Is biotin effective: Does Biotin Really Work for Hair Growth? – Cleveland Clinic
Does Biotin Really Work for Hair Growth? – Cleveland Clinic
If you find yourself browsing the hair care aisle or searching the internet for hair treatments, one thing that might pop up is biotin. This B vitamin has a reputation for helping your locks stay healthy, and it’s frequently recommended by dermatologists to help with hair loss.
But can biotin actually help your hair grow, too?
“We find biotin to be very helpful for hair disorders,” says dermatologist Wilma Bergfeld, MD. “It also makes nails thicker, and oral biotin is exceedingly safe.”
Does this mean it can also help your hair longer? Not quite. Biotin contains essential proteins that help with the development of your skin, nails and hair, but this doesn’t mean it’s a miracle product for your locks. Let’s brush up on what biotin can — and can’t — do for your hair.
Why does hair fall out?
If you’re dealing with hair loss, you’re likely wondering not only what you can do about it, but also why it’s happening in the first place. Hair loss has multiple causes, many of which are systemic. “If your hair is falling out at the roots, often something is going wrong in your body or in your life situation,” Dr. Bergfeld says.
Certain medical conditions are linked to hair loss. Among them are endocrine disorders, which include problems with your pituitary, parathyroid or adrenal glands, or your ovaries or testes. “For example, premenopausal women who bleed excessively may be losing iron, and anemia causes hair loss,” Dr. Bergfeld explains.
Anything that disrupts your gastrointestinal (GI) tract can also affect hair growth, she adds.
But one of the most common causes may surprise you: nutrition. “When we look at what our patients eat, we find they are often low in protein and essential vitamins,” Dr. Bergfeld notes. “Also, you need some carbohydrates to make hormones, and your brain needs fat.”
It’s important to understand what’s causing your hair loss, but this can take some detective work. Dr. Bergfeld says dermatologists start with a thorough physical exam. They consider not just your diet, but your exercise habits and family history as well. Then, they review your medications (because some can cause hair loss) and bloodwork.
Does biotin help increase hair growth?
Biotin is an essential vitamin that helps with the production of keratin (a protein that’s in charge of forming nails, skin and hair). Some research, including a 2016 study, has shown that a lack of biotin in your system can lead to hair loss.
In which case, you may be wondering if increasing your intake of biotin will lead to better hair growth. And any googling you may have done on the topic has likely brought up such claims. But first, it’s first important to know that there’s a difference between something that helps promote hair growth and something that helps prevent hair loss.
For now, there isn’t enough research to definitively state that biotin can help grow hair.
But biotin has been shown to help with preventing balding and hair loss.
In fact, biotin is primarily used for alopecia — a condition that causes hair loss in all sexes. “Biotin helps maintain hair growth and helps with inflammation,” Dr. Bergfeld says. “The hair follicle, the skin and the nails all benefit.”
In a small 2012 study, women with self-perceived thinning hair experienced improvement in their hair’s overall thickness and growth after taking a multivitamin that contained biotin. But as the multivitamin contained other ingredients, it’s hard to attribute it completely to biotin.
Without robust research, is biotin something you should try? The good news is that taking biotin in reasonable amounts won’t do any harm.
How much biotin should you take?
If you want to make sure you’re getting enough biotin, the daily recommended biotin intake is 30 micrograms (mcg) for adults, according to the National Institute of Health. If you’re pregnant, you need about 35 mcg a day.
If you’re experiencing alopecia, your doctor may recommend certain biotin supplements or a higher biotin-rich diet as a way to combat hair loss. They may recommend upping your dosage to 3 milligrams (or 3,000 mcg) a day.
What types of biotin are there?
There are a couple different ways to reap the benefits of biotin. Believe it or not, you may be already getting a decent dose without knowing it.
Here are some ways you can get biotin:
First, you may consider working some biotin-rich foods into your diet. This is the best way to get biotin into your system naturally. And you may already have some items in your pantry or fridge that fit the bill.
Biotin is present in many foods, including:
- Beef liver (30.8 mcg).
- Eggs (10 mcg).
- Salmon (5 mcg).
- Pork chop (3.8 mcg).
- Sweet potatoes (2.4 mcg).
- Almonds (1.5 mcg).
- Broccoli (0.4 mcg).
If you have certain dietary restrictions or need an extra biotin boost, certain supplements may be used as alternatives.
For supplementation, many dermatologists favor a mega-B vitamin combination that includes:
- 3 milligrams (mg) of biotin.
- 30 mg of zinc.
- 200 mg of vitamin C.
- < 1 mg of folic acid.
“Occasionally, the mega B-vitamin combination gives some patients minor gastric trouble, but switching them to biotin alone relieves it,” Dr. Bergfeld notes.
And if you can’t find the mega B-vitamin combination, you can buy biotin, zinc and vitamin C separately.
If your goal is for biotin to help your hair grow, you may consider adding a biotin shampoo into your wash routine. Sounds like an easy fix, right?
It’s true that many shampoo brands utilize biotin in their formulas as a way to combat hair loss. However, similar to the research around biotin supplements, the data to support hair growth from biotin-infused shampoo is limited. But there’s no harm really in giving this kind of shampoo a try if you want your hair to feel fuller — but don’t expect a magical regrowth of hair.
Possible side effects of biotin
Working more biotin into your system (whether through supplements or diet) is generally safe. But it’s important not to overdo it. In some rare cases, too much biotin from supplements can cause stomach issues, trouble sleeping and skin rashes.
Another concern surrounding biotin is that it may interfere with certain common lab tests done by your doctors. Best way to avoid this? Don’t take too much. Stick to the recommended amount and be sure to talk to your doctor before upping your dosage. And if you’re taking large amounts of biotin, be sure your healthcare provider knows before you do any lab tests.
While there’s still a lot of research needed on the effects of biotin on hair growth, as well as preventing hair loss, it has been shown to work for some. But it’s best to first make sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet of biotin-rich foods before considering too many supplements.
What the Experts Have to Say – Cleveland Clinic
Biotin is a B vitamin that’s important for many body functions, including metabolizing food — the process of turning food into energy. And many people swear that biotin has improved their hair, skin and nail health, too.
But is biotin the magic solution to getting flowing locks, strong nails and glowing skin? Registered dietitian Courtney Barth, RD, explains the possible benefits of biotin and whether this nutrient could help you.
Benefits of biotin
Biotin plays an important role in converting carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy. It also helps your body’s cells function well. Biotin is essential, which means you can’t live without it.
But why does biotin get superhero status when it comes to hair, skin and nail health? Maybe because biotin deficiency — not having enough biotin — can lead to:
- Brittle nails.
- Hair loss.
- Red, scaly rash.
“But biotin deficiency is rare in the U.S.,” Barth explains. “So if you have thinning hair or brittle nails, it’s probably not due to a biotin deficiency. There’s usually another health condition causing these problems, such as iron deficiency or a thyroid issue. ”
So don’t assume taking biotin supplements will cure hair, skin or nail problems. “If you notice sudden changes in your hair, skin or nails, see your provider,” says Barth. “Don’t self-treat with biotin supplements without knowing the cause.”
How much biotin do you need?
Adults need 30 micrograms of biotin each day to avoid a deficiency. Most people get adequate biotin through their diet.
“Biotin is in many of the foods we eat, such as fortified cereal, egg yolks, meat and legumes (like lentils, chickpeas and beans),” explains Barth. “And it’s always better to get your vitamins and minerals through a balanced diet rather than supplements.”
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you need more biotin, though — 35 micrograms per day.
“Pregnant or breastfeeding women often benefit from a prenatal vitamin,” says Barth. “Prenatal vitamins contain biotin, folic acid and other nutrients that are important for the health of the mother and baby. If you’re not sure which prenatal vitamin to take, ask your provider.”
Do biotin supplements help with hair growth?
Maybe you’re not worried about biotin deficiency but wonder whether a biotin supplement could help you get amazing hair. After all, many products advertise biotin as a hair growth booster.
“No studies have proven that biotin supplements will change the appearance of your hair, skin or nails,” Barth says. “But some people find that taking a biotin supplement helps them boost hair and nail growth. It’s usually not harmful to try biotin for thicker hair or healthier nails.”
If you decide to take a supplement, be patient. “It takes several months to see new hair or nail growth,” notes Barth. “Biotin may be worth a try if your doctor gives you the go-ahead. But it’s not a guarantee that you’ll see a major change in your appearance.”
Biotin supplement side effects
Biotin supplements have few side effects if you take them as directed. “Biotin supplements and B-complex vitamins are safe for most people, though they may cause a slightly upset stomach,” Barth says.
High-dose biotin supplements can also interfere with certain medical test results, so tell your healthcare provider if you’re taking them, advises Barth.
Biotin and other B vitamins are water-soluble, so it’s hard to overdose on them. “If you take in more biotin than you need, your body doesn’t store it,” Barth explains. “You naturally get rid of excess biotin and other B vitamins when you urinate.”
Still, more is not always better. Don’t take more than the dosage listed on the package and stop taking biotin if you notice side effects.
A healthy lifestyle builds natural beauty
You can enhance your hair, skin and nail health even without a supplement. A balanced diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables and protein is important for all three. Drink plenty of water, too.
“Healthy food and proper hydration will help you feel and look your best,” says Barth.
BIOTIN FOR HAIR LOSS: Is it effective?
When faced with unusual hair loss, it is important to know how to proceed in order to avoid significant loss of hair density. One of the most popular remedies in recent times is what is known as biotin, which can be found in some shampoos as well as in nutritional supplements. But, Is biotin really effective against hair loss?
En Hospital Capilar, hairdresser in Madrid, Murcia and Pontevedra, we tell you everything you need to know about biotin for hair.
What is biotin?
Before you know how biotin works on hair loss, it’s important to know what it really is. Biotin is nothing but a B vitamin that promotes the production of enzymes in hair and skin.
Biotin can be found in foods such as oily fish or eggs. Also found in some dried fruits such as walnuts. The ideal way to keep your hair in good condition is to avoid deficiency of this nutrient, including through a healthy and varied diet.
How does biotin affect hair?
The main function of biotin in hair is to facilitate the supply of nutrients to the hair follicles, promoting blood circulation and oxygenation of the scalp . This keeps the hair healthy and in the best condition.
In short, biotin, along with other types of essential hair nutrients, is essential for maintaining healthy hair.
Is it true that biotin slows down hair loss?
Recently, many people decide to take biotin supplements for hair loss. But is it true that consuming this nutrient alone can reverse the effects of hair loss?
As we mentioned earlier, biotin contributes to the proper functioning of the scalp. However, the consumption of biotin for hair loss or its topical application will not stop us from hair loss. Yes, it’s true that it can help, but should never be used as a single and isolated treatment for unusual hair loss .
Therefore, it cannot be said that biotin is effective in treating hair loss on its own, but it is beneficial for the hair.
How to deal with unusual hair loss
If we notice a significant loss of hair density and even the appearance of areas without hair on the head, it is important to know how to act in order to reverse the effects as soon as possible.
Use effective hair products.
In cases where hair loss is not accompanied by the appearance of bald spots, hair loss remedies are very useful. Also in people with more severe hair loss, they are an ideal addition to other medical treatments.
Go for Hair Treatments
Continuous advances in hair medicine mean we now have effective treatments for common hair problems such as hair loss or hair miniaturization.
En Hospital Capilar we have medically tested hair care products to take care of your hair and stop it from falling out. All of them require a preliminary capillary diagnosis to determine which one best suits the needs of each patient.
Hair Redensification Treatment
El Hair Redensification Treatment, or HRT, consists of pharmaco-mesotherapy tailored to each patient. Thus, drugs and vitamins are injected into the scalp through subcutaneous infiltrates to treat hair loss from their root.
Capillary Regeneration Treatment
Another hair treatment at Hospital Capilar is called Capillary Regeneration Treatment or CRT. By extracting a small amount of blood from the patient himself, rich growth factors are obtained, which are injected into the scalp. Thus, hair regeneration is stimulated and hair miniaturization is prevented.
complete guide to the beauty vitamin at TEA.ru. What products contain. what to use it for
When scientists first discovered this substance, they called it “vitamin H”, which means “Haar und Haut” – German for “hair and skin”.
We are talking about biotin, which is most often mentioned in the context of hair health.
But in fact, biotin has many more useful properties and important functions. We will tell about them in our article, and at the same time we will give a hint in which products to look for this “beauty vitamin” and what to do if it is not enough in the body.
Biotin is one of the B vitamins, namely B7
Biotin is a water-soluble substance that not only improves our appearance, but also affects our health in general. Its name comes from the Greek word “biotos”, which can be translated as “life”, “nurture” or “life-giving”. And it very well reveals the very essence of this substance, because the quality of our life directly depends on it. Biotin is a coenzyme, that is, one of the B vitamins that help the body convert food into energy that we need for a full existence. It is impossible to overestimate its importance, and you will now understand why.
Why our body can’t do without biotin
Biotin mainly helps to maintain the beauty of the skin, nails and hair, the health of the liver, eyes and nervous system. It is also essential during pregnancy for both mother and child. But its importance does not end there.
Biotin is indispensable for the functioning of several enzymes known as carboxylase and helps maintain some of the important metabolic processes, such as the production of glucose and fatty acids. And the health of a person depends on how well these processes work.
The most important vitamin for hair, nails and skin
If we get enough vitamin B7, we are more likely to boast shiny curls, natural nails and even skin tone. Conversely, brittle nails, falling hair, and problems like dermatitis are often the first sign of a vitamin B7 deficiency. In a word, it’s not without reason that women love him so much!
Proven to Help Diabetes
Scientists have found that biotin supplementation has a positive effect on blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In particular, biotin helps convert glucose into glycogen.
Benefits for athletes
Glucose-related processes are also important for those involved in sports. When we actively train, the level of this substance in our blood decreases, and its lack can be felt in the form of weakness, irritability, and a sharp loss of strength. Biotin supplements in the diet allow you to avoid sudden spikes in glucose and maintain a comfortable state.
Central Nervous System Support
Biotin plays an important role in the production of myelin, the protective coating on the nerve fibers that carry impulses. Thanks to the use of high doses of biotin, doctors managed to achieve stable results in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, which affects the myelin sheaths of the nerve fibers of the spinal cord and brain.
Care for the baby and his mother
Biotin is very important for pregnant and lactating women. Modern doctors note that many of them have a deficiency of various vitamins, including B7. This is because the body breaks down biotin faster during pregnancy and lactation, giving part of the resource to the child. Additional sources of vitamins allow mothers to avoid health problems such as deterioration of hair, skin and nails. Biotin also has a positive effect on the health of the child.
How much biotin do we need per day
In 1998, the US National Academy of Medicine established the following dietary norms for biotin intake:
0–6 months 5 mcg 7–12 months 6 mcg 1–3 years 8 mcg 4–8 years 12 mcg 9-13 years old 20 mcg 14-18 years old 25 mcg 1 9 years and older 30 mcg
the minimum that we must receive in order to be healthy and beautiful. The European Food Safety Organization (EFSA) recommends increasing the rate to 40 micrograms for adults and 35 micrograms for adolescents per day, and the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare – up to 50 micrograms per day.
However, there are situations when we may experience an increased need for biotin:
- confirmed genetic diseases leading to a decrease in vitamin B7;
- pregnancy and lactation;
- intense exercise;
- frequent drinking;
- severe indigestion;
- strenuous exercise;
- excessive consumption of carbohydrates;
- frequent consumption of raw eggs;
- strict diet eliminating many foods;
- use of antibiotics.
In such situations, it is strongly recommended to consult a medical professional to check the biotin level and correct it with vitamin supplements.
At present, there is not enough data available to scientists to set an upper limit for biotin intake. However, it is known that even an increase in the rate during therapy up to 300 mg per day did not give any side effects, so vitamin B7 can be considered one of the safest. This is explained by the fact that biotin is a water-soluble substance and any amount that the body does not absorb is excreted naturally.
How to identify a biotin deficiency
If you lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet, it is unlikely that you may be deficient in biotin. Nature took care of us by adding vitamin B7 to many foods available to us and giving our body the opportunity to synthesize it on its own.
However, biotin deficiency is also occasionally encountered and can cause serious problems. That is why we will give here a list of symptoms that (most often in total) indicate the need to urgently take tests for vitamin B7.
If you have:
- frequent dry skin,
- symptoms of dermatitis or psoriasis,
- brittle and uneven nails,
- dull brittle hair,
- constant feeling of weakness,
- soreness muscles,
- tendency to depression,
- loss of appetite,
- metabolic disorders,
- pale tongue.
What is the best way to get biotin
What if you have already been diagnosed with a lack of biotin? First of all, stop worrying! Biotin is not a rare substance: it is found in many foods and is part of most vitamin supplements (both in pure form and in combination with other vitamins and minerals).
Biotin in products
The easiest and most affordable source of biotin is a complete diet. At the same time, it is not necessary to buy delicacies every day, it is enough to include offal, whole grains, eggs and nuts in your menu. For example, the undisputed champions in the content of vitamin B7 are pork liver (250 mcg), soybeans (60 mcg), rye (46 mcg), egg yolk (30 mcg), peanuts (17 mcg) and mushrooms (16 mcg).
|Product||Amount of vitamin per 100 g|
|By-products (liver, kidneys)||up to 250 mcg|
|Soy and other legumes||up to 60 mcg|
|Whole grains and cereals||up to 46 µg|
|Egg yolk||up to 30 µg|
|Yeast||up to 21 µg||Nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts)||up to 17 mcg|
|Cauliflower||up to 17 mcg|
|Mushrooms||up to 16 mcg|
Keep in mind that sometimes food processing and preparation methods change the properties of biotin and make it more or less efficient. From this point of view, nuts, vegetables and fruits are best consumed raw. But eggs, on the contrary, must be cooked: raw egg white greatly reduces our ability to absorb vitamin B7.
Also, remember that intestinal bacteria also produce biotin. True, we will be able to find out exactly in what quantity only if we pass special tests.
If you think you are not getting enough biotin from your diet, you can take a daily supplement. Vitamin B7 is sold in capsules, tablets or solutions.
Very rarely injections are required. The dosage must be prescribed by the doctor, and the course of treatment on average lasts about 1 month.
Treating hair and skin with vitamin shampoo or cream alone is hardly a good idea. As a rule, if we have a lack of biotin, it must be replenished first from the inside. However, as an added help, B7 hair and skin care products are a great solution that should not be neglected.
The history of biotin, from which we learn what is wrong with raw eggs
Biotin began to be studied only in the 20th century, namely in the 1916, when the American scientist W. Bateman discovered that a diet high in raw egg whites causes toxic symptoms in animals and humans.
About ten years later, biochemists Margaret Boas and Helen Parsons conducted a series of experiments with rats to verify Mr. Bateman’s point, and found that egg white did have an effect on metabolic processes. But what exactly? It was yet to be known.
In 1936, the German-Dutch biochemist Fritz Kögl and his graduate student Benno Tönnies of the University of Utrecht isolated a crystalline substance from boiled duck egg yolks which they called “biotin”, first documenting the name in their paper “Representation of crystallized biotin from egg yolk”. It turned out that it is biotin that “does not like” raw egg whites, because of which it is poorly absorbed, thereby causing many health problems.
In parallel with Koegle, similar work was carried out by the Hungarian scientist Paul György, who called the new substance “vitamin H” (remember, we wrote about this at the beginning of the article?), As well as the Americans P. West and P. Wilson, who isolated the compound “coenzyme R”.
As you can imagine, it was the same biotin that all scientists recognized by 1940. It was at that time that data first appeared on how much biotin / vitamin H / coenzyme R a person needs per day.
Biotin was first synthesized in the laboratory in 1943 by Leo Sternbach and Moses Goldberg.
By the way, it is also important for our smaller brothers to get enough biotin, so for cats, dogs, horses, cows and other pets, their own dietary supplements with this vitamin are produced.
Frequently asked questions about biotin
Everything important in this article we have already told, but in the end we will answer a few more questions that you might have left.
Is it possible to drink biotin “in reserve”?
No. Biotin does not accumulate in the body. And if this vitamin is not enough in your diet, its levels can drop.
Which organs need biotin first?
Biotin is important for skin and nails, as well as eye, liver and nervous system health.
Can biotin be harmful?
Biotin is a safe and non-toxic vitamin. Studies have not shown any serious side effects even at high doses.
Can pregnant and lactating women take biotin?
To date, there are no proven contraindications for the use of biotin by pregnant and lactating women, but it is always better to consult your doctor.
What does biotin do?
Biotin is involved in metabolic processes, breaking down food into elements that our body can use for energy.
When is the best time to take biotin?
Biotin as a vitamin supplement can be taken at any time of the day, but it is advisable to combine it with a meal.
Can biotin interfere with other medications?
Yes, maybe. That is why a doctor should prescribe it as a medical supplement.
Which biotin is ideal for hair?
Doctors say it’s best to get biotin from foods, but special vitamin supplements can do the job just fine.