Introduction to Biotin
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin crucial for cell growth and development. Biotin is one of the vital vitamins that promote the development of skin, nails, hair and other parts. This compound, also known as vitamin B7, plays a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fatty acids. For us to enjoy the health benefits that come from consuming foods rich in carbs, fats, and proteins, biotin must be present to facilitate the conversion of these nutrients into usable macronutrients that our bodies can utilize.
According to scientists, intestinal digestive bacteria are capable of producing biotin that can be used by the body but this hardly produces enough of it. The good news, however, is that our bodies only require a small amount of biotin which we can easily supplement through eating a healthy diet. Eating sufficient amounts of liver, eggs, salmon, yeast, cheese, avocado, raspberries, whole grain bread, and cauliflower daily is enough to meet our body’s demand for the vitamin.
The biggest challenge, unfortunately, is that vitamin B7 being water soluble, it can easily be excreted through urination resulting in a worrying deficiency. Our bodies, therefore, do not store any excess or unused biotin and this also results in deficiencies when you do not supplement the vitamin.
Vitamin B7 deficiency can also be as a result of smoking, pregnancy, excessive alcohol consumption, prolonged usage of anti-seizure and antibiotic drugs, and intestinal malabsorption.
Due to its presence in most of the food that we consume daily, biotin deficiency rarely happens but if it does then you are likely to experience:
- Dry and irritated skin
- Nerve damage
- Mood swings
- Muscle aches
- Chronic fatigue
- Cognitive problems
Supplementing Vitamin B7/Biotin
The good news for everyone with biotin deficiency is that you can easily get it from lots of the B-complex supplements on the market. This supplement will help your diet in boosting the amount of vitamin B7 in the body. Using high-quality supplements will also provide you with pure biotin obtained from natural food sources. This means that you can fully rely on the supplements to get safe vitamin B7 without having to follow a specific diet plan.
Benefits of Biotin
- Promotes Body Metabolism
You may be consuming lots of foods full of useful nutrients but if your body cannot convert the nutrients into components that can be absorbed and used by your organs then you are less likely to enjoy their benefits. Biotin helps your body to convert the carbs and amino acids present in the food you are eating into a form that your body can easily absorb and use. Other than converting carbs and amino acids, vitamin B7 is useful in activating fatty acids from the foods that we eat.
It’s also crucial to note that biotin’s ability to control the metabolism of glucose means that it can assist with preventing diabetes. Therefore, by ensuring that glucose levels are kept at the check, vitamin B7 reduces your chances of getting the type 2 diabetes.
Finally, with better metabolism, you will be safe from issues such as; weight gain, low energy levels, mood changes, poor appetite, poor digestive problems etc.
- Promotes Skin, Nails and Hair Growth
If you are experiencing skin irritation, dermatitis, brittle hair, hair thinning and splitting then you probably have vitamin B7 deficiency. Biotin plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin, nails, and hair and that’s why you will also find it present in a lot of cosmetic products.
Vitamin B7’s potency in maintaining healthy hair and skin is undebatable but its effectiveness, when taken topically, has always been questioned. Various clinical trials explain that consuming biotin through supplements or foods is much more effective than using it through hair masques, face creams or other similar products.
The vitamin also offers protection against fungal infections, acne, skin dryness, cracking and rashes.
- Maintains optimal brain Performance
Studies have in various occasions reported that vitamin B7 interacts positively with the nervous system especially in neurotransmitter activities and nerve signaling. This vitamin maintains an optimal exchange of information and this directly leads to better brain performance.
By protecting and promoting brain function, biotin helps in preventing neurodegenerative disorders. This keeps you safe from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
With better nerve signaling, you will also enjoy better moods, positive mindset, improved concentration and an increase in energy.
- Offers protection against cardiovascular diseases
All B vitamins including Vitamin B7 offer excellent protection against atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attacks and inflammation. This so because of biotin assists in maintaining steady fat metabolism. Additionally, Vitamin B7 can be used together with chromium where it reduces the levels of low-density lipoprotein while increasing levels of high-volume lipoprotein.
Cardiovascular diseases are some of the leading causes of deaths worldwide. Supplementing biotin, therefore, offers a much need protection.
- Boosts healthy immune system
Vitamin B7 deficiency has been associated with an increase in infection rates. According to scientists, vitamin B7 promotes the growth and development of white blood cells that are crucial for a healthy immune system. Biotin ensures that there are sufficient T cell decay, antibodies, and spleen cells.
Enough biotin in the body allows for the production of TH1 Cytokines that allows the body to fight off viral and bacterial infections.
Biotin is a perfectly safe vitamin with very few reported cases of adverse reactions. Issues of overdose are also unlikely to occur because it is water soluble and hence any excess is naturally excreted through urine. You’re, however, advised to never go beyond 300mg daily dosage or 20mg dosage when using it intravenously.
Biotin is an extremely useful vitamin that your body shouldn’t deal without. You can easily get this vitamin from the foods discussed above but if you still feel like you need more of it then you can always look for supplements made from real food sources which are always safer and more effective.