The Importance of Biotin
Biotin, a nutrient important for healthy hair, nails, and skin, is also attracting attention. Here, we’ll define biotin, discuss its functions, and offer suggestions for obtaining enough of this essential vitamin.
From time to time, a lesser-known vitamin or mineral will become trendy due to a set of health claims made about it. Examples include the popularity of collagen for skin health and keratin for hair health.
Biotin is technically a synonym for vitamin B7. Vitamin B7 is a form of vitamin B, one of several B vitamins. It is a water-soluble vitamin composed of five different enzymes that play a significant role in the digestion of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Moreover, these enzymes play a role in controlling cellular communication and gene expression. Almost all of the biotin we consume is found in a bound form to proteins in our diets, but the body also stores some biotin in its free form (most biotin is stored in the liver).
Why is Biotin so important?
Now that we’ve established what biotin is, what can it do for us? Biotin, in conjunction with vitamin A, promotes the synthesis of keratin, a protein composite that reinforces and maintains the health of hair and nails. Hair thinning, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, brittle nails, and even certain neurological problems like depression or persistent fatigue can all result from not getting enough biotin. This condition typically begins with a slow onset of symptoms.
What role does Biotin play in health?
Since biotin is used to preserve healthy hair, skin, and nails, it stands to reason that supplementing with more of it would have the same effect. Doubtless not. Supplementing with biotin may have some positive effects, but the evidence is limited.
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Advantages of Biotin to Hair and Nails
Recent studies on the benefits of biotin for hair and nails mostly date back to the 1990s. It was found in one small study from the past that nail plate thickness increased by 25% when biotin was taken orally. Recent research from 2017 looked at 18 individual reports of biotin’s benefits on hair and nails. After beginning biotin supplementation, all cases showed clinical benefits in hair and nail health. The authors of the study noted, however, that a lack of biotin or other underlying conditions could have affected the findings. While biotin is commonly used as a hair and nail growth supplement, there is a dearth of evidence supporting its use.
Many claims about biotin supplementation are based on old research; more extensive studies are needed to back up these claims. Also, since most supplements aren’t vetted at all, you might do better to get what you need from food.
To maintain optimal health, adults over the age of 19 should get 30 micrograms of biotin daily (those recommendations increase to 35 micrograms for people who are lactating). Supplements of biotin are widely available, but satisfying your body’s natural requirements is as simple and delicious as eating a few specific foods. Foods high in biotin can be found in both animal and plant sources.
- Eggs (33 percent of the daily value)
- 3 ounces of salmon (17% DV)
- 3-ounce pork chop (13 percent of the daily value)
- 3 ounces of ground beef (13% DV)
- 14 cups of sunflower seeds (9% of the daily value)
- 1/2 cup of sweet potato (8% DV)
- One-fourth cup of almonds (5% of the Daily Value)
In conclusion, Biotin is a B vitamin that plays an important role in converting food into energy and supporting strong hair, nails, and skin. However, more investigation is required to determine whether or not additional supplementation has additional benefits. Foods like Spinach and Mushroom Quiche and Sheet-Pan Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli can help you meet your needs and still taste great.
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