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The Benefits of Biotin

Posted by patchmd.com on 9/16/2019

The benefits of biotin extend to both our health and looks. It’s long been known as a ‘beauty vitamins’ that improves the condition of our skin, hair, and nails. However, biotin also has many health benefits too and is a vital nutrient that helps our body to function at its very best.

In this article, we look at the various health and beauty benefits of biotin in more detail.

What is Biotin?

Biotin is a water-soluble B-vitamin that your body uses to convert food into energy. The description “water-soluble” means that it dissolves in the water inside of your body and your body does not store it. 

You might also hear biotin called vitamin B7, co-enzyme-R or vitamin H. 

Where does the “H” come from? It actually stands for “Haar und Haut.” These are the German words for hair and skin, lending to the nutrient’s cosmetic connection. 

Your body requires biotin to propel the function of certain enzymes called carboxylases. These biotin-rich enzymes are active players in many important metabolic pathways, including the creation of glucose and the production of fatty acids. 

Recognizing Biotin Deficiencies

While it’s somewhat rare to have a severe biotin deficiency, pregnant women should keep a close eye on their levels, as they’re the group most at risk for numbers that are too low. 

If you’re accustomed to consuming a large number of raw eggs, you could also be at risk of a deficiency, although the amount of eggs you’d have to consume is enormous. This risk stems from the fact that raw egg whites contain avidin, a protein that binds to biotin and prevents its absorption. 

If you love a good omelet or scrambled egg plate, don’t worry! Avidin inactivates when it’s cooked. Let’s take a closer look at a few populations who are at the greatest risk of a biotin deficiency.

1. Biotinidase Deficiency

The most common cause of a biotin deficiency is biotinidase deficiency (BTD). This is a rare, inherited disorder that prevents your body from using biotin the way that it should. A mutation in your BTD gene triggers this condition. 

This is the gene that tells your body how to make the biotinidase enzyme, which your body requires as it works to extract biotin from your food sources. Around one in 60,000 babies has  BTD and will begin to display the following symptoms in his or her first few weeks or months:

  • Weak muscles (hypotonia)

  • Alopecia (hair loss)

  • Seizures

  • Eczema

  • Developmental delays

While those are the most common signs, up to 50% of affected newborns could also exhibit these other mild symptoms:

  • Ataxia (poor coordination)

  • Conjunctivitis (red eye)

  • Hearing loss

  • Lethargy and fatigue

Finally, the most severe symptoms of BTD, affecting 25% of cases or less, include:

  • Unconsciousness

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting 

  • Fungal infections

  • Hepatomegaly (enlarged liver)

  • Splenomegaly (enlarged spleen)

  • Speech issues

In the United States, all babies receive a BTD screen at their birth. This normally includes a blood test, taking family history into account. Doctors can also extract sample fluid from a pregnant woman’s womb to check biotinidase activity. 

2. Parenteral Nutrition

If you’re on parenteral nutrition, that means you’re fed intravenously for a substantial period of time. As such, your body could be at risk of developing a biotin deficiency. 

3. Certain Medications

Some medications, such as those prescribed for people who suffer from seizures, can decrease your body’s biotin levels. In addition, you’re also at risk if you’ve taken antibiotics for a long period of time, as these can kill off the good bacteria in your gut responsible for biotin production. 

4. Gastrointestinal Diseases

Some gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease can cause inflammation in your digestive tract. This makes it more difficult for your gut to absorb certain nutrients, including biotin. 

5. Excessive Alcohol Use

More research is needed, but some healthcare professionals draw a link between biotin levels and alcohol intake, noting that alcohol can inhibit biotin absorption. 

Adults who have a biotin deficiency might notice the following symptoms:

  • Skin infections

  • Seizure 

  • Brittle nails

  • Neurological concerns (e.g. depression, lethargy, hallucinations)

  • Paresthesias (pins and needles in your extremities)

  • Thinning hair

  • Loss of hair color

Recommended Daily Biotin Intake

Most healthcare professionals recommend that infants consume around 5 micrograms (mcg) of biotin per day. On the other hand, adults should consume around 30 mcg. As their stores are depleted at a higher rate than most, breastfeeding women can safely consume up to 35 mcg per day. 

If you’re deficient in biotin, your physician may recommend that you intake a higher amount until your levels even out. In most cases, people with biotin deficiencies take between 30 mcg and 100 mcg per day. Infants with a biotin deficiency may need from 10 mcg to 30 mcg depending on the case.

Health Benefits of Biotin

The most commonly known health benefits of biotin tend to relate to the skin. Most people know that biotin is beneficial for healthy skin, hair, and nails, but its health benefits extend far beyond these aspects. To understand how biotin benefits the body, it’s important to understand some of the key roles it plays in our health.

1. Helps Energy Production

As mentioned, there are entire enzymes that require biotin to function as they should. These enzymes help initiate the metabolic actions of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. 

Specifically, biotin helps to spearhead the following processes:

  • Gluconeogenesis

Biotin-containing enzymes help initiate the process of gluconeogenesis, a metabolic pathway that allows glucose to be produced from sources other than carbohydrates, including amino acids. 

  • Amino Acid Breakdown

Enzymes that contain biotin help metabolize many important amino acids, such as leucine. 

  • Fatty Acid Synthesis

Your body can’t produce fatty acids unless several key internal reactions occur first. Biotin helps those enzymes that are responsible for activating those reactions.

2. Provides Pregnancy Protection

Both pregnant women and lactating women require higher levels of biotin than others, as their specific life stage necessitates it. Whether you’re growing a baby or feeding one, you tend to diminish your nutrient stores at a more rapid rate. You also break biotin down at a quicker rate during this time. 

In fact, research shows that up to 50% of pregnant women will develop a biotin deficiency. If you’re at this stage or anticipate being in it soon, speak to your doctor about beginning a biotin supplement routine to ensure your levels stay where they should be.

In most cases, these deficiencies are mild in nature. That means your vitamin levels will lower, but the drop isn’t severe enough to create noticeable symptoms. 

While some animal studies concluded that a biotin deficiency during pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of birth defects, more extensive research is required before physicians can draw a direct correlation. 

3. May Assist Type 2 Diabetes Management

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease, characterized by heightened blood sugar levels and an impaired insulin function. 

Although there is no official health connection, some researchers have found that persons with Type 2 diabetes tend to have lower levels of biotin than others who do not have the disease. Thus, many argue that supplemental biotin could have the ability to help lower blood sugar levels in diabetes sufferers. 

However, biotin isn’t acting alone in this case. Of the controlled studies performed, most have combined it with the mineral chromium to see the results achieved. 

4. May Help with Multiple Sclerosis Management

While Type 2 diabetes is metabolic in nature, multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease. We all have a protective covering or sheath that shields the nerve fibers in our eyes, brain, and spinal cord. When that covering becomes damaged or destroyed, MS occurs. 

That sheath is made of myelin, a substance that biotin helps to produce.

One pilot study supports this connection. In it, 23 people suffering from progressive MS relied on a treatment regimen that centered on high levels of biotin. The result? More than 90% of them exhibited at least a minor degree of clinical improvement

The bottom line is that without biotin the body can’t function at its best. Decreased levels or deficiency is associated with a red scaly skin rash, dermatitis, hair loss, anorexia, depression, and high cholesterol. You may think that your diet provides sufficient amounts of biotin, but our levels can be influenced by many other factors such as lifestyle, health conditions, and medications. Here are a few other health benefits of biotin that you may not be aware of.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements Necessary to Get Longer Hair

Nothing that's worthy of having comes for free, and if you want longer hair, you'll need to work for it. That means you'll need to make sure you're putting the proper things in your body to help ensure that you get the results you want. 

While hair is necessary in order to keep us warm, and looking great, it is isn't an essential bodily function. When the body is starved and goes into crisis mode, it begins to shut down functions that are not necessary for survival. Hair is one of those things that the body doesn't need to survive, so if you don't get the correct vitamins and minerals, your body may begin to ignore your hair.

We're not suggesting that if you don't absorb a steady diet of vitamins and supplements needed for healthy hair that you'll go bald, of course. This simply illustrates how important vitamins, minerals, and supplements are for lustrous hair. Your body needs enough nutrients to keep it going, and then enough of that something extra to give to you beautiful hair.  

So what exactly do you need for coveted beautiful hair? Let's explore which vitamins are necessary to keep your hair looking as good as is naturally possible. 

Drink Water

Water isn't exactly a supplement or vitamin, but it is important for your overall health. Drinking water is essential for life, and becoming dehydrated can cause all sorts of health issues. And to put it bluntly, your body cannot survive without it.

While you don't need to get your water somewhere fancy, you do need to task yourself to drink as much as possible. This will hydrate your body, and your hair, to ensure it stays looking as beautiful as possible. 

Water also helps flush out toxins and helps your body retain what it needs. So, when you take your vitamins and supplements for hair growth, you'll want to swallow it with a big glass of water. 

Aim for at least eight glasses of water each day to keep yourself in tip-top shape. 

Biotin (Vitamin B7)

From biotin-laden oils to shampoo to supplements rich with the vitamin, biotin the one thing any haircare specialist will tell you to take in order to prompt hair growth. 

Biotin itself is just a fancy word for a type of B-vitamin, vitamin B-7 to be exact. This vitamin is linked with healthy hair, nails, and nerves. Doctors have even found that a lack of biotin is what can lead to hair loss in many individuals; therefore it is necessary to get your maximum daily allowance for healthy hair.  

B7 isn't just for healthy nails and hair; your body also needs it to help your body process glucose. Additionally, you need biotin to help metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. 

Biotin naturally occurs in foods like bananas, eggs, and milk. But you can also get it in in certain algae, molds, and yeasts. 

The vitamin is water-soluble, meaning if you take too much of it, your body will expel it through your urine. But, this also means that your body needs it continually. 

Because the human body cannot create biotin, you need it in your diet. And because it is water-soluble, your body doesn’t store it. You need to have some of it every single day in order for your body to function properly. 

And of course, if you want healthy hair and nails, you'll need to ensure that you consume the recommended amount at least once per day. 

As this vitamin is so necessary for maintaining healthy hair, it's sometimes nicknamed "vitamin H." 

Almost supplement that helps you achieve long, luscious hair, will have biotin in it. 

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Vitamin B is sometimes called folic acid. If you've ever been pregnant or gone on a journey to conceive a baby, you've more than likely taken folic acid. But it isn't just for moms to be or women hoping to be mothers, it's a crucial vitamin that's in the majority of multi-vitamins. 

Not only that, but the vitamin itself is necessary in order to function, not to mention have a luscious head of hair. 

Folic acid works to help the body produce red blood cells. But, that's not all it does. It can also help your body create DNA and RNA, as well as encourage cells to divide and grow. That means it can help your hair's growth process moving along faster. 

You can get folic acid through vegetables and leafy greens, but it never hurts to have a little bit of extra through a vitamin supplement. As a bonus, if you become pregnant while taking folic acid, or a multi-vitamin with folic acid in it, you're actively helping promote your unborn child's health. The vitamin helps protect against spinal deformities and other congenital issues relating to the brain and spine specifically. 

If you're on the mature side and trying to get your hair to grow as an older adult, taking folic acid can help cut down on age-related hearing loss. Losing hearing as an older adult is very common, so taking vitamins to help mitigate it is a great way to ensure you have healthy golden years. 

Vitamin A (Retinol) 

If you've ever even casually looked at anti-aging products, it's likely you've heard the word retinol. Like biotin is to haircare, retinol is in almost every single item that helps reduce the signs of aging. This is partially because retinoids can help increase collagen and reduce the signs of fine lines and wrinkles. 

But how does this help your hair, you might ask? Well, it turns out, it's got some great benefits for your mane as well. 

Vitamin A keeps skin healthy, which in turn helps keep your hair healthy. It also helps your immune system work to its highest potential, and a healthy immune system means healthy and gorgeous hair. With a healthy body, your system won’t be working to eliminate the illness, but instead to help you radiate health. 

As an added bonus, vitamin A  works to keep your vision in its tip-top shape, especially in dim lighting. As you age, your vision also begins to deteriorate, so it is important to ensure you get the right amount of vitamin A. 

You can also thank vitamin A for helping keep the lining of your nose healthy--and keeping it moist when it needs to be. 

You can find vitamin A in many meats and dairy products, which can make it tricky for vegans to get their full amount of it. Most people get their daily allowance via milk, yogurt, oily fish, cheese and eggs. If you're vegan or aren't a dairy and fish fan, it's important that you get a good supplement to keep your hair looking fly. 

Beta Carotene 

Beta carotene is often discussed in conjunction with vitamin A, which can be confusing to some people. They function identically, but you don't always ingest them in the same way. 

Beta carotene converts into vitamin A once your body ingests it, so if you take a supplement with the mineral beta carotene, you're also getting a supplement of the vitamin. Beta carotene is often found in leafy greens, but you can also get it in carrots and red peppers. 

It's also rife in yellow fruits, especially papaya and mangoes. If you love your exotic fruit, you're on your way to getting the correct amount of beta carotene in your diet. 

Essentially, beta carotene functions the same way as vitamin A, so once you've ingested it (either via food or supplementation), it works the same way. It will support your hair and your skin, keeping you looking glowing and with hair to-die-for. 

Vitamin C

When you think of vitamin C, orange juice and other citrus drinks might immediately come to mind. You may also recall from grade school that a lack of vitamin C caused outbreaks of scurvy amongst olden day pirates who spent too long at sea without it. 

In western society, a lack of vitamin C is rare, as most food is fortified with it to prevent mass scurvy outbreaks. But eating fortified food in itself doesn't always mean that you're getting the correct amount of vitamin C--and as you've probably guessed, it is crucial to maintaining a healthy head of hair. 

Vitamin C not only helps with healing wounds and maintaining healthy skin, but it also protects cells. This means that it helps to protect the cells everywhere in your body: even in your hair. 

As a bonus, it helps with healthy bones, cartilage and blood vessels, all of which are necessary to keep your body in as healthy and strong as it can possibly be.

You can get vitamin C from broccoli, strawberries, potatoes, and peppers in addition to the obvious: orange juice. Supplementation can also ensure you get enough of the vitamin to keep your body in working order. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is most closely associated with sunlight, and you've likely heard at some point that in order to get vitamin D, you need to get out in the sun. While that is one way of absorbing the vitamin, you can also get it through red meat, eggs, and fish in addition to taking a supplement. 

Not getting enough vitamin D can lead to serious complications, including a disease known as rickets. Most commonly a problem for children who are still developing, it can cause pain as well as soft bones.

It goes without saying that vitamin D is necessary for adequate bone health, as it works to help keep the proper amount of calcium and phosphate in your body. 

Vitamin D also works to keep your teeth and muscles healthy, meaning it works on a variety of bodily systems. As such, it can also keep your crowning glory as healthy as possible, as well as ensure it grows. 

Biotin Benefits for Fitness Fans

The benefits of biotin also extend to fitness fans, bodybuilders, and weightlifters too. People who consume protein shakes that contain raw egg have an increased risk of biotin deficiency. Raw egg white bonds to biotin so that it can’t be used in metabolism. This prevents it from supporting amino acid breakdown which is an important part of the muscle-building cycle. So, whilst you’re trying to increase muscle mass through a protein shake, you may actually be sabotaging your efforts. The odd raw egg won’t hurt, but frequent ingestion (such as regular shakes) can result in a significant deficiency. In this case, biotin supplementation may be beneficial to your training goals.

During Pregnancy

In the United States, up to 50% of pregnant women develop a slight biotin deficiency. This is especially common during the first few weeks. However, biotin supplementation (along with folic acid) can address the vitamin requirements of both mother and baby. This has been shown to reduce the likelihood of some health conditions, such as the nervous system and neural tube defects like spina bifida.

Treatment of Diabetes

One of the health benefits of biotin is its use in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Because biotin plays a role in carbohydrate breakdown, it can be prescribed as a health supplement for diabetic patients. It has been found to reduce the fasting blood sugar levels of people with diabetes.

Smokers

People who smoke may also be at risk of biotin deficiency. One study found that people who smoked also broke down and excreted biotin at a much faster rate than those who didn’t. This increases the chance of becoming deficient as the body cannot replace the lost biotin fast enough.

People with Epilepsy

Some medications such as anticonvulsants can reduce biotin levels. Anticonvulsants are commonly used to treat epilepsy and are thought to increase biotin breakdown, as well as inhibit absorption. If you take this type of medication, then consult your healthcare professional about whether biotin supplementation may be appropriate to maintain vitamin levels. However, it’s important to note that oral biotin supplements are affected in the same way by these medications and is one of the many situations where patches can be more effective.

Beauty

There are also many beauty-related benefits of biotin too. The vitamin can support the health and resilience of our hair, skin, and nails. Conversely, levels of biotin can lead to a deficiency that negatively impacts these key contributors to our looks.

Tips and Tricks for Longer Hair That You Can Employ While Taking Your Vitamins and Supplements

In this section, we'll go over some of the natural ways to keep your hair longer and thicker. These tricks and tips should be performed in tandem with taking vitamins and supplements for the maximum benefit. 

Implement a regime of using the proper vitamins and supplements listed above and some of the tips below. You'll be blown away by your princess-worthy mane in no time!

First Tip for Hair Growth: Keep Your Hair Trimmed

While this tip doesn't involve vitamins and supplements, it's still a time-honored tip that we had to include here. You can't write a guide for ways to get long, thick hair without including it. 

The myth persists that if you cut your hair often enough, your hair will grow faster. Kind of like the myth that if you shave off your body hair, it'll grow back with a vengeance. 

In reality, cutting and trimming your hair isn't going to make a difference to overall hair growth, so you can skip your monthly trim every once in a while. However, it works by creating the illusion of longer, more luscious hair. 

Trimming away the flyaways and dead ends will instantly give your hair a lift and make you look runway ready. 

Cool It on the Lightening Hair Dye

Every lady needs a secret, and for many, that's her natural hair color. While dying your hair is a fun way to express yourself, it can also make your hair more prone to breakage and fragility. Going blonde over a long period of time over and over leads to hair that won't grow past a certain length. 

If you're doing everything possible to get your hair to grow and the last possible issue is your hair color, switch it up. Going with a darker color can make your hair healthier and longer. 

Give Your Hair a Break

Avoid over-styling your hair with heat. In fact, only use heat when absolutely necessary. If you're not going anywhere, try letting your hair air dry. If you want straight hair or beachy waves, you can easily find ways to create them without using heat. 

Additionally, you shouldn't pull your hair too tightly too often. Wearing your hair in severe buns, braids, and other similar hairstyles can lead to breakage at the root. This means your hair might go thinner more quickly than usual, and you may even develop a bald spot where your hair has been tugged too often. 

Don't Wash Your Hair Everyday

The oil-phobes reading this article might freak out by these words, but it's actually better to not try and wash your hair every single day. Doing so strips your hair of its natural oils, making it drier, prone to breakage and harder to grow. Instead, you want to keep the natural oils in your hair as much as possible, even if it doesn't sound particularly glam. 

If you have trouble controlling oil in your hair, you can use dry shampoo or baby powder on your roots to soak up some of the excess oil. This way, your hair gets everything it needs without you looking like a T-Bird from Grease

Rinse Your Hair with Cold Water

While a hot shower is a great way to relax, it isn't always the kindest to your hair. Luxuriate in a hot shower or bath only when you're not washing your hair and have a shower cap on. Or, switch the tap to cooler to finish off your bathing process. 

Cool water not only helps wake you up and get you ready for your day, but it also helps you keep your hair strong. It's also said to help seal your hair cuticles, keeping your hair from breaking off at the root. 

Ultimately, Be Careful with Your Locks

If your hair is tangled, don't brush through it until it makes you cry. Not only is this an exercise in pain tolerance that's thoroughly unnecessary, but it can also cause you to make your hair become weak. You can also inadvertently pull off a chunk of hair while trying to get your comb or brush through it. 

Instead, be very careful with how you comb or brush your hair, especially when your hair is wet. Brush your hair from the bottom and work your way up. If you brush your hair starting from the top and pulling to the bottom, the knots you have in your hair will just become bigger. After a while, you might need a pair of scissors to rid yourself of them!

You should also try to brush your hair sparingly. This doesn't mean turn up at your Monday morning meeting with a rat's nest on your head, but you don't need to brush your hair as often as you think you do. Better yet, choose styles that you can go comb-free with or that will allow you to skip combing it throughout the day for maintenance.

Massage Your Scalp

There's a reason people pay extra at the salon to get a scalp massage: it feels really good. But beyond that, there are health benefits to it too. Having your scalp massaged can help increase circulation to your scalp, prompting your hair to grow even longer than it was before. 

If you want a truly luxe experience, try putting a tiny bit of coconut oil into your fingers before massaging your scalp. Or, have your significant other do it as a way to bond and get intimate.

Biotin for Glowing Skin

Biotin deficiency is associated with dermatitis and a red, scaly rash. A lack of vitamin means the body can’t break down and replace the fatty acids that are used to make new skin cells. However, a plentiful supply of biotin can help your body to regenerate skin cells quickly and easily. This ensures that your skin is constantly renewed and regenerated for that glowing look.

Benefits of Biotin for Nail Health

Biotin can also be beneficial for nail health as it helps to maintain a good supply of proteins. This complex vitamin contributes to their strength and avoids brittle nails that are easily damaged. If you find that your nails break or chip easily, then increasing your biotin intake may help.

Vitamin supplementation can be helpful for anyone who wants to improve their health, looks, and energy levels. However, the benefits of biotin are especially relevant for people who are considering pregnancy, those who smoke, suffer from diabetes, or take anti-epileptic drugs.

Patch MD’s Biotin Plus Topical Patch for Beauty

While you can get most of these vitamins through food and supplementation, the Biotin Plus Topical Patch gives you everything you need for beauty without the extra fuss. Without the patch, there's no need to sort through endless vitamins to try and find the right combination for a beautiful head of hair. 

You also won't need to lug around a pharmacy any time you're out for the day or if you decide to travel. Instead, you'll have your patch or patches, which won't take up much room at all. 

If you hate swallowing pills, you won't need to worry about it. And, PatchMD is so simple and doesn’t involve taking vitamin injections as an alternative.

It's so simple to use that your kid could do it (and it sure beats fighting them to take their daily supplements and vitamins). You receive 6 patches in each pack, which look a little bit like Band-Aids. Peel them back,  and place on an area of your body with little or no hair. 

As a bonus, they’re latex-free, meaning you won’t have to worry about waking up with any rashes or surprises. 

Leave each patch on for about eight hours and peel off and dispose.

Reap the Benefits of Biotin Today

We all want to look polished and feel our best. However, none of us has an excessive amount of time to commit to a lengthy and laborious supplement routine. 

Whether you’re exhibiting signs of a vitamin deficiency or you just want to improve your energy level and help alleviate certain medical conditions, biotin can get you there. The simplest way to reap all of its powerful benefits? Apply our Biotin Plus Topical Patch and get on with your day.

Are you interested in learning more about this patch or our many others? Whether you want more energy, need to supercharge your workout, or just want to prevent or treat a hangover, we’ve got you covered. 

Feel free to contact us today to learn more.

Our Biotin Plus Topical Patch supports your body with a high dose of biotin, along with folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D3. Patches allow for better absorption of vitamins and avoid any digestive discomfort or side effects that can sometimes arise from tablets. Each pack contains a 30-day supply of patches, which can be worn while you sleep or go about your daily routine. Check out the 5* reviews to see what other people think of our Biotin Plus Topical Patches.


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