Biotin: What is It?

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BiotinBiotin also known as vitamin B7 or Vitamin H is a vitamin that is naturally produced within the body and is essential to all organisms.  Biotin is also known as vitamin H.  The “H” stands for “Haar und Haut” which translates to “hair and skin”, as it is known for assisting in both hair and skin health. This Vitamin H vitamin is also referred to as vitamin B7, one of the 8 vitamins found in the B complex.  B7 along with other vitamins in this complex are known for assisting in oral health as well as nerve, eye and liver health.  Biotin is created by yeasts, certain species of plants, as well as molds and algae. This particular vitamin produces energy by transforming food into fuel, or carbohydrates into glucose. It also metabolizes fats and amino acids and is essential for the growth of new cells.

Note: To learn more about biotin benefits visit our article on the Benefits of Biotin.

Where is it found?

Food

Aside from the body’s natural ability to produce biotin, it is also commonly found in a wide variety of foods that you may already consume regularly.  The minimum biotin requirement per day is 30 micrograms (one microgram is the equivalent to one millionth of a gram).  Listed below are just some of the foods that contain biotin:

 

  • Egg yolk
  • Liver
  • Yeast
  • Leafy greens like Swiss chard
  • Poultry
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Peanuts
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Avocado
  • Raspberries
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate
  • Milk
  • Soy

 

Note: Freezing may decrease the biotin content in some foods.  It is also encouraged to steam biotin-rich foods when possible in order to preserve the biotin.

 

Supplements

Aside from getting biotin intake from foods, there are also biotin supplements available which are especially useful for those who are biotin deficient. Biotin supplements are taken for a multitude of benefits such as overall body and cell health as well as a means for strengthening hair and nails.  It is recommended to drink plenty of water when taking biotin supplements to reduce the chances of acne.

Note: Biotin supplements can typically be found at your local drugstore or pharmacy.

 

Health and Beauty Products

While you can get your biotin intake internally via food and supplements, biotin can also be found in many topical products.  This includes many health and beauty products such as lotions, shampoos as well as conditioners. Using a biotin shampoo or a biotin conditioner will help to strengthen and nourish the hair while replenishing it with moisture.  While there is still no concrete evidence proving that biotin assists with hair growth, it can improve overall hair health by increasing the hairs resistance to breakage.  Biotin can also improve the condition of the hair follicles which are the organs that produce the hair, so their health is of the utmost importance when it comes to the health of the hair itself.

 

Note: Regardless of how healthy your hair, skin or nails are, anyone can benefit from topical biotin treatments, especially if they also include other natural and beneficial ingredients.

 

Factors Determining Biotin Levels

 As mentioned before the minimum biotin requirement per day is about 30 micrograms.  However, there are certain factors that can have an effect on biotin levels.  Although biotin deficiency is considered rare, studies have shown that pregnant women and women who are lactating may experience biotin deficiency. Additionally, studies have shown that alcoholics, athletes, epileptics and the elderly tend to have much lower levels of biotin in their bodies compared to others.

 


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