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Biotin for Hair: What Does Research Say About Vitamin B7?

biotin-for-hairBiotin, which is another name for Vitamin B7, is an important nutrient in the many functions of your body. Biotin helps the body in the important work of helping cells grow, fatty acids synthesize, and carbohydrates and amino acids metabolize.

But aside from the internal work that biotin does, what about biotin for hair? Biotin is frequently named in the list of vitamins that may support normal hair and nail growth. Is there anything to this claim? We’ll look at evidence supporting the use of biotin for hair, the overall benefits of biotin, and ways to incorporate biotin into your diet.

Biotin for Hair

Another name for biotin is vitamin H. The H stands for hair. This is because biotin is often associated with supporting healthy hair growth. While there is a shortage of scientific studies that support biotin as a factor for healthy, growing hair, there are studies that show a link between a biotin deficiency and hair loss.

Does a Biotin Deficiency Affect Your Hair?

While biotin deficiency is rare, its side effects can be seen in a variety of body systems. In fact, a child or adult who is biotin deficient may notice symptoms that include brittle and thin fingernails, hair loss, or rashes and scaly skin. However, a deficiency may not be the result of poor nutrition, rather a metabolic disorder that is the result of cells being unable to use biotin effectively.

Clinically, biotin deficiencies have been linked to abnormalities of the central nervous system, as well as dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), conjunctivitis (pink eye), and alopecia (hair loss). In other words, a biotin deficiency may show up in skin or hair troubles.

Biotin In Your Diet

Research supports that an adequate daily intake of daily in adults should be about 30 mg/day (35 mg/day for pregnant women). Thankfully, biotin is naturally occurring, and there are plenty of delicious foods that are rich in the vitamin.

According to the Mayo Clinic, biotin is found in liver, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, soy flour, cereals, and yeast. If you want to increase your intake of biotin, consider foods that do not need to be cooked and can be safely eaten raw (such as cauliflower, carrots, bananas, and certain cereals), as cooking or preserving food reduces its biotin content.

Curious about the exact amount of biotin in certain foods? Here’s a good list to start with:

  • Yeast – 7 grams, 1.4-14 mg
  • Whole-Wheat Bread – 1 slick, 0.02-6, mg
  • Cooked Egg – 1 large, 13-25 mg
  • Cheddar Cheese – 1 oz., 0.4-2 mg
  • Cooked Liver – 3 oz., 27-35 mg
  • Cooked Pork – 3 oz., 2-4 mg
  • Cooked Salmon – 3 oz.,  4-5 mg
  • Avocado – 1 whole, 2-6 mg
  • Raspberries – 1 cup, 0.2-2 mg
  • Raw Cauliflower – 1 cup, 0.2-4 mg

If you’re keeping track of your daily biotin intake, does it make sense to supplement to ensure that you are taking more than 30 mg of biotin a day? If you’re looking at the potential health benefits of biotin for hair, then it might. There is ongoing research that suggests that consuming more than 30 mg of daily biotin, whether through diet changes or vitamin supplements, may benefit overall hair health. 

However, if you take biotin supplements, be sure to inform your doctor. The FDA has found that biotin may interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect test results which may go undetected.

Whether you want to increase or supplement your intake of biotin for hair, for nails, or for overall well-being, there are plenty of options to incorporate more biotin into your diet. Aside from cooking meals rich in the foods listed above, you may consider a biotin supplement.

Biotin supplements are considered safe at all levels, although it is always best to speak with your healthcare professional about incorporating supplements into your routine. Natural Healthy Concepts sells a wide variety of biotin supplements. You can even try a biotin and lavender shampoo!

Do you associate your intake of biotin with hair health? What is your favorite way to get biotin in your diet?