Biotin Benefits: Can This Simple Vitamin Help Keep Your Hairline From Receding?
By: Lindsay Tigar
We have different vitamins for different things. When a cold starts rearing its sniffing, stuffy, runny head, you reach for a vitamin C supplement or double up on the glasses of OJ. You might reach for vitamin D in cold winter months when you’re not seeing enough sun. Collagen or vitamin E might occupy space in your cabinet to ease inflammation, aches and soreness brought on by your daily gym routine.
But if you’re struggling with hair loss, biotin can be a game-changer.
“Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 and vitamin H, is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it cannot be stored in the body and must be obtained from food or supplemental sources, Dr. Bryan Tran, D.O., the CEO of Dr. Formulas explains. It is most commonly known to support hair skin and nail growth, but it also with the production of all proteins in your body. Most of your body, including muscles, is made up of individual proteins.”
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How Does Biotin Work?
Post and pre-workout, your nutritionist it’s important to load up on the right fats and protein to give your body the fuel it needs to exert energy and push through every last rep. To make this process effective and efficient, your organs turn to biotin as the director. “Biotin is an important metabolism regulator and helps the body convert food into usable energy, and metabolize fats and carbohydrates,” lead naturopathic doctor at Harvey Health, Dr. Amanda Frick, ND, LAC says. Without biotin, you may hold onto food in unnecessary areas, causing potential weight gain or an inability to meet the health or muscle-density goals you set for yourself each month.
Dr. Roger E. Adams, Ph.D., CISSN, nutrition counselor and founder of eatrightfitness also explains biotin’s critical role in the creation of glucose and fatty acids that maintains your hunger and motivation levels. Biotin then breaks downs fatty acids and amino acids as food passes throughout your body, assisting your digestive tract and the detoxification of your liver.
As if this superpower nutrient wasn’t already essential, it comes with the add-on bonus of producing thicker, healthier locks and strong, durable nails. This is why men turn to biotin supplements as they blow out more candles on their birthday cake, and their hair begins to thin or recede.
How do you know if you have a deficiency?
If you’ve been struggling to drop that extra 10 pounds that’s lounging about your mid-section or you can’t stop inspecting your hairline every time you’re getting ready for work in the morning, you might be suffering from a biotin deficiency. Dr. Tran explains warning signs that you need to change your diet or take supplements include thinning hair, brittle nails or skin rashes. “All of these components of your body are made up of proteins and biotin plays a central role in the production of amino acids to build these proteins.”
Dr. Robert Silverman, a health expert at Romio and author of Inside-Out Health: A Revolutionary Approach to Your Body, is quick to note that a biotin deficiency is usually pretty rare, though there are a few indicators that could make it more likely, including prolonged use of certain anti-seizure or antibiotic medicines. Those who suffer from Crohn's disease might be more susceptible, as well. However, for those who have type-2 diabetes, biotin can be highly beneficial when combined with chromium to manage blood sugar.
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Benefits Of Biotin
Regardless if you decide to shift your meal plans or add to a new daily supplement in your vitamin arsenal, there are helpful benefits you can expect from biotin. From the inside out, experts explain the medical perks of this necessary nutrient:
Supports a healthy metabolism
Dr. Silverman explains alongside its other pals in the vitamin B complex, biotin helps to convert the nutrients in your body into the energy that’s needed to support and assist a healthy metabolic nerve, digestive and cardiovascular function. Having a functioning and reliable metabolism is a must-have for dropping pounds and getting the most value out of your workout regimen.
Protects brain function and supports memory
Biotin isn’t just in your gut, but in your brain too. “Biotin aids in the health of the nervous system due to its role in nerve signaling and neurotransmitter activity,” Dr. Silverman explains. “B vitamins influence memory function and defend against age-related cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia,” he explains. You might not be as worried about forgetfulness as you are about a bald spot, but within a few decades, you might be glad you started taking biotin supplements.
Builds and repairs muscles
As you might already know, when you exercise, our muscles breakdown and tear, and when they heal, they build stronger and more toned. You need biotin to make this process easy-peasy. “Biotin, and B vitamins help to rebuild the muscles and strengthen them. They also help reduce inflammation that can lead to muscle and joint aches and pains,” Dr. Silverman says.
Promotes hair, skin and nail health
Concierge wellness doctor Dr. Jonathan Leary says many doctors suggest a focus on biotin as many start to worry about aging, explaining, “Studies show there can be a beneficial impact of biotin on strengthening your hair and nails, and it can help your skin prevent dryness, cracking, rashes and might even fight against acne.”
Biotin Side Effects and What To Remember
Before you take a supplement, discuss every option with your doctor, who will give you the best catered advice to your own medical concerns. Especially since Dr. Frick says the FDA issued a warning about high doses of biotin, explaining it can “interfere with hundreds of common lab tests, including thyroid labs and tests to detect/diagnose heart attack, which has caused at least one death” - it’s vital to ensure you really need the vitamin and that you’re taking the right amount.
Dr. Adams adds, “Since biotin is readily available in foods and is in many multi-vitamin supplements, taking extra biotin is usually not recommended. If a true biotin deficiency is diagnosed, it can easily be reversed with supplementation of over-the-counter products. Check your diet carefully to see if it includes biotin-containing foods, like egg yolks, liver, fish, soy and soy products, and many whole grains. If you consume a large amount of raw egg whites, you many need to consider supplementation. But I would recommend eliminating the raw eggs. It worked for Rocky, but you’re not in a movie playing a boxer.”