Biotin, which can also be called vitamin B7, is an important vitamin that is part of Complex B. Because it is soluble in water, the body cannot store it and needs its constant production and ingestion.
Benefits of Biotin
Its benefits are several, as it helps the body to convert nutrients into energy, and one of the best known is to maintain the health of hair, nails and skin . In the past, it has received the name “Coenzyme R” and “Vitamin H”, which comes from the German “Haar” (Hair) and “Haut” (Skin).
Biotin: What it is for
Biotin serves to improve the metabolism of macronutrients in digestion, as it is part of the functioning of several enzymes in the body, known as carboxylases. Such enzymes activate the production, for example, of fatty acids and glucose (gluconeogenesis), by breaking down important amino acids, such as leucine.
Thus, biotin is fundamentally involved in the production of energy , participating in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that we eat, which are broken down into nutrients of smaller units and can finally be absorbed by the body.
In addition, the benefits of vitamin B7 benefit the heart and the circulatory system , because it helps to reduce triglycerides, which are harmful elements in the circulation, and, consequently, reduces the “bad” cholesterol and increases the “good” (HDL) cholesterol: which means reducing the risk of hypertension and arteriosclerosis.
Biotin is considered important in the production of myelin, which is a protective covering of nerve fibers in the eyes, brain and spinal cord. Anyone who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease, has a progressive destruction in myelin, so biotin can help to regenerate this tissue.
There is already research that proves that high doses of biotin produce clinical improvement in patients with Multiple Sclerosis . Bone marrow and other nerve cells can grow or be repaired with the consumption of biotin.
The gain in muscle mass is, in the same way, propitiated by biotin, mainly when there is damage to the muscles and they need repair – after long workouts of muscle hypertrophy, for example. Biotin-containing enzymes perform protein synthesis , which is necessary for muscle growth.
Another benefit of biotin is in the regulation of sugar levels – glucose – in the body. With its stability, when there is a good functioning of the enzymes, biotin prevents glucose from suffering a shortage or excess, balancing insulin levels and insulin sensitivity. That’s how to prevent Type 2 Diabetes. But for that, it is also necessary a minimally balanced diet, without exaggeration in sugar.
To demonstrate such a benefit, some controlled studies in diabetics have indicated that biotin supplements in conjunction with mineral chromium may help treat some people with type 2 diabetes, as compared to healthy individuals, patients with type 2 diabetes may have lack of biotin in the body.
Biotin in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
During pregnancy and breastfeeding , biotin is also a very important component, as there is an increased need for vitamin B7. It is estimated that up to half of pregnant women may have a mild biotin deficiency, but this does not always cause noticeable symptoms.
The hypothesis is that this deficiency occurs due to the faster metabolism of biotin in the body during pregnancy. This can also interfere with the development of the fetus, which is why many pregnant women receive Complex B supplementation by the doctor. And finally, one of the first known benefits of biotin is still the strengthening of nails and hair.
Biotin for Hair and Nails
Brittle nails are those that easily crack, peel, or get chipped. It is estimated that this condition affects about 20% of the world population, not necessarily due to a lack of biotin, but often the vitamin helps to reverse the situation.
Some studies have already been done in which at least 25% of participants with fragile nails who received biotin supplementation improved after at least 5 weeks of treatment. In the case of hair, the mechanism is the same: vitamin B7 deficiency can lead to hair loss, although there are few studies on this.
Biotin deficiency can still affect the health of the skin, causing seborrheic dermatitis and symptoms such as redness and scaly rashes , which can be reversed with a good biotin diet. The hypothesis is that this benefit for the skin, nails and hair is related to the breakdown of fats provided by biotin, but there is still no scientific evidence.
Biotin Sources and Supplement
Biotin is found in many foods, so it is difficult to need vitamin B7 supplementation , the manipulated biotin. But it can be indicated to improve the health of certain groups at risk, such as pregnant women, athletes and the elderly.
There are also rarer cases of inherited biotin disease, in which the biotin supplement is sorely needed. The best biotin supplement is for oral use , as ointments and gel for skin and hair do not usually have an effect.
The probiotic bacteria of the intestine can produce biotin, and we can also find it in many foods . The main sources of biotin are:
- Bull’s liver
- Egg yolk
- Integral rice
We still find in other foods like: soy, oats, nuts, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and bananas.
Important: Egg whites should always be cooked or fried to deactivate avidin protein, which prevents the absorption of biotin.
Recommended daily intake
The daily recommended biotin intake is 5 mcg for children and 30 mcg for adults . In the case of pregnant or breastfeeding women , this amount may increase to 35 mcg per day .
Biotin deficiency is not very common, as bacteria and food normally have enough of the body’s needs. And as for weight, biotin is not fattening , not even as a supplement. Since it is a vitamin, it has no calories. Biotin can even help with weight loss if accompanied by a balanced diet.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.