Everyone is always seeking thicker, fuller hair and the buzzword on the streets is Biotin. But what is Biotin? Biotin is a water-soluble, B vitamin that aids in converting macronutrients into energy. This vitamin is commonly found in foods such as eggs, oats, mushrooms, organ meat and spinach and as a bonus, it is also recommended for healthy hair and skin. So, chances are, that your daily diet provides you with your required amount of Biotin already. However, on the rare chance that you happen to have a Biotin deficiency, Biotin supplements can provide the extra assist.
Then why does your hair fall?
Barring any major medical condition, hair fall is usually directly related to changes in your life. It could be hormonal, or it could be dietary; women with a heavy period may lose iron and therefore become anaemic, causing hair loss. Or, one going on a crash diet to shed a few pounds may end up shedding hair due to lack of micronutrients. Biotin deficiency, although rare, manifests symptoms such as skin rashes, brittle nails and hair fall, which is why taking an oral supplement is a popular choice to restore the natural levels and improve the health of hair, skin and nails.
That said, Biotin deficiency can occur in people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol or two who eat more than two raw eggs in a day for a long period of time. Raw egg whites contain a protein that is known to block the absorption of Biotin. So scramble those egg whites instead!
So, does Biotin work?
While we really want to say yes, currently, studies on whether Biotin truly does cause hair growth are limited, according to the National Institute of Health. That said, the studies that have been conducted have had positive results. A 2015 study on the effects of Biotin saw a double-blind group of women taking Biotin and a placebo for 90 days. The researcher found that women given Biotin experienced significant hair growth in areas of hair loss and less shedding of hair as well.
A similar study was conducted in 2012 that also yielded similar results where the participants saw results over a 3 months and 6 months.
But then do you need more Biotin?
So, here’s the thing: The Food and Drug Association has no such RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) when it comes to Biotin, thus making it difficult to gauge if you need more on a regular basis. That said, the Mayo Clinic recommends 30 to 100 micrograms for adults and teen, which can be achieved from a daily balanced diet. However, you can get Biotin supplements from 1000 micrograms to 10,000 micrograms! But don’t worry, it is unlikely that you will overdose on it. Remember, Biotin is water soluble, so your body will just expel the excess out and there is currently no evidence to suggest that Biotin is toxic in such high doses.
Anything else I should know?
Biotin is a wonderful vitamin that aids one in maintain a healthy metabolic system. Biotin is additionally thought to reduce internal inflammation, aid diabetic individual in lowering their blood glucose levels, and also combat brain fog.
Although conclusive research is insufficient, according to this NIH study, a Biotin supplement is “possibly safe” to take for women that are pregnant or breast feeding.
Please note that it is highly recommended that you speak to a healthcare professional before taking any sort of supplement. If you feel that you have the symptoms of Biotin deficiency, then consult your doctor to see if it is indeed a Biotin deficiency or some other condition.