As cliché as it may sound, the hair is your crowning glory so to speak. Your hair is vital for your appearance as it helps showcase your personality based on your hairstyle preference. It compliments your overall facial features so therefore you need to do everything you can to prevent hair loss and maintain a healthy hair. Biotin for hair is an essential nutrient to help maintain the fullness and health of your hair. A deficiency of biotin will result to frail, brittle and unhealthy hair that will lead to hair loss. Thus, it can also cause a dramatic effect on your confidence level once your crowning glory lost its beauty and splendor.
Hair loss has been a growing concern for many people over the years. Fortunately, with the help of research and technology, more and more biotin-containing products have emerged to help people with hair loss problems to grow back their hair.
Biotin has become one of the most popular supplements for hair loss and hair growth in recent years. In this guide, I’ll explain how this supplement work and who can benefit from taking them. I’ll also be reviewing some of the best biotin supplements for hair growth in UK and also sharing my personal favorite product at the end.
What is Biotin?
Biotin is commonly found in a large variety of supplements due to the number of benefits it provides to the human body. Biotin is a water souluble B-complex vitamin, known as Vitamin B7 or vitamin H. Biotin is a coenzyme (binds to the protein), and helps in the metabolism of fatty acids and leucine (an amino acid) and it plays a role in Gluconeogenesis, which the body uses to keep blood sugar levels from dropping too low.
How Your Body Uses Biotin
Your body needs Biotin for cell growth, it also needs Biotin for the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. Biotin is also thought to help maintain a steady blood sugar level. Your body also uses Biotin to create energy during aerobic respiration (a key way cells gain energy) and Bioti also helps in the transfer of Carbon Dioxide.
Signs of Biotin Deficiency
A facial rash, along with an abnormal distribution of facial fat are signs of Biotin Deficiency. Biotin deficiency may be hereditary and people with this may have evidence of impaired immune system function, including increased susceptibility to bacterial and funagl infections. Other signs include-
- Hair loss
- Numbness and Tingling of extremities
People at Risk of Biotin Deficiency
There are a few factors that may cause a person to have a deficiency in Biotin. First off Biotin deficiency is not common in most people because it is produced in excess by intestinal bacteria, but there are some people that may be more likely to have a deficiency of Biotin.
Alcoholics have been found to be at a greater risk of Biotin Deficiency. Elderly individuals also may have a Biotin deficiency, also athletes or people that push there body to the extreme limits of physical activity. Other risks include, pregnancy and lactating women, people that have a gastrectomy, people with low levels of gastric acid in the stomach, epileptics, and smokers.
Pregnancy and Biotin Deficiency
Pregnant women are at greater risk of Biotin deficiency. This may be due to higher levels of Biotin being used. A study found that almost half of pregnant women have an abnormal increase of an acid in the body that reduces the levels of Biotin in the body.
Studies found that Biotin deficiency during pregnancy may cause congenital malformations such as a cleft palate. Infants and embryos have been found to be more sensitive to Biotin deficiency and because of this mothers with a mild case of Biotin deficiency may cause a serious consequence to their infant. The mother may not even notice any signs of symptoms of the Biotin deficiency.
Foods Containing Biotin
Biotin levels decrease when you cook or freeze these foods. That is why it may be difficult to get a good source of Biotin form foods.
- Egg Yolk (raw egg white contains a protiein that blocks Biotin absorption)
- Soy Flour
Recommended Supplementation Levels of Biotin
Because lack of Biotin is rare, there is no RDA or RNI amounts for it. Further research into possible needs for Biotin supplementation is still being done.
Infants and children up to 3yrs of age are recommended to take 10-20mcg per day.
Children 4-6 years of age are recommended to take 25mcg, Children 7-10 should get 30mcg.
Adolescents and Adults should get 30-100mcg of Biotin per day.
Concerns of Biotin Supplementation
No side effects have been reported with Biotin supplementation at amounts up to 200mcg. Your body is able to easily excrete Biotin through the urine because it is a water soluble vitamin.
How does biotin for hair work?
Biotin is used to develop new skin cells and hair growth, thus making your hair thicker and longer. Biotin is recommended to be included in your daily diet to ensure healthy hair and to prevent hair-fall. Liver and egg yolks are foods that contain a good quantity of biotin. Others are yeast, green peas, oats, soybeans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, bulgur and brown rice.
Various hair growth products that are becoming popular these days contain biotin for hair. These products are sold in variety of forms:
Biotin capsules or tablets – These supplements contain biotin in their formulation that helps to strengthen the hair strands, prevents hair fall and treat baldness. These supplements are also effective in treating other symptoms that result from biotin deficiency. Overdosing in the nutrient is highly unlikely as it is water soluble. Meaning the excess will be excreted in the urine. Side effects are also rare, but some users reported of having pimples appear on chin and jaw line.
Elixirs and Shampoos – These types of products are topically applied to the hair and scalp to promote hair growth and healthy hair. Consistent application of biotin for hair care products will eventually result to fuller and thicker hair. This will also be very beneficial for people with thinning hair in some areas of the head.
There is also a growing controversy over the effectiveness of biotin with shampoos, conditioners or lotions. Some are saying that biotin cannot work externally as it won’t be absorbed by the skin. Thus, it has to be taken internally to work. However, some also believed that topical application of biotin through shampoos and lotions can also create a difference and help restore unhealthy hair.
Health benefits of biotin
Biotin plays an important part of how cells grow in our bodies, the ability to burn fat, manufacture of fatty acids and amino acids. At one time B vitamins were thought to be a single vitamin.
Even though deficiencies in biotin are uncommon, there are situations that increase the probability. If you happen to be taking medicines to control seizures or antibiotics, you could be risking an occurrence of biotin deficiency. And, even though this seems unlikely, eating large amounts of raw egg whites can cause you to eradicate biotin from your body.
Being careful with certain foods can protect the balance of biotin in your body so that you can reap its benefits. Since biotin is easily dissolved in water it’s nearly impossible for the body to accumulate a supply. In order for our bodies to maintain a supply biotin, it needs to be assimilated from our food or nutritional supplements. Some great sources for biotin include egg yolks, shellfish, sardines, poultry, trout, cauliflower, mushrooms and bananas, all of which are packed with biotin.
One of biotin’s great benefits is that it improves the health of your nails, hair and skin. Additionally, Biotin is said to help with certain types of dermatitis, and can also strengthen fragile finger nails. Another of biotin’s benefits is its ability to reduce blood glucose levels in type I diabetes and lower the body’s resistance to insulin.
The best way to keep biotin in your body is to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet. In addition to the food sources mentioned earlier, a few more good sources of biotin include cooked oats, bananas, wheat, nuts, soybeans, brewer’s yeast and milk. However, the best sources of biotin are organ meats, like kidneys or liver. The body can also manufacture its own biotin naturally in the intestines with the assistance of tiny bacteria.
If you happen to develop a biotin deficiency take nutritional supplements to bring the biotin levels back up. Ideally, your diet should contain at least 30 mcg of biotin everyday. Examine your daily nutritional intake. If you are not getting this amount then it’s time to modify your diet to bring your biotin up to acceptable levels.