Vitamins are micronutrients essential for the growth and well-being of the human body. Biotin is one of the B complex vitamins, which makes it an important part of the diet too. It is also known as vitamin H. There are numerous sources of biotin, such as egg yolk, liver, soybeans, mushrooms, whole grains, and bananas. To live a long and healthy life, it is recommended that 30-100 micrograms of biotin be consumed by adults each day.
Biotin helps with many major functions of the body – some of which are listed below.
1. Boosts your metabolism
Biotin plays a crucial part in metabolizing carbohydrates and fats, which form the major part of our diet each day. When acting on carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, it works as a coenzyme and breaks down these substances into smaller constituents. The process of enzymatic breakdown can be enhanced using chromium picolinate.
Some people also argue that biotin aids in weight loss. The argument behind this stems from the fact that the metabolic rate is already elevated when resting. Therefore, food breaks down at a greater rate when biotin is consumed alongside. Biotin alone does not work as a weight-loss pill.
2. Strengthens nail and hair
There is little information on how biotin strengthens the nail and hair, but studies suggest it is directly related to keratin. Keratin is a protein found in hair, skin, and nails. Biotin helps keratin maintain its structure, hence, making your hair strong. There is ample evidence showing how lack of biotin can lead to hair loss and scaly skin. Hair-related companies around the world actively include biotin in their formulas, but it is better to consume biotin naturally rather than artificially.
For more promising results, combine the source of protein and biotin. Protein is responsible for producing keratin which makes the hair and nails stronger in the first place.
Fragile nails are every woman’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, biotin can help thicken the cuticle and prevent breakage. Research has shown that women who previously had brittle nails experienced less breakage after taking biotin.
3. Makes your skin fresh and healthy
B vitamins are directly related to regulating the nervous system and maintaining hormonal balance. If you have low levels of biotin circulating in your body, it can certainly affect your skin’s health. Toxicities throughout the nervous system can reach the skin and manifest as rashes, acne, dermatitis, and itching. Try to keep your biotin levels within range to give your skin a nice and soft glow!
The metabolizing of fats by biotin plays a crucial part in maintaining healthy skin too and keeps it oil-free.
4. Lowers cholesterol
High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood can lead to the formation of an atheromatous plaque, which ultimately leads to cardiovascular diseases and stroke as well. Biotin has been shown to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood, thus, decreasing the risk of a severe medical condition. Biotin also helps increase the good cholesterol, HDL.
5. Regulates blood sugar
Alteration of blood sugar levels in your blood can have serious consequences, such as diabetes mellitus. Luckily, biotin has proved to be helpful in preventing and fighting diabetes. Diabetes results from improper utilization of glucose or increased resistance to insulin. Studies show that deficiency in biotin can cause decreased glucose utilization and impaired glucose tolerance. Incorporating biotin in your diet can help your body maintain normal levels of glucose and use it properly.
Role of Biotin in Pregnancy
Like many other nutrients, biotin is also essential for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. It is common to have decreased levels of biotin during pregnancy because vitamins are broken down faster in a pregnant female. Mild deficiencies do not pose a threat to the mother or child, but severe deficiency can affect the health of pregnant women. Therefore, it is important to consume a sufficient level of biotin, either from the diet or supplements.
Does Biotin help against Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune condition, which means our body’s cells attack the immune system. It typically affects the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord, causing lifelong disability. Biotin has proven effective in treating MS as patients readily respond to daily doses of 300mg biotin. Biotin also produces the protective covering called myelin.
Is taking too much biotin good for your health?
As mentioned earlier, the recommended daily dosage for biotin is 30micrograms. Exceeding the normal range of biotin by consuming too much biotin or using supplements can take a toll on your health. Make sure to check with your health specialist before starting supplements. High levels of biotin can show up as false positive when testing for thyroid as well.
Individuals with biotinidase deficiency
Biotinidase is an enzyme that recycles biotin. A deficiency of this enzyme makes it impossible for biotin to be released and used by the body, resulting in biotin deficiency despite normal consumption. This can lead to several metabolic and neurological problems, and prompt treatment is necessary. Even small amounts of alcohol over a long period can cause decreased absorption of biotin.