Vitamin B-complex has 8 different types of vitamins; biotin is one of them. It is also called vitamin H and vitamin B7. Generally, vitamin B-complex helps your body to keep its nerves, eyes, liver, hair and skin healthy.
Biotin foods can supply your body with the adequate amounts of biotin that you need without the need of any biotin supplements. Know more about the foods rich in biotin from here.
Taking biotin from foods is better than taking Biotin supplements, but the supplements are recommended for some people especially diabetic people and pregnant women too.
So what are the functions of biotin in the body that make us want to keep its level sufficient in our bodies?
1. Metabolism and Energy Production
Biotin plays an essential role in the metabolism of macronutrients. Some enzymes need biotin to be able to function in a proper way; these enzymes are responsible for the energy production process as they start and complete the metabolic processes of carbohydrates, fat and protein.
Also, biotin plays key role in some essential metabolic processes in the body. Gluconeogenesis, which is the process of producing glucose from non-carbohydrate sources like amino acids, is done by enzymes that contain biotin. The enzymes needed for the synthesis of fatty acids also contain biotin. Some of the essential amino acids such as leucine need biotin-containing enzymes to break down. Check out how biotin-containing enzymes work from here.
2. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Biotin is one of the most important vitamins needed during pregnancy and breastfeeding phases. These stages require an increase in most of the nutrients especially micro-nutrients. Statics say that about half of pregnant women have mild biotin deficiency which is harmful to the health of the mother. The fast breakdown of biotin during pregnancy is the cause of the deficiency. The danger of birth defects is proven via the animal studies too. Also, hair loss is a major concern to pregnant women during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Eating biotin foods is highly recommended during these stages but taking biotin supplements should be under the supervision of a doctor.
3. Diabetes Mellitus and General Blood Sugar Level
Diabetes Mellitus type 2 is a metabolic disease. The pancreas of the patient cannot function properly so there is impaired insulin function; that is why the blood sugar level increases.
Some studies show that biotin supplements may be effective in lowering the blood sugar level. The studies say that biotin level in diabetic people is lower than in healthy people. When biotin is combined with chromium and given to some diabetic patients, they show signs of low blood sugar.
4. Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a very dangerous disease. It is an autoimmune disease where the protective myelin sheath of the nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord and eyes is damaged.
Biotin is an essential factor in producing myelin. According to a study made on patients with progressive multiple sclerosis, the usage of high biotin doses helped more than 90% of the patients to show some improvements. This study is not enough to be conclusive evidence but it is a promising start.
5. Brittle Nails, Hair Growth and Skin Health
About 20% of the people around the world have brittle nails which can be easily broken as they are so weak. Studies show that nail splitting was reduced when the participants in the study took biotin regularly for 6 months at least.
Regarding biotin hair benefits, the evidence is not so much but the results are spectacular. Biotin for thinning hair and hair growth products are widely used and their results are great. Biotin will improve the health of your hair especially if you suffer from hair loss and don’t have problems with applying biotin as some people suffer from acne. The reviews of the previous users of biotin hair products are great. After some time of applying biotin, your hair follicles and roots will be healthier too.
Biotin also is great for skin health. There is not enough evidence to prove it, but some believe it prevents some diseases such as scalp diseases and dermatitis.
Check out this article from the University of Maryland about the importance of biotin and its functions.