Biotin for Hair Loss
When it comes to incorporating vitamins and supplements into your life as part of a hair loss prevention programme , anything in the vitamin B family can help a great deal. Biotin is a Vitamin B complex, which means it could play a crucial role in working through your hair loss by using a more natural approach.
Biotin is found in several foods such as carrots, liver, yeast, bananas –mostly in low concentrations. The
average adult gets around 40ug per day in their daily diet, which falls within requirements.
Symptoms of Biotin deficiency include decreased appetite, dermatitis, achromotrichia (loss of pigment in hair), and alopecia (hair loss).
How Biotin Prevents Hair Loss
Biotin or Vitamin B7 is also called Vitamin H or Coenzyme R. It is a water-soluble compound and one of the Bcomplex vitamins. Biotin is important for the synthesis of fatty acids, glucose and some amino acids such as valine and isoleucine. It is essential to the biochemical process by which cells metabolize nutrients, and is known to help regulate blood sugar levels. Biotin also contributes to the strengthening of the hair and nails. Like all water-soluble vitamins, biotin is not stored in the body. However, the bacteria present in the intestinesproduce more than the amount needed daily.While Biotin deficiency is rare, it does occur especially in people with metabolic disorders. For example,alcoholics are known to have lower levels of biotin than the general population.Similarly, biotin levels are reduced in athletes, epileptics, elderly, and people who have had some of theirgastrointestinal tracts removed.
Pregnant and nursing mothers also have lower levels of biotin due to increased demand for the vitamin in the body. Pregnant women are especially prone to biotin deficiency and studies have shown that 50% of them develop a deficiency in this vitamin. A diet of raw egg whites for an extended period is also known to cause biotin deficiency. This is because of avidin, a protein found in significant amounts in uncooked egg whites. Avidin binds with biotin and reduces the bioavailability of the vitamin for essential functions. Major signs of biotin deficiency include hair loss, conjunctivitis, red rashes and scaly skin of the face and genitals, numbness and tingling sensations in the fingers and toes, depression, tiredness and mental confusion.
Apart from alopecia, the most specific sign of biotin deficiency is a puffy face with abnormal fat distribution and red rashes. Prolonged or repeated biotin deficiency can also lead to a compromised immune system and increase the risks of developing fungal and bacterial infections. A Harvard (USA) study established biotin as one of the essential nutrients for preserving hair strength, texture and appearance. While there is no study of the effects of biotin on alopecia, the facts that its deficiency causes hair loss and that its supplementation improves hair health are enough evidence to support the use of this vitamin as a hair loss remedy.
Besides its use in hair loss treatments, biotin is also used to treat both types of diabetes. In diabetes treatment, biotin improves blood glucose control and prevents the nerve damage at the extremities seen in advanced cases of the disease. Biotin is also used in treating psoriasis and dermatitis especially Cradle Cap or seborrheic dermatitis in children. Biotin toxicity is still unreported and experts believe the human body can tolerate large doses of the vitamin with no adverse effects. Since biotin is a water-soluble vitamin it is easily eliminated in the urine.
That alone should be reason enough to be certain you get enough Biotin in your diet. Whether you increase your natural dietary intake or find ways to add supplements, you need to keep your levels high enough. In fact, if you do not get enough biotin you can also eventually lose your eyelashes and eyebrows
Biotin is a crucial component to skin cells.
Healthy skin cells play a major role in the health of hair follicles as well. Weak or unhealthy hair follicles result in the inability to retain hair, which leads to hair loss. Over time, follicles get weaker and hair loss increases. Not only that, but the follicles’ ability to regrow and retain new hair diminishes.
The healthier your body is the easier it is to prevent hair loss and stimulate regrowth. This even means having healthier hair follicles. By improving the health of your hair follicles which can produce healthy hair regrowth. Getting the proper nutrition is crucial to proper hair growth to allow the conversion of protein into hair shafts. Biotin helps with this, and is necessary for metabolism of fats, cell growth and amino acids.
Boosts B vitamin power
Both biotin for hair loss and other hair loss supplements can have fantastic effects on your hair loss prevention and regrowth efforts. Combine Biotin with other B vitamins and the result is a powerful combination that can really help with hair loss. Other vitamins are known to boost the power of Biotin, but the B vitamins seem to have the greatest effects.
Supplements seem to work better than topical products
Ingesting Biotin orally seems to have a more direct impact and show results quicker. While no Biotin product, or any hair loss prevention product for that matter, works overnight, you may see results sooner if you use an oral product versus a topical one. However, it is important that you are careful with the amount of Biotin you take. If you take too much of Biotin, you could have other health issues.
Want to use biotin for hair loss? Here are some dietary sources to consider: cauliflower, whole grains, soybeans, bananas, black-eyed pea, mushrooms, sardines, nut butter and beans. However, these do not contain high levels of biotin. Food sources rich in biotin include peanuts, liver, some vegetables, Swiss chard, cooked eggs and raw egg yolks. While raw eggs are important sources of biotin, it is important to note that egg whites also contain avidin, a protein which binds biotin and makes the vitamin unavailable for absorption. Therefore, raw egg yolks are the preferred source of biotin. On the other hand, cooking destroys avidin, therefore, cooked eggs can provide needed biotin for people who would rather not eat raw egg yolks. Biotin exists in food sources as biocytin, its protein-bound form. However, this bond is broken just before absorption so that only the vitamin is taken into the body.
- Infants – 35-50mcg/day
- Children – 65-120 mcg/day
- Adolescents – 100-200 mcg/day
- Adults – 100-200 mcg/day
Biotin is available as a supplement with a recommended dosage of 500 – 1000 micrograms daily to treat hair loss. Oral biotin supplements provide the body with more of the vitamin than topical preparations of the vitamin. Biotin can be formulated as a single supplement, with other B vitamins as a Vitamin B complex supplement or with other vitamins as a multivitamin supplement. In topical preparations, biotin is often combined with other known hair loss remedies such as zinc.
Biotin for Hair Loss Works
Because biotin is an essential vitamin for hair and nail health, it has almost immediate effects on the hair. Your hair will grow stronger and healthier with the addition of biotin. Topical treatments, however, do not work well to boost hair growth because hair that is already on your head was grown from nutrients you ate months ago. The best way to add biotin to boost hair health is to eat it in supplement form. Within a few weeks, you should start to see healthy, stronger, fuller hair thanks to the addition of more biotin in your diet.