The Benefits of Biotin
The Forgotten B Vitamin
Biotin is one of the B complex of vitamins, also known as vitamin B7, that helps the body convert the carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the food we eat into glucose for energy. Biotin also helps keep the skin, hair, eyes, liver, and nervous system healthy, and is vital to embryonic growth during pregnancy. But, while most people who eat a healthy, balanced diet will get adequate amounts of biotin from the food they eat, many claim that supplementing with biotin makes hair and nails grow longer and stronger and improves the look of skin.
How Much Biotin is Enough?
The Mayo Clinic recommends that both male and female adults consume 30 to 100 micrograms (mcg) per day of biotin. Because biotin is water-soluble, extra biotin will not be stored in the body; it is simply excreted when you urinate. For this reason, most people can handle biotin supplements, though some people experience mild side effects like acne and digestive issues.
Am I Biotin-Deficient?
Though very rare, a biotin deficiency can lead to brittle nails, hair loss and a red, scaly rash. Biotin deficiency is more common amongst chronic smokers, alcoholics, pregnant women, and those with Crohn’s disease, liver disease, or any other health conditions that inhibit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Biotin deficiency is also more prevalent in those whose diets are overly high in processed foods.
Benefits of Extra Biotin
Biotin helps the body to produce keratin, which is a protein found in our hair, nails and skin. A 1993 study showed a 25% increase in nailplate thickness after six months of biotin intake. A 2012 study found that women with self-perceived thinning hair saw an improvement after 90 days of biotin supplementation, and the results of the study were duplicated in another in 2015. And while there is not a lot of conclusive research, there is compelling anecdotal evidence from users of biotin who report seeing an improvement in their hair, skin and nails when taking biotin supplements, although differences are only noticeable after several months of consistent supplementation.
Natural Sources of Biotin
If you want to increase your biotin intake through the food you eat, chose several biotin-rich foods each day to ensure you’ll consume enough biotin to make a difference. Foods high in biotin include egg yolk, organ meats like liver and kidney, nuts, soybeans and other legumes like lentils, chickpeas and beans, whole grains, cauliflower, bananas, sweet potatoes and mushrooms. Remember, eating these foods as close to their natural state as possible – think raw or gently cooked rather than canned or otherwise processed – will allow you to take full advantage of their biotin content.
If high-biotin foods don’t entice your palate, biotin supplements are readily available and come in many different forms, including powders, capsules and gummies. Kore Biotin Gummies are naturally fruit-flavored and gelatin-free, and contain 5000 mcg of biotin and only 15 calories per serving. Additionally, Kore’s Women’s Multivitamin Gummies also contain 5000 mcg of biotin.
Other Benefits of Biotin
In addition to benefits for hair, skin and nails, studies have shown biotin may reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, optimize metabolism, help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes and support healthy cholesterol levels.