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Benefits and Side Effects of Biotin

Did You Know the Benefits And Side Effects of Biotin?

Biotin is one of the most essential vitamins required by our body for proper growth and sound health. However, when it comes to biotin supplements, one needs to exercise caution, as there have been instances wherein people have complained about their side effects.
Abhijit Naik
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Biotin, also known as Vitamin H or B7, is a water soluble B-complex vitamin, which is necessary for cell growth and production of fatty acids in living organisms. The word biotin is derived from Greek word 'bios', meaning life.
Biotin deficiency is a rare condition, as the vitamin is produced in excess by the intestinal bacteria for several bodily processes. Besides that, biotin is also present in foods like liver, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, banana, soy flour, and yeast.
In the event of biotin deficiency, the doctor may prescribe supplements for its treatment. At times, a person may use these supplements for the treatment of underlying conditions or to stimulate hair growth. In either case, it is important to be aware of their benefits and side effects.
Benefits of Biotin
Back in 1940s, a research had revealed that biotin supplements helped in strengthening the hooves of horses and pigs. Over the course of time, more of such researches were undertaken, with some of these revealing that the vitamin is also beneficial for humans. At the basic level, it is a necessary for our health and the growth of our body. However, it benefits go well beyond that.
✦ Biotin plays a vital role in converting fatty acids and glucose into fuel to produce energy.
✦ It helps in metabolizing amino acids and carbohydrates to produce certain enzymes.
✦ Creation of glycogen can also be attributed to the presence of biotin in the human body.
✦ It is useful in alleviating muscle pain and preventing exhaustion.
✦ It is essential in formation of nucleic acids, RNA and DNA.
✦ It helps the sweat glands, nerve tissues, and bone marrow to remain healthy and work efficiently.
✦ It also helps in the treatment of acne and eczema.
✦ Hair and nails are strengthened due to the presence of biotin―in right amount―in the body.
✦ Biotin supplements are recommended to tackle problems like hair loss and brittle nails.
✦ Including biotin in diet can prove effective for the treatment of Seborrhoeic dermatitis (a skin disorder in adults) and cradle cap (a skin disorder in infants).
Additionally, people suffering from type 2 diabetes are often found to have low levels of biotin. In fact, studies have suggested that this vitamin can help to keep diabetes in check by improving blood glucose.
Biotin Side Effects
Although researchers have not yet been able to provide concrete evidence as such, it is assumed that biotin has some minor side effects.
✦ In one case, it was revealed that the high intake of vitamin B7 alongside vitamin B5 could lead to a life-threatening condition called eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion.
✦ Similarly, a test was conducted on a pregnant rat, wherein it was given high doses of Vitamin B7. Later, it was observed that the placenta of the fetal rats decreased in size, and that, in turn, increased the probability of miscarriage.
Daily Adequate Intake (AI) of Biotin for Different Age Groups
» Infants (0 - 12 months) - 7 mcg
» Children (1 - 3 years) - 8 mcg
» Children (4 - 8 years) - 12 mcg
» Children (9 - 13 years) - 20 mcg
» Adolescents (14 - 18 years) - 25 mcg
» Adults (Over 18 years) - 30 mcg
» Pregnant women - 30 mcg
» Breast-feeding women - 35 mcg

Anything that is taken in excess is bound to affect your body in some way or the other. While there is no doubt about the fact that biotin is a beneficial vitamin, its intake should also be kept in check. During biotin deficiency especially, the intake should be strictly under medical supervision.
Disclaimer: This article is purely for the purpose of providing information and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice.