What is biotin?
Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7 or vitamin H, is a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body convert food into energy. You can find biotin in various foods, including eggs, nuts, and leafy vegetables.
Many of us use biotin as part of our nutritional and beauty regimen to help support hair care and wellness, healthy nails, and skin health. While biotin deficiency is rare, some people may be at risk for deficiency due to their diet or other personal conditions. Biotin is often taken as a supplement.
Foods that contain biotin
Biotin is found in many foods that could be consumed as part of a healthy diet. These include:
- Eggs: One large egg may contain approximately 35 micrograms (mcg) of biotin.
- Nuts and seeds: A 1-ounce serving of sunflower seeds or peanuts may contain between 7-10 mcg of biotin, while 1 ounce of almonds may contain 4 mcg.
- Beef: Three ounces of cooked beef liver may contain 28 mcg of biotin.
- Fish: Salmon may contain 3 mcg of biotin per 3-ounce serving.
- Cauliflower: One cup of cooked cauliflower may contain 6 mcg of biotin.
- Avocado: One whole avocado may contain 3 mcg of biotin. Spinach: One cup of cooked spinach may contain 2 mcg of biotin.
How does biotin work?
Biotin works by helping the body metabolize fats and proteins. It also plays a role in producing enzymes needed for cell growth. When biotin levels are low, the body may have trouble converting food into energy, which can lead to fatigue and weakness. Low biotin levels might also cause skin rashes and hair loss.*
The importance of biotin
As previously explained, biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that's part of the Vitamin B family. As previously explained, biotin has different names and is also known as vitamin H or B7.
Biotin may play an essential role in energy metabolism. For example, it helps the body break down fats and carbohydrates. Biotin also helps form amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Protein is essential for cell growth, so biotin may help the body repair and build new tissue.*
One of the main benefits of biotin is that it may help strengthen your hair and nails.* So if you're experiencing brittle nails or hair loss, biotin may be able to help. Biotin deficiencies are relatively rare but can occur if you're not getting enough of this vitamin in your diet. Symptoms of a biotin deficiency include thinning hair, dry skin, and cracking nails.
Biotin can also help support blood sugar levels. This vitamin may play a role in insulin production and glucose metabolism.*
You can find different biotin supplements formats such as biotin tablets, biotin vitamins in capsules, biotin powder, or liquid biotin. In addition, you have a lot of other delivery formats available, and dosage may also vary. For example, some supplements may contain biotin 5000 mcg, biotin 10000 mcg, or more types of biotin pills. You can also find different multivitamin supplements, offering biotin as part of their formulas. For example, Codeage Multi Collagen Biotin supplement offers both collagen and 10000 mcg biotin in the same formula.
Furthermore, biotin may help to boost energy levels. This vitamin can help convert food into energy, which can help you feel more energetic and alert during the day. If you're struggling with fatigue, taking a biotin supplement may be able to provide you with support for energy.*
Biotin is generally safe and has few side effects. However, by taking large doses of biotin, you could experience digestive issues such as bloating, cramping, and gas. Consult with your doctor before taking any supplement.
Should I take a biotin supplement?
Most people get enough biotin vitamins from their diet and don't need to take a supplement. However, if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, you may need to take a supplement since biotin levels may drop during pregnancy. Speak with your doctor if you are pregnant as they are the only ones who can recommend you the use of biotin during your pregnancy.
Individuals with certain conditions may also be at risk for biotin deficiency and should speak with a doctor before taking a supplement.
Taking high doses of biotin (5mg or more per day) can interfere with some laboratory tests. So if you're scheduled for any laboratory test, tell your doctor that you're taking biotin so that the results aren't affected.
How can biotin help with my hair?
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that may help keep hair and nails healthy. Biotin plays an important role in synthesizing fatty acids and glucose, which are essential for the growth of hair and nails. Biotin also helps to regulate sebum production, an oil produced by the sebaceous glands that could help keep hair healthy. Sebum can sometimes become thick and block the follicles, which can lead to scalp problems such as dandruff, dry scalp, or even baldness. Biotin supplements may also help to improve scalp health and may reduce issues such as dandruff.*
Which biotin is best?
There is no one "best" biotin, as the amount each person needs may vary depending on factors such as age, health, and diet. If you're going to start biotin supplementation, you should assess if you want to use it by itself or combine it with other ingredients simultaneously. As always, talk with your doctor so they can recommend you if and what would be the best use of biotin for you.
Can I find biotin serum?
Yes, biotin serum is available for purchase online and in stores.
Other names for biotin
People looking for biotin may sometimes search for vitamin B7, vitamin H, biotina, biotin oil, biotin 10 mg, or vitamin B7, among some other terms.
Overall, biotin is a water-soluble nutrient that offers many wellness benefits. If you're looking to improve your hair, skin, and nails or boost your energy levels, biotin may be able to help. Talk to your doctor about whether biotin supplements are right for you.