Biotin for Hair Growth | Benefits and Side Effects Examined

Vitamins are essential for the better growth and development of the body.

If our body does not get the required amount of essential vitamins and minerals, many important body functions such as digestion, metabolism, and immunity will gradually collapse.

Biotin is one such Vitamin that is very important for several functions of the body. Many serious diseases happen due to a lack of this Vitamin, also known as Vitamin B7.

This article will examine the biotin benefits for our health, hair, skin, and nails.

We shall also look at Biotin side effects (pills), daily dosage, and the foods that contain this Vitamin. Also, the good benefits of biotin for hair growth deserve to be an important topic we cannot miss out on in this post.

What Is Biotin?

Biotin is a water-soluble B-Vitamin known as coenzyme R, Vitamin B7, or Vitamin H.

Vitamin B7 comprises a ureido (tetrahydroimidizalone) ring fused with a tetrahydrothiophene ring. A valeric acid substituent is attached to one of the carbon atoms of the tetrahydrothiophene ring. Scientifically, it is a coenzyme for carboxylase enzymes, involved in synthesizing fatty acids, isoleucine, and valine. It is also involved with the gluconeogenesis process in the body.

This B-Vitamin naturally occurs in many common foods we use in our daily diet.

As several of the body functions and growth are closely involved with this Vitamin, it is essential to maintain a healthy biotin level in our body.

Biotin Benefits for Health, Skin, Hair, and Nails

Biotin has many benefits, as this Vitamin is essential for several functions of the body.

It is essential in developing skin, hair, nails, nerves, and overall body growth.

Biotin side effects do indeed happen in the case of the overdose consumption of this Vitamin in supplement form…however, lack of this Vitamin can cause much more havoc to the overall health of the body.

Here is a list of biotin benefits in a gist:

  • Helps in the metabolization of amino acids and fatty acids
  • It is beneficial to the body as it carries carbon dioxide in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, essential for converting proteins and fats into glucose energy.
  • Biotin is valuable and essential for the growth and sustenance of hair. It also helps in reducing breakages and premature loss of hair.
  • It makes the nails strong and avoids cracks. Brittle nails are primarily due to a lack of this B vitamin.
  • Biotin is beneficial in treating diabetes; recent research suggests this Vitamin is good for stabilizing blood sugar.
  • A mixture of biotin and chromium supplements is suitable for treating type-2 diabetes as it helps reduce blood sugar.
  • Vitamin B7 is beneficial in reducing bad cholesterol by promoting a healthier metabolism and faster burning of body fats.
  • Beneficial for the treatment of certain types of nerve pathology like peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes and kidney disorders
  • This B vitamin helps decrease insulin resistance; it also helps the pancreas produce and manage blood sugar.
  • The benefits of biotin are also seen in the treatment of cradle cap, hepatitis, and depression.
  • It reduces triglycerides and cardiovascular disease risk.
  • It is beneficial in reducing the risk of congenital disabilities if pregnant.
  • Good for weight loss as biotin helps to improve metabolic function and works as a coenzyme to help the breakdown of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Biotin for Hair Growth

Does biotin work for hair growth? This is a widely debated and discussed topic among most dermatologists and hair experts.

At the outset, it must be noted that there is insufficient scientific backing to prove the effectiveness of biotin for hair growth.

However, this Vitamin is essential in helping several body functions and overall growth, so there is a strong link between biotin and hair.

Let us see how biotin helps in hair growth and in preventing hair loss:

  • Biotin deficiency leads to hair breakage, hair loss, and cracked and brittle nails.
  • Biotin supplements have proven an effect on increased hair growth, reduction in hair fall, and removal of hair dryness.
  • Sulfur is one of the active components of biotin that is good for producing collagen and will help grow solid hairs.
  • Biotin is one of the essential nutrients required for the growth and regeneration of hair follicles from which the hairs develop.
  • Biotin, together with Vitamin E, helps the hair a lot in maintaining natural hair moisture and also helps add shine to the hair.

It is essential to understand that hair growth depends on combinations of vitamins and minerals. Biotin, or Vitamin B7, is one of the vitamins required by the hair for its growth and strength.

Biotin deficiency is one of the reasons for thinning and breakage of hair. All hair loss and stunted growth are not always due to a lack of biotin.

Taking vitamin B7-rich foods or supplements is an excellent way to help your hair grow better.

People who take alcohol tend to lose more hair than others because alcohol directly interferes with the effects of biotin.

The raw egg whites contain a glycoprotein called avidin that effectively binds biotin, one of the B vitamins. This suppression of Vitamin B7 by the raw egg whites leads to a deficiency in the B vitamins, which is why many people say eating raw eggs will cause hair to fall.

If you suffer from excessive hair fall or breakage, it is good to do a clinical test to find the biotin levels in your body. If test results indicate low levels of biotin in your body, then you can assume that biotin deficiency is one reason that has made your hair weaker and highly prone to breakage.

Only the continuous growth of hair will make your hair long. Eating natural foods containing biotin and other vitamins such as vitamins A, E, and D and minerals like iron, zinc, and potassium makes your hair grow healthy and long.

Here is a video in which Dr.Oz speaks on how biotin helps in hair growth:

It is also good to take prenatal vitamins to avoid the hair loss issues usually experienced by women during pregnancy and for the healthy development of the fetus.

Biotin for hair growth works as this B-Vitamin improves the growth and strength of the hair.

Side Effects

One of the sincere concerns of supplement users is the biotin side effects. It is excellent to learn about the side effects of vitamin B7 overdose before you start taking the supplement to boost it.

Biotin is a naturally included vitamin in most common foods that we consume. If you already have a healthy and balanced daily diet, there is hardly any need for an additional boost unless your doctor recommends it.

Biotin is likely safe to consume as most people won’t be affected by any adverse health effects.

It is a water-soluble Vitamin. Such vitamins typically will NOT be absorbed by the body more than the required amount. Most of it will be expelled from the body through urination.

In every healthy person, the body has the natural capacity to tolerate biotin supplements. It has also been found that the injections containing Vitamin B7 are safe for health, provided the dosage does not exceed the clinically permissible amount.

However, some cases of Biotin side effects are noticed in some areas or diseases related to health. Let us see some of the cases where biotin side effects could exist:-

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, biotin supplements should not be taken without the recommendations of the physician.

The extra amount of biotin in the body increases your risk of developing cystic acne on the chin and jawline. In such cases, the acne will naturally fade away a few weeks after you stop taking the biotin pill or supplement.

An overdose of any vitamin or mineral in supplement form is sure to have adverse effects on health in the long run. In adults, the daily intake of biotin should not exceed 2500 mcg. Drinking a lot of water is a natural remedy to reduce the side effects of vitamin overdose.

Allergic reactions are possible in persons who are usually sensitive to supplements and medicines. It is found people who have allergies to B12 vitamins are pretty likely to face the same with biotin pills, too. If allergic reactions like nausea, itchy rashes, pain in the stomach or chest, etc., you should immediately consult a competent doctor.

Increased chance of miscarriage is a side effect of biotin when it is taken in a higher dose than the permissible amount. It also risks the health of the fetus… never take any supplements or medicines during pregnancy without the recommendation of the physician.

The interactive issue with other medicines is one of the known biotin side effects. The vitamin B7 supplement can adversely interact with medications used for epilepsy, cholesterol, etc., making those medicines work less effectively.

Blood glucose levels may adversely affect the intake of biotin. Typically, Vitamin B7 helps improve blood sugar to a balanced level. However, taking biotin supplements and diabetes medicines simultaneously can bring down the sugar levels lower than the optimum level.

Biotin side effects can occur in a person under heavy medication as their system may not respond positively to the additional biotin intake. It may also interact with other medicines that may give rise to unexpected physical discomforts.

Biotin mainly does not cause any side effects on health and can be consumed by any normally healthy person. However, persons with a history of reactions to supplements may experience side effects with Vitamins B7 pills, too.

There are also health conditions wherein a person must take biotin pills or supplements. For example, people undergoing kidney dialysis require extra biotin intake.

Natural Dietary Sources for Biotin

Biotin is a common vitamin found in most food items in our diet.

However, some portion of this vitamin will get lost by cooking and preserving. The best sources of Vitamin B7 are as given below:-

Here is another chart showing the best foods that contain good quality biotin with DRI distribution. Biotin Pills And Shampoo

With recent studies revealing the importance of biotin for hair growth, many shampoo manufacturers have developed biotin shampoos and hair creams that promise improved hair growth and protection.

However, the results of the shampoos with biotin for hair growth are unknown and yet to be discovered. Vitamins work more effectively from within the body than from external applications.

Biotin pills or supplements are usually taken by people on the recommendation of a physician. It is not at all advisable that you start consuming biotin pills on your own for the sake of hair growth or diabetes control.

It is good to have clinical tests done to analyze the biotin levels in your body before you start consuming them. You need to take biotin pills only if severe Vitamin B7 deficiency exists, and that too if recommended by the physician.

In most cases, you overcome the Vitamin B7 deficiency by consuming the natural foods containing this vitamin; biotin supplements are unnecessary.

In all ordinarily healthy persons, the body also has the efficiency to recycle the used biotins in the case of deficiency. Any person on a healthy diet will hardly face biotin deficiency.

Mainly, the biotin pills supplements are required by pregnant women as they could face the lack of Vitamins B7 or patients undergoing kidney dialysis. In some cases, physicians suggest biotin supplements for persons undergoing treatments for diabetes and cholesterol.

Our natural food is the healthiest source of all vitamins and minerals. You need to think of supplements only if your food does not meet the bodily requirements of all vitamins and minerals.

Biotin Dosage

Biotin side effects usually occur because of the overdose of this vitamin in pills or supplements.

The correct dose of biotin intake depends on the person’s age and the body’s current biotin levels. However, no scientific study says the exact dose of biotin to be taken.

Common recommendations only suggest that biotin intake beyond specific doses will be dangerous to health.

The generally accepted and recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of daily biotin intake required by a person according to age is as follows:

  • 7 mcg for infants 0-12 months
  • 8 mcg for children 1-3 years
  • 12 mcg for children 4-8 years
  • 20 mcg for children 9-13 years
  • 25 mcg for adolescents 14-18 years
  • 30 mcg for adults over 18 years
  • 30 mcg for pregnant women
  • 35 mcg for breastfeeding women

Final Thoughts

Biotin is an essential vitamin that is required is required for the body’s overall health. It is well known for its benefits in hair growth and the development of beautiful nails.

The body also needs this vitamin to metabolize carbohydrates and fats better.

It is better to consume natural foods that contain this vitamin in a natural form than taking the biotin pill.