All vitamins and minerals are essential for proper functioning of the bodily systems. Biotin vitamin, like other vitamins, helps improve the rate of metabolism. Read on to know benefits of this vitamin and side effects of its overdose. Explore facts regarding biotin and hair growth.
Vitamins and minerals are the essential nutrients which play an important role in bodily functions. Biotin is a vitamin B source which is also sometimes referred to as vitamin H. It is actually a co-enzyme which is essential for proper metabolism of fatty acids, leucine and carbohydrates. Bacteria present in our intestine can produce biotin and it can also be obtained from food sources like vegetables, beans, brown bread, egg yolk, nuts, oatmeal, oysters, molasses, bananas, wheat germ, Brewer’s yeast, mushrooms, white meat, peanuts, etc.
Strong Hair and Nails
Besides carbohydrates, proteins and fats, vitamins and minerals play an important role in maintaining your health. Regular and sufficient supply of biotin helps strengthen your hair. Why trichologists recommend this vitamin for strong hair? Biotin or vitamin H reduces the chances of developing dry hair. By increasing the elasticity of the hair’s cortex, it reduces the chances of hair breakage. It stimulates the formation of new healthy cells in hair bulbs by promoting their division. It also helps prevent thin or splitting nails. With sufficient biotin, you can have strong and healthy nails.
Many skin care products contain biotin because it helps prevent dry skin. Regular intake of the vitamin can help you enjoy smooth and supple skin. Moreover, it can be used to treat skin conditions like cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis.
Biotin for Diabetics
It has been observed that people diagnosed with non-insulin dependent diabetes or type 2 diabetes usually suffer from biotin deficiency. So, taking biotin supplements can prove to be beneficial for such people. The vitamin also helps reduce the chances of neuropathy experienced by diabetics in case of uncontrolled diabetes.
Biotin intake can help prevent muscular problems like muscle cramps or weakened muscles. Since, it promotes metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, it helps increase the rate of metabolism and thus promotes weight loss.
Consumption of foods rich in biotin does not cause any side effects, but an overdose of biotin supplement may result in its side effects. Those who take biotin supplements regularly are likely to suffer from ‘too much of biotin’ in their body, if they don’t follow the instructions of the doctor regarding its dosage.
Side Effects of Biotin
Side effects of biotin are very rarely noticed. Excess or prolonged use of biotin supplements can result in side effects like aggravation of skin infections and rashes, slowed insulin release, increased blood sugar, increased vitamin C and vitamin B6 requirements.
Studies which involved pregnant rats, showed that an overdose of biotin in pregnant rats can result in miscarriage. More studies are required to prove this with human beings. Till then, pregnant or breastfeeding women and small children should take these supplements as per the recommended dosage only. While studying the effects of high doses of biotin and vitamin B5, researchers found out that such type of overdose can result in a life-threatening condition called eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion. Patient’s condition was improved after the patient stopped taking biotin and vitamin B5. The exact reason behind the life-threatening condition is still unknown.
Daily Dose of Biotin
- Young children: 5-12 micrograms (depending upon age)
- Adults: 20-30 micrograms
- Pregnant women or lactating mothers: 30-35 micrograms
- Therapeutic range: 50 micrograms – 15 milligrams
- Hair and nail problems: 2500 micrograms
Dermatitis, hair loss, brittle nails, loss of appetite, lethargy, low metabolism, muscle pain, hallucinations, depression, insomnia and lowered immunity are some of the symptoms of biotin deficiency. Prolonged intake of antibiotics and certain medical conditions can lead to deficiency of this vitamin. Usually, people who follow a healthy diet, do not develop such deficiencies. If you need to take biotin supplements, you should consult your physician for proper dosage.