Biotin is an element that is used for preventing and treating Biotin deficiencies associated with pregnancy, long-term tube feeding, malnutrition, and rapid weight loss. It is also used for symptoms treatment like- hair loss, brittle nails, skin rash in infants (seborrheic dermatitis), diabetes, and mild depression. As a supplement Biotin, it also contains a coenzyme also known as vitamin H that is sometimes used for diabetes, brittle nails. Biotin is also well known as Vitamin B7 or H, which is a B vitamin found in smaller amounts in a number of food items, such as eggs and nuts. It is often added to oral hair growth and as a supplement to nourish hair thinning and help in promoting the hair growth.
How does it play a role in hair growth?
One symptom of Biotin deficiency in the body can be the thinning hair or the discoloration of the hair. Biotin can be used to increase the growth of hair, improving the hair texture and improve the appearance of skin. Activation of the gene Lhx2 leads to increased hair growth which is found in abundance in Biotin. The growth phase for scalp hair can proceed for a number of years, with the associated function of Lhx2 in hair follicles.
As compared to previous results, Biotin has rejuvenation properties to aid the development of new hair cells, leading to hair growth. This, of course, is where the Biotin properties play an important role in curing of hair loss by not only rejuvenating the hair but the scalp too, which plays a critical part in reversing hair loss. Even though the hair treatments are being taken as externally treated target problem areas, Biotin focuses on internal consumption resulting into internal effective treatment.
Hair is made of keratin, which is a form of protein made from many amino acids. Biotin is used by the body to break down proteins consumed through the diet into the amino acids needed to form keratin.
Other benefits of Biotin
- It benefits Hair Growth
- It helps in Nail Growth
- Helps boost the metabolism
- It is cheap and easily available
- Help in the process of tissue maintenance
- Vitamin B7 is helpful in reducing surplus fat and thereby leads to weight loss
- Considered as a synthesizer for a number of vital components it is a body synthesizer
- Studies have proven the fact that Vitamin B7 is helpful in maintaining proper levels of sugar in the blood
- It is also helpful in treating a number of diseases like- Alopecia, Parkinson’s disease, Rett Syndrome and Vaginal Candidiasis
Normal levels of Biotin
Oral Biotin supplementation has been found well-tolerated in doses limiting to up to 200,000 mcg/day. For healthy adults with age 19 years and older, The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has recommended an amount of 35 mcg of Biotin per day. For Adults between 14-18 years of age, an amount of 35 mg is well recommended. Whereas this requirement has been found to be usually fulfilled through the normal diet intake, itself. Studies by The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine have determined that the average person consumes about 40 to 60 mcg of Biotin daily. Some of the rich sources of Biotin include- Egg yolk, liver, avocado and salmon that are among the richest sources of Biotin.
There have been currently no such concrete published medical reports about the Biotin toxicity levels. Although, according to studies conducted by the National Institute of Health, doses as high as 200 mg have been used without any significant adverse effects. However, the National Institute of Health recommends that the higher doses than the recommended amounts should not be taken without a proper medical supervision or recommendation. These claims have however not been yet confirmed.
There have been some of the prevailing symptoms due to an overdose of Biotin levels. Some of the very sensitive people could experience the following Biotin overdose symptoms, such as:
- Skin eruptions
- Itchiness of the skin
- In extreme cases, eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion.
It has been noted that apart from the overdose symptoms, even at the highest dose, which is 10000 mcg, there have not been any notable cases of adverse reactions due to Biotin.
What happens if taken in excess?
Since Biotin is water-soluble in nature, therefore, a slight overdose of the same is very unlikely to cause any serious side effects. Generally, the excess Biotin intake by an individual in case of a Biotin overdose is flushed out of the system through urine, because of its water solubility factor. Biotin overdose side effects might only be seen significantly in people who have been taking Biotin supplements in excess amounts for a prolonged time period. Certain side effects such as slowed insulin release, skin eruptions, higher blood sugar, and increased vitamin C and vitamin B6 requirements have been noted to Biotin overdose, but these are very rare cases. Research is still going on to ascertain the consequences of a Biotin overdose.
A relevant study was conducted on pregnant rats by supplementing them with increased amounts of Biotin. The study revealed that shrinkage in the size of the placenta with higher chances of miscarriage was caused due to the Biotin overdose. This test, however, is not really marked to have any such similar implications on humans as far as the impact of Biotin overdose in humans is concerned. Although, there isn’t enough evidence to prove that high doses of Biotin can cause toxicity, but it is always advisable to take these supplements as per the recommended dosage, only for safer results.
Since there has been a lack of evidence on this subject, to be on a safer side, one must avoid from taking Biotin in excess for prolonged time periods. In case the doctors prescribe Biotin supplements owing to a Biotin deficiency in the body, only then it must be taken, but only as per the prescribed dosage and time.