Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a popular supplement that has been claimed to improve hair, skin, and nail health. It is an essential micronutrient that is important for energy production and other functions in the body. It is found in foods like oats and egg yolks, and can also be taken in supplement form.
While biotin is generally considered safe, it can have some side effects and it is important to be aware of these before adding it to your daily routine. There has also been some research suggesting that biotin may have a role in weight management, with some studies supporting its use for weight loss and others claiming that it can cause weight gain.
In this article, we will explore the link between biotin, metabolism, and weight gain, and also talk about its benefits and side effects.
What Is Biotin And What Is Its Role In Human Body?
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is an essential nutrient that is necessary for proper body function. It cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through the diet or through supplements. Biotin is involved in many important processes in the body, including:
- Energy metabolism: Biotin helps the body convert dietary protein, carbohydrates, and fat into energy in the form of ATP.
- Tissue growth and maintenance: Biotin is important for the production of keratin, a protein found in hair, skin, and nails. Studies have shown that after 90 days, persons who temporarily lose their hair can see a considerable improvement in hair development when they take biotin pills.
- Embryonic development: Biotin is necessary for the growth and development of embryos.
- Nervous system function: Biotin plays a role in the proper functioning of the nervous system.
- DNA structure: Biotin is important for the proper structure of DNA.
Insufficient intake of biotin can lead to side effects such as fatigue, low energy, weight gain, digestive problems, poor glucose control, and mood irregularities. These side effects are often due to biotin’s role in energy metabolism, as a deficiency can disrupt metabolic functions.
Biotin can be found in many common foods, such as oats and egg yolks. It is also often included in B complex supplements, which combine all of the water-soluble B vitamins into a single, convenient supplement. Biotin is an essential nutrient that is necessary for optimal body function and should be obtained through diet or through supplements.
Top 7 Benefits Of Biotin
Biotin is an essential nutrient that is necessary for the proper functioning of various systems in the body, including the liver, nervous system, hair, and eyes. It is responsible for creating energy and maintaining overall health. While some people believe that biotin supplements may be helpful in treating certain medical conditions, there is currently not enough scientific evidence to fully support these claims.
However, it is generally accepted that getting enough biotin from natural sources, such as through the diet, is important for overall health. Some of the health benefits that biotin can provide are:
1. May Improve Hair Growth
Supporters of biotin-containing products say they can improve hair’s thickness, strength, shine, and volume. These claims are unsubstantiated by scientific evidence. Supplemental biotin has been found in a small number of studies to promote hair growth in those with a clinical biotin deficit or alopecia.
Biotin supplementation may help persons whose hair loss is caused by a medical problem, according to several case reports. Researchers stress that hair regrowth could be attributed to other causes besides biotin administration.
2. Boosts Metabolism
Biotin is a cofactor for several enzymes that are involved in metabolic function, including reactions related to gluconeogenesis, fatty acid metabolism, and amino acid catabolism. It supports the breakdown and metabolism of fat, carbohydrates, and amino acids in the body, and when combined with chromium picolinate, it may increase metabolic rate and nutrient metabolism. However, biotin and chromium are not a magic solution for weight loss and should not be relied on without also implementing healthy lifestyle changes.
3. Strengthens Nails
There is some evidence that biotin may improve the strength of nails. A 1989 study found that 91% of patients who took 2.5 milligrams of biotin per day had firmer and harder nails after 5 months. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of biotin for improving nail health. A deficiency in biotin can cause thin, brittle nails that break easily and do not grow as quickly, and taking biotin supplements may help to address this deficiency.
4. Boosts Immunity
Biotin may support healthy immune responses by contributing to the proper function of immune cells such as T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells. A deficiency in biotin can compromise various immune functions, including antibody synthesis, spleen cell count, B lymphocyte function, thymocyte maturation, cell proliferation, dendritic cell function, and pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion. In addition to biotin, other nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc may also support immune health.
5. Regulates Blood Sugar
There is evidence that biotin may help to regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Studies have found that biotin may lower blood glucose in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Some research suggests that biotin may stimulate insulin secretion from the pancreas, which can help to lower blood sugar. A 2016 study found that biotin may be helpful in improving glycemic control in people with type 1 diabetes.
6. Promotes Fetal Health
Biotin is important for fetal health during pregnancy, and a deficiency in biotin can occur in some pregnant women. To support fetal health, it is sometimes recommended that pregnant women take a prenatal vitamin that contains biotin and folic acid. However, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking biotin supplements during pregnancy, as taking too much biotin may cause rare side effects such as allergies, acne, or miscarriage.
7. Can Be Good For Skin Health
There is a lack of scientific evidence to support the idea that taking biotin supplements will lead to healthier skin. However, a deficiency in biotin may cause skin symptoms such as red rashes or dry, itchy skin. It is not clear if biotin has a direct effect on skin health or if these skin symptoms are simply a result of the deficiency. More research is needed to determine the relationship between biotin and skin health.
What Are The Side Effects Of Biotin?
Biotin is a vitamin that is important for many functions in the body, but taking too much can cause side effects. Some potential side effects of biotin supplements include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Skin rashes
- Digestive upset
- Insulin release problems
- Kidney problems
It is important to be aware that biotin may interfere with laboratory tests and mimic Graves’ disease, a condition that causes the thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormone. The safety of long-term or high-dose use of biotin supplements is not fully understood.
Does Biotin Cause Weight Gain?
There is a lack of scientific evidence to support the claim that taking biotin supplements will cause weight gain. Some studies have suggested that excess intake of B vitamins may be linked to obesity and diabetes, but it is not clear if this is true for biotin specifically.
While some theories propose that biotin’s role in energy metabolism and glucose regulation may lead to weight gain, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. On the contrary, some research suggests that biotin may support weight loss due to its involvement in energy metabolism and glucose regulation. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting a biotin supplement regimen and to follow recommended dosages.
5 Best Foods For Biotin
There are many foods that are rich in biotin, including:
- Eggs: Egg yolks are a particularly good source of biotin, with one large egg yolk containing around 10-25 micrograms of biotin.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of biotin, with a cup of raw almonds containing around 16 micrograms of biotin. Other nuts and seeds that are high in biotin include peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
- Legumes: Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans are good sources of biotin, with one cup of cooked chickpeas containing around 10 micrograms of biotin.
- Whole grains: Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, and quinoa contain biotin, with one cup of cooked oats containing around 6 micrograms of biotin.
- Meat: Meat, particularly organ meats such as liver and kidney, are good sources of biotin. One serving of beef liver contains around 30 micrograms of biotin.
Biotin is an essential B vitamin that is important for energy metabolism and other functions in the body. It is found in a variety of foods, including eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains, and meat, and can also be taken in supplement form.
While biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss, taking biotin supplements may not necessarily lead to increased hair growth for those who do not have a deficiency. There is also limited scientific evidence to support the use of biotin for other purposes, such as regulating blood sugar or aiding in fetal development.
It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting a biotin supplement regimen, as excessive intake of biotin can interfere with laboratory tests and cause false results. Biotin has not been shown to cause weight gain or loss. The best way to ensure adequate intake of biotin is through a balanced diet that includes biotin-rich foods.
Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant.
He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves.
Rahul has a master’s degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.