Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7 and Vitamin H is used in treating and preventing hair loss, brittle nails, skin rash in infants, diabetes, and mild depression. Biotin is produced in the intestines and is also found in leafy green vegetables, peanuts, egg yolks, and liver.
- Biotin occurs naturally in many foods. Wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, whole wheat bread, eggs, dairy products, nuts, Swiss chard, salmon, and chicken are all sources of biotin. The biotin in food is usually attached to protein and has relatively poor absorption.
- When it comes to treating alopecia (hair loss), a biotin supplement may be taken for hair growth. This is due to higher levels of biotin needed than what is found in a common diet.
- Biotin plays a key role in the body. It supports the health of the skin, nerves, digestive tract, metabolism, and cells. Biotin may also help to treat some types of nerve pathology, such as the peripheral neuropathy that can result from kidney failure or diabetes.
- Biotin supplements have been studied as a treatment for a number of conditions. In people with type 2 diabetes, early research suggests that a combination of biotin and chromium might improve blood sugar. On its own, biotin might decrease insulin resistance and nerve symptoms related to type 2 diabetes.
- More research needs to be done. Some preliminary evidence suggests that biotin might help strengthen brittle nails.
- Other uses of biotin — for conditions like cradle cap, hepatitis, hair loss, and depression — are unsupported or untested.
- Acne: Getting too much biotin in your system increases your risk of developing cystic acne on the chin and jawline. The reason why this occurs is unknown, but it is found that the acne fades a few weeks after you stop using biotin supplements. Make sure you take doses of biotin that are less than 2500 mcg or less each day and drink plenty of water while using biotin supplements to reduce your risk of developing cystic acne. You may need to experiment with different doses until you find the amount that works best with your skin.
- Allergies: Allergic reactions to biotin are not common, but they are still possible. People that have known allergies to vitamin B12 cobalamin or cobalt tend to be allergic to biotin as well. If you are suffering from an allergic reaction to biotin you may feel nausea, develop an itchy rash, tightness or pain in your chest and swelling of the throat and face. If you start to develop these symptoms call your doctor for help immediately as some of these developments can be fatal.
- Miscarriage: If you are taking high doses of biotin while you are trying to get pregnant it can increase your risk of suffering a miscarriage. The reasoning behind this is not clear, and no tests have been performed on humans to better determine the likelihood of this risk. Talk to a medical professional before taking biotin while pregnant to ensure your safety.
- Biotin negatively interacts with anti-seizure medications and medications that help lower cholesterol, causing these medications to work less effectively.
- While biotin is helpful in regulating your metabolism and blood sugar levels, it can have a distinct effect on the overall blood glucose level in your body.
- If you are taking medications like cholesterol medication or anticonvulsants or treating a condition like diabetes, taking biotin can have an impact on your symptoms.
- It is rare that people have a life-threatening experience while taking biotin.
Biotina, Biotine, Biotine-D, Coenzyme R, D-Biotin, Vitamin B7, Vitamin H, Vitamine B7, Vitamine H, W Factor, Cis-hexahydro-2-oxo-1H-thieno[3,4-d]-imidazole-4-valeric Acid.
- Source: WebMD, “Biotin”, web article (Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on June 05, 2013), www.webmd.com
- Source: “Biotin Side Effects”, web article, www.md-health.com/Biotin-Side-Effects.html
- Source: WebMD, “Biotin”, www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/