You may have heard the word biotin, vitamin H or Vitamin B7 a lot on TV. Be it on a health program or a health product commercial. This water-soluble vitamin is a part of the vitamin B complex. B vitamins help support adrenal function, help calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and are necessary for key metabolic processes. They’re also important for healthy hair, as well as healthy nails and skin. Moreover, these vitamins help the body convert food into energy. So what are the many benefits of biotin.
Without b7 vitamin as a co-factor, many enzymes do not work properly, and serious complications can occur. But the first and most noticed symptoms are hair shedding, dry scaly skin, and cracking in the corners of the mouth. Our bodies need this vitamin to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and amino acids, the building blocks of protein. It is also a crucial nutrient during pregnancy, as it’s important for embryonic growth. Some say that there are not many good quality studies evaluating biotin. Therefore, many of its proposed uses are based on weak evidence or case reports.
Biotin for healthy hair and healthy nails
When we hear about vitamins for healthy hair growth, we often think about vitamin b7 as the first one. However, there are not many people aware of exactly what it is and what benefits we can get from using it reasonably. Research shows that among the factors making biotin important to healthy hair, metabolizing fatty acids and amino acids play a key role. Because hair strands are greatly consisted of a protein called keratin, the metabolization of amino acids, is essential for producing beautiful and healthy hair. Therefore, a deficiency can cause abnormal metabolism of fatty acids, which possibly leads to hair loss.
By taking biotin, you can maintain healthy hair, and reduce shedding. According to the American Pregnancy Association, some females might get hair loss during and after pregnancy, and biotin can deal with this problem. Experts suggest that taking about 5 mg of biotin under supervision of a physician helps prevent further hair loss. Besides oral intake of biotin supplements for healthy hair are available for use.
Brittle nails are attributed to dryness and dehydration of the protein keratin which is what nails are made of. So, when someone experiences a vitamin B7 deficiency, symptoms may manifest in many form including brittle nails. You may notice that this vitamin is included in many cosmetic beauty products for this reason. But vitamin B7 is much more effective when it’s eaten rather than applied topically. According to studies, taking high doses of B7 can treat weak nails. So if you want healthy nails you should include this vitamin in your diet. Alongside taking B7 for healthy nails, practice safe nail practices for best results.
Dietary Sources of biotin
A deficiency of B7 does not occur regularly, but if you do not get this nutrient enough, it can leave your skin and hair in lower condition. Consuming enough B7 can also help to increase metabolism and balance levels of blood glucose. Because it is simply one of the B Vitamins that you do not want to get a deficiency of it. Here is the list of the best and most common B7 rich foods that people should consume in a regular basis:
- Yeast, Grains
- Cold Water Fish
- Dairy Products
- Meat And Seafood
- Soy Bean
B7 for Healthy Metabolism
VitaminB7, along with other B vitamins, is needed to convert food we eat into usable energy that supports a healthy metabolism. B7 does this in several ways:
- It converts glucose from carbohydrates and sugar sources into usable “fuel” that is the body’s preferred source of energy.
- It helps the body use amino acids from proteins to carry out multiple body functions.
- And activates fatty acids from fat-containing foods like oils or animal fats.
VitaminB7 also improves the metabolism and utilization of glucose, which is extremely beneficial in our society where cases of type 2 diabetes are so common.
Daily amount doses
The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine recommends a daily adequate intake (AI) of 30 mcg in adults 19 years and older. The daily AI for pregnant women is 30 mcg, and 35 mcg for breastfeeding women. As for infants the daily AI are:
- 5 mcg — 0-6 months.
- 6 mcg — 7-12 months
- 8 mcg — 1-3 years
- 12 mcg — 4-8 years
- 20 mcg — 9-13 years
- and 25 mcg for adolescents.
Side Effects of vitamin B7
This vitamin is generally considered safe and well tolerated. The FDA has listed daily adequate intake of biotin. However, there are no known effects of taking this vitamin even at higher doses.