Biotin: More Than Just a Hair Vitamin
Vitamin B7 health benefits
Vitamin B7 is one of the B vitamins that plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health. Here are some of the key health benefits associated with this vitamin:
Supports Metabolism: Biotin is essential for several enzymatic reactions within the body, particularly those involved in metabolism. It helps to convert the food you eat into usable energy.
Improves Hair, Skin, and Nail Health: Biotin is often promoted for its ability to strengthen the hair and nails and improve the health of your skin. Some studies suggest that biotin might help reduce hair loss associated with biotin deficiency.
Helps During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Biotin is especially important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Deficiencies are somewhat common during pregnancy and can potentially lead to birth defects.
Supports Brain Function: Biotin plays a role in nerve function, which makes it essential for maintaining cognitive function and psychological health.
Helps Maintain Blood Sugar Levels: Some research suggests that biotin can help manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. This may be particularly true when combined with chromium.
Foods rich in vitamin B7
- Eggs: particularly the yolk
- Meat and fish: such as beef, pork, and salmon
- Dairy products: such as milk and cheese
- Nuts and seeds: such as almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds
- Legumes: such as soybeans, lentils, and peanuts
- Whole grains: such as oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa
- Fruits and vegetables: such as bananas, mushrooms, and cauliflower
Recommended daily intake
- Adults over the age of 19 should take 30 micrograms
- Pregnant women should take 30 milligrams *
- Women who are nursing should take 25 milligrams *
- Adolescents from the ages 13-18 should take 25 micrograms
- Children ages 4-13 should take 12-20 micrograms
- Infants aged 7 months to 3 years of age should take 6-8 micrograms
- Infants under the age of 7 months should take 5 micrograms
Vitamin B7 deficiency
- Long-term use of antibiotics can disrupt the gut microbiome and reduce the body’s ability to produce biotin.
- Consuming raw egg whites in large amounts, as they contain avidin that can bind to biotin and make it unavailable for absorption.
- Some chronic intestinal conditions may prevent biotin absortion. These conditions include Crohn’s disease and colitis.
- Biotinidase deficiency: This hereditary disorder is very rare. It prevents your body from reusing biotin. Typically, the human body can reuse B-7 a few times before it’s removed from waste. People with this disorder cannot recycle the vitamin.
- Strict eating may prevent you from getting a wide variety of vitamins and minerals from the food you eat. Eating a well-balanced diet is vital for your health, and you can still maintain or lose weight if that’s your goal.
- Skin rashes, especially around the eyes, nose, and mouth
- Hair loss or thinning
- Brittle nails
- Depression and fatigue
- Neurological symptoms such as tingling and numbness in the arms and legs
Vitamin B7 excess
- Biotin is made by gut bacteria and it can be found in small amounts in most foods.
- It was first used to boost the strength of horses’ hooves. When researchers saw the difference between the quality of the hooves both before and after, they began studying its many effects on other mammals, including humans.
- There are eight types (stereoisomers) of biotin. Each is beneficial, however, you can only find one of them in nature: d-biotin. Stereoisomers are molecules that share the same formula and atom sequence, but the construction of their atoms in real space is different. They’re like houses that contain identical-looking rooms, but with varying layouts.