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Biotin (Vitamin B7) Benefits, Side Effects, Uses & Warnings
Medically reviewed by
Vitamin B7, which is referred to as Biotin in the medical world, is closely linked to healthy skin, nails, and hair. If you are looking for that all elusive fountain of youth, or a natural way to help restore the shine to your hair, and strengthen your hair so it will grow in thick and naturally, you might have just found the all-natural solution you are looking for in B7 vitamins. Like the other B-vitamins in the family, Biotin is water-soluble. It is one of the vitamins, in a key group of vitamins providing key nutrients which are needed for healthy nerve function, healthy metabolic functions, and digestive health. It is also linked to proper cardiovascular functions, to ensure overall health and well-being are achieved.
Biotin works in the body as a coenzyme; it is needed for the metabolism of fatty acids, and amino acids. It is also required in the breakdown of glucose. What this means is that when we consume different foods which are rich in protein, in sources of fat, and carbohydrates, the biotin, along with the other vitamins in the family, are going to help in synthesizing the foods, in breaking them down, and in helping break them down into energy sources we use throughout the day. In order for the body to convert and use the macronutrients we consume day in and day out, biotin has to be present in the body. In addition to the breakdown, it is also responsible for many psychological and physical activities we perform, so it is essential for our bodies to function as it should.
Biotin is known to help restore that young, jovial looking appearance. One of its most desired qualities is the fact that it helps restore shine to hair and nails, it helps restore elasticity in the skin, and it plays a major role in maintaining healthy skin and hair as we age. Basically, it is going to serve as an all-natural anti-aging formula, for a much cheaper price than you would pay for those costly anti-aging creams you order online.
Biotin is often an ingredient which is added to many hair, nail, and skincare products you buy in stores. So, it is a natural vitamin, which is readily absorbed by the body, working its way naturally through hair, skin, nails, and is fully ingested by the body, to produce maximum results and benefits. The more it is readily ingested and viable in the skin, the more it is going to benefit those who are using it to help treating anti-aging conditions, skin disorders, or those who want to grow thick, luscious hair.
Where can you get Biotin (Vitamin B7)?
You can supplement if you are deficient in Vitamin B7. However, biotin is readily available and found in many foods which we consume daily in our diets. Foods like eggs, meats, organic meats, avocadoes, mushrooms, legumes, fish, cauliflower, and berries, are a few of the foods which contain high levels of the vitamins. A deficiency can thwart the many benefits which biotin poses when consumed at the proper dosage levels. For this reason, it is important to ensure deficiencies do not exist; and, in the event you are not getting enough through your diet alone, a supplement might help. It is important to note however, that it is best to get the vitamin (and other vitamins) through food sources, rather than a supplement, if at all possible.
What causes a deficiency?
You might be naturally inclined to vitamin deficiencies given your family history. Apart from this, there are other factors which can cause a deficiency in biotin, as well as other B-family vitamins you need to survive. If it is not used, you lose it. Remember, it is a water-soluble vitamin. This means it works through the blood stream instantly; and, if it is not absorbed by the body as it passes through the blood stream, it is going to be filtered out of the body naturally. So, if there are excess storage, and it is not properly digested through the body, and passed through the blood stream, this is one way in which a deficiency can present itself.
For this reason, it is important to ingest the vitamin on a daily basis and do so in small quantities. Since it can be “stored” in the body for later use and is going to pass through the system if it is not passed through the blood stream, it is best to consume smaller quantities, of the vitamin, on a daily basis, rather than consume large quantities at once.
Are there risks if you are deficient?
There are several known risk factors which are commonly linked to a deficiency in the B7 vitamin; among these are:
- Pregnancy related risks and birth defects.
- Long-term use of certain anti-seizure medications.
- Excessive alcohol use.
These are increased risk factors which are linked to deficiencies in the vitamin. As is the case with benefits, side effects, and other factors related to the vitamins, you are not prone to suffering from all of these if you are deficient. However, it is important to discuss the possibility, and how to prevent it, with your doctor before you do begin use.
The best and only way to ensure it is not only safe for use, but also for you to use the right dosage levels when ingesting biotin, is for you to discuss use with your doctor. In addition to the proper dosage, they can explain the risks, side effects, adverse effects, complications with other medication, and risks you should be aware of before you begin use.
Symptoms of being deficient in Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Although these are rare, and not present in every case, there are certain symptoms which are complained of in those who suffer from a deficiency of biotin. Some of these include: dry and irritated skin, itchy skin, brittle hair, nail loss, digestive and GI tract issues, lack of energy, chronic pain and fatigue, muscle aches, general body pain, mood changes, nerve damage, tingling in the limbs, and cognitive impairments.
Although not common, these are some of the symptoms which are frequently reported as it relates to use of biotin in the supplement form. Therefore, if you suffer from these symptoms prior to use, or if you are afraid of possible complications with other medications, you are best served to discuss use with your doctor before you begin a dosage cycle. It is the best way for them to inform you of the personal risks you might experience, given your medical history, as well as any medication or other prescriptions you are presently taking, when you plan on ingesting a biotin supplement as well.
How much should I take?
Like the other B-family vitamins, there are restricted daily recommended values as it relates to the use of biotin or B7 supplements. Depending on external factors, the dosage levels your doctor prescribes may differ from those which are recommended based on age and gender. The daily dosage recommendations are 5 mg or less for infants, 6-8 mg daily for infants (up to 7), 12-20 mg for children (4-13), 25 mg for adolescents, 30 mg for men/women over 19 years of age, and 30-35 mg for women who are breastfeeding or pregnant.
Again, these are the recommended dosage levels per day of the supplement. Because other factors, including other medications, health risks and concerns, your medical and family history, and other issues may be present, each individual will have to speak to their doctor, to determine the best level, for safe use and consumption on a daily basis.
Choosing a supplement
It is important to note if you are taking other B-family vitamins, it is likely that there is a small amount of B7 present in that vitamin. And, if you take a daily multivitamin it is also likely that there are traces of the vitamin in those supplements. And, you also have to account for the foods you are consuming, especially those which are high in levels of biotin. This will in turn, help you choose the proper dosage levels, and the proper supplement which is going to provide you the sufficient levels of the vitamin you require on a daily basis.
When choosing a vitamin, it is also important to note it is delivered from an FDA approved lab. It is best if you go through a specialist or your doctor directly when purchasing the supplement. In addition to being the purest form, you also know it has no fillers or byproducts, and that you are going to receive the highest dosage levels possible, when you choose to ingest these supplements if you are treating a deficiency in the vitamin.
Keep in mind that not all supplements are created equally. Some are going to have other additives or ingredients; when choosing your supplement, choose a natural, pure form of the biotin supplement. Not only for the best results, but also to ensure it is safe for daily consumption when treating your deficiency in this vitamin.
Benefits with supplementing Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Healthy metabolic support is the primary function of this biotin vitamin. It not only helps to process and break down the foods you eat daily, but it is going to help provide you with the fuel you need to get through your day. By breaking down the carbs/fats/proteins in the foods you consume, it will properly allocate fuel sources to the body, to ensure a healthy, and fully viable system and functions.
For those who suffer from glucose intolerance, a supplement containing biotin might prove to be beneficial as well. It has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics, and can possibly help balance blood sugar levels in the body in general. If you are taking other prescription medications to treat diabetes, you should discuss the use of the supplement with your doctor first. But, when properly incorporated, it can help greatly balance the blood sugars and glucose levels intolerance which are present in those who suffer from diabetes.
Healthy hair, skin, and nails. Many consider biotin the all-natural fountain of youth; so much so that it is found in nearly any health and beauty product you can buy online or in stores. It not only helps to restore the balance, it helps promote shiny hair, skin, and nails. It will help to restore the elasticity to the skin, so it looks and feels more jovial. Your hair will grow in thicker and longer, and it won’t fall out all frail and brittle. You are not only going to look younger and healthier, you are also going to feel far better and more energized, when you choose to incorporate this biotin supplement into your daily health regimen as well.
Brain and cognitive health are improved when taking biotin supplements. It will help with general memory retention, can help in preventing memory loss, and it is highly used in treating those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is a natural cure to help you with memory issues, and help you better retain and remember the things you seem to forget so easily throughout the course of the day. If you are highly stressed or busy, this is a simple solution to helping you keep things in order, and ensure you get things done throughout your day as well.
Improved cardiovascular health, increased blood flow, inflammation reduction, and healing general body aches and pains, are all closely linked to the incorporation of a biotin supplement. Each individual is going to experience these benefits at different levels and times, but when properly balanced with diet and exercise, biotin can help greatly improve overall body functions, and the way you feel in general.
A deficiency in biotin can easily be treated and supplemented. These are a few factors to consider prior to choosing a supplement, balancing your diet to increase biotin-rich foods, and managing your overall health, well-being, and jovial appearance, when you choose the right forms of biotin to ingest as part of your diet each day.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.