.
Boosting skin health
- Although there is no study to prove this, people with biotin deficiencies may experience skin problems, including red or scaly rashes.
Supporting Multiple Sclerosis treatment
- Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that damages nerve fibers’ protective covering in the brain, spinal cord, and eyes. This can be protected through a layer called myelin, and Biotin can help in producing it.
Biotin Rich Foods to Eat
Although from your daily diet, people get the recommended amount of Biotin the body needs, however, if you need to increase the intake of Biotin, you can add biotin rich foods into your diet.
- Organ meats, such as liver or kidney
- Egg yolk
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, and walnuts, soybeans and other legumes)
- Whole grains
The amount of Biotin might vary from food to food, so it’s very important to read the nutritional information whenever possible. This helps you select items with the most Biotin for your buck.
Other benefits of Biotin
Biotin consists of B vitamins that support a healthy metabolism. Biotin helps in converting glucose from carbohydrates into energy for the body and aids amino acids to help do our normal bodily functions.
Biotin also helps in:
- Reduce inflammation.
- Improve cognitive function.
- Helps in lowering blood sugar in people with diabetes.
- Increase HDL, i.e., “good” cholesterol, and decrease LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Adding excess biotin-rich foods to your meal doesn’t carry any risks. However, you should always consult with your doctor before adding a new supplement to your diet. Biotin doesn’t have any side effects, but your doctor should still confirm supplement use with any other medications you might be taking.
Biotin consists of water-soluble vitamins, so any extra biotin in your body will automatically be flushed out through your urine. This makes a potential overdose unlikely.
If you get an unusual or unexpected skin rash after increasing your biotin intake, you should see your doctor immediately.
Your doctor will check for the below-mentioned points to confirm an overdose:
- Low vitamin C levels
- Low Vitamin B6 levels
- High blood sugar levels
- Fall in insulin production
After your check up if your doctor confirms that you’re taking too much Biotin, they will reduce your recommended dosage.
Biotin is very important for normal body function, and supplements may help pregnant women and some people with diabetes; there still isn’t enough study to support these claims about healthy hair, skin, or nails.
However, it’s a good idea to eat a balanced, healthy diet of unprocessed or minimally processed foods for your optimal health.