What is Biotin?
Biotin or vitamin B7 formerly known as vitamin H or coenzyme R is a water-soluble vitamin found in small quantity in numerous foods. It belongs to the vitamin B complex.Vitamins are compounds needed for health and growth.Biotin is essential for fatty acids production, the metabolism of fats and amino acids, and cell growth. [1, 2]
Biotin supplements are used to treat or prevent biotin deficiency. Inheritance of one or more inborn genetic disorder that affects biotin metabolism or inadequate dietary intake can cause biotin deficiency. Biotin is available under brand names including:
Uses of Biotin
Eating a healthy diet helps you get the biotin you need to support the health of nerves, cells, digestive tract, skin, and metabolism. Uses of Biotin include the following: [2, 3, 4]
- Biotin is used to treat and prevent biotin deficiency. Symptoms of biotin deficiency include dry skin, hair loss, hair loss, a scaly rash around the mouth or eyes, dry eyes, depression, and fatigue.
- Biotin supplement may be used for neuropathy, hepatitis, and brittle nails.
- It may also be used for seborrheic dermatitis (skin rash) in infants, hair loss, diabetes, diabetic nerve pain, and other conditions.
- Biotin helps in creating energy and also in maintaining the function of the body as a whole. Your body needs this vitamin to stay healthy and it is available in various food stuff such as eggs and banana among others. Biotin supplements should only be taken if advised by your doctor.
- Supports your metabolism: Biotin has a major role in supporting metabolic function and works as a coenzyme to help in the breakingdown of food such as protein, carbohydrates, and fats. When a person is resting their metabolic rate is elevated and the food is broken down faster when they take Biotin.
- Regulates blood sugar: when Biotin is used in combination with chromium is can lower glucose levels.A study by Alpha Therapy Center in Texas found that a combination of chromium picolinate and Biotin can improve glycemic control in overweight to obese persons with diabetes type 2.
- Strengthens hair and nails: Biotin deficiency can cause hair loss, therefore the use of Biotin supplements may help restore the lost hair. This vitamin may also help thicken nail cuticles and prevent breakage.
- Lower cholesterol: animal studies have shown that Biotin plays a role in lowering cholesterol and preliminary research shows that Biotin can help reduce bad cholesterol levels (LDL) which can cause stroke and heart disease when too high.
- Improves the health of your skin:skin problems such as acne, dermatitis, overall itchiness, rashes, and psoriasis can occur due to Biotin deficiency. When Biotin is taken orally it can help restore the skin and protect it from rashes, fungal infections, acne, cracking, and dryness. Biotin is also included in many cosmetic face creams, hair masques, and other over-the-counter beauty products for skin nourishment.
Biotin has no recommended dietary allowance, only a suggested adequate intake levels. To ensure you are getting enough Biotin each dayhere is an average dosage recommended for Biotin: [1, 3, 4]
- The dose for infants and children – from birth to 3 years old is 7 to 20 mcg per day, from 4 to 6 years 25 mcg daily, and from 7 to 10 years 30 mcg per day.
- For adolescents and adults, the dose is 30 mcg to 100 mcg daily.
- For pregnant and breastfeeding women, the dose is 30 and 35 mcg daily respectively.
Biotin Side Effects
Biotin side effects are not associated with any serious conditions and the FDA has reported that it is safe, nontoxic and well tolerated when taken by mouth in the doses recommended. All the possible biotin side effects include:[3, 5, 6, 7]
This is very rare but there have been cases of people suffering from it. Biotin supplements have been reported to cause allergic reactions in some people which include tightness or pain in the chest, a feeling of nausea, and development of itchy rashes. Consult with your doctor if you experience these symptoms.
Frequency of urination
Unsubstantiated reports have been made that high doses of biotin can cause an increase in the urge to urinate and an unusual amount of sweating is also associated with intake of high doses of Biotin.
May cause acne
High levels of Biotin in the body can cause cystic acne on the jaw line and the chin. Biotin increase production of sebum in the skin, therefore allowing the accumulation of dirt and ruptures. The acne will go away several weeks after quitting Biotin.
During the first stages of using Biotin, a majority of people have complained of mild nausea. This side effect subsides with time.
Acute respiratory problems
High doses of Biotin may cause acute respiratory problems or anaphylaxis. Tell your doctor or physician immediately when your experience this problem.
Increase blood glucose levels
Those with diabetes should consult their doctors to know the proper dose of Biotin supplements they should take. A study has shown that Biotin increases the production of glucose and fatty acids in the body, therefore it is not recommended for those with diabetes.
Eosinophilic Pleuropericardial Effusion
This condition is extremely rare and has been reported in a single case where it was noticed in women who take Biotin supplements in combination with Vitamin B5.
May cause diarrhea
People who take Biotin in high doses may also experience stomach cramps and diarrhea. This side effects may subside if a person stops taking Biotin.
Cholesterol-lowering and anti-seizure medications can interact negatively with Biotin. The effectiveness of these drugs can be undermined if Biotin is used in high doses and it can also have an effect on diabetes symptoms.
Effects during pregnancy
Biotin can cause serious side effects during pregnancy. This vitamin may increase the risk of miscarriage, though it has not been tested and confirmed in humans, it is crucial to consult with your doctor when pregnant before taking Biotin. Pregnant women should refrain from using high doses of Biotin supplements.
Currently, there are no adverse side effects of Biotin when taken through the usual dietary intake or prescribed by a doctor and since it’s water-soluble, any excess in the body is turned into waste. It should also be taken in the recommended doses.
- Biotin side effects. www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/biotin-oral-route/description/drg-20062359
- Biotin side effects. Available athttps://draxe.com/biotin-benefits/