Vitamin B7 is also known as biotin. It used to be called vitamin H, which stood for Haar und Haut – a German term for hair and skin. The water-soluble vitamin does not store in your body, so you need to replace it on a regular basis. Biotin helps your body function properly in several different ways. Although more research is required to prove these assumptions, this particular vitamin can improve your health. Keep reading to learn more about biotin and its possible benefits.
Several enzymes that are involved in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism need biotin to produce energy and function properly. The enzymes play a crucial role in macronutrient metabolism by initiating the required steps to start the metabolic process of fatty acid synthesis, gluconeogenesis, and the breakdown of amino acids, just to name a few.
If you have brittle, weak nails that chip, split, or crack easily then you should up your biotin. Although more research is needed, several global studies have linked taking biotin with nail health. The vitamin may help improve nail thickness, which reduces the likelihood of breakage. If you have fragile nails, biotin supplements might resolve this problem.
A biotin deficiency is sometimes linked to seborrheic dermatitis. This skin condition is commonly referred to as cradle cap. If you notice scaly, red skin rashes, you may need to up your intake of biotin. Although more research needs to be conducted to correlate the link between radiant, healthy skin and biotin, it is known that a lack of biotin can lead to skin problems.
Increase Hair Growth
If you experience hair loss, you might want to talk to your doctor about biotin. This particular B vitamin is usually associated with hair growth. Although there is little evidence to support this claim, people tend to take biotin in hopes of longer, stronger hair. Like with the improved skin, a deficiency of biotin might lead to hair loss in some cases. That is why people often assume biotin is good for healthy hair.
Help with Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
A deficiency of biotin is possible in pregnant women. Although it is generally not severe enough to cause symptoms, you should consult with your medical provider about ensuring your levels are up to par. The deficiency is caused by the fact that biotin breaks down faster during pregnancy. In certain animal studies, a lack of biotin during pregnancy might lead to congenital disabilities. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, make sure you are getting an adequate amount of this B vitamin. Prenatal vitamins contain both folic acid and biotin.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Since biotin aids in metabolism, it only makes sense that this vitamin might help another metabolic disease known as Type 2 diabetes. If you have high blood sugar levels because of inadequate insulin function, you might need to take more biotin. The concentrations level of biotin in the blood is often lower if you have diabetes. While some studies suggest that biotin supplements along with mineral chromium tablets help lower levels, more research is needed. If you have Type 1 diabetes, which is much different than Type 2, biotin might help you, too. Studies reveal that the B vitamin might help people with Type 1 diabetes prevent kidney damage. As mentioned before, more clinical trials are required to prove this notion.
Helps with Multiple Sclerosis
Myelin is a protective sheath that covers the nerve fibers in your spinal cord, eyes, and brain. When the myelin is damaged or destroyed, it causes the autoimmune disease known as multiple sclerosis (MS). Although more studies are required, several cases reveal that high doses of the B vitamin can improve the symptoms. If you have progressive MS, talk to your doctor about taking biotin to treat the condition that affects the central nervous system.
Lower the Risk of Heart Disease
As mentioned before, biotin helps regulate fat metabolism. Did you know that normal fat metabolism is necessary for healthy blood vessels and heart health? Chromium along with biotin can help increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) while trying to decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL), especially if you are already diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease. Doses of biotin have effectively lowered triglyceride levels as well.
Promote Brain Function
When you lack the appropriate amount of biotin, you can delay the process of myelination. Myelin sheath formation, which is the fatty substance around the nerves, requires biotin to facilitate nerve impulses. While biotin promotes brain function, a lack of it can lead to neurological problems such as seizures, learning disabilities, depression, lethargy, hallucinations, lack of muscle coordination, and more. Biotin supplementation might help prevent these conditions as well as other cognitive declines.
Boost the Immune System
As you learned, a deficiency of biotin can lead to certain ailments. Not having enough of the B vitamin can also leave you with a compromised immune system. You have a greater risk of getting sick or developing an infection if you do not take enough biotin. When you take biotin, it essentially increases the production of Th1 cytokines, which are required for triggering the immune’s response to fighting viral or bacterial infections. A biotin deficiency may also lead to a decrease in T cell and spleen cell production as well as antibody synthesis. If you deal with chronic vaginal candidiasis, you may need biotin treatment. It can help boost the amount of biotinidase in your body, which is an enzyme that recycles biotin and is associated with the chronic disease in women.