Vitamin B7 is also known as Biotin and is previously referred to as Vitamin H or Coenzyme R.
Like others Group B complex vitamins, biotin helps the body produce energy from foods, maintain the health of the nervous system and break down fats and amino acids.
Biotin is also important for the care of healthy nails, skin and hair. It is also essential for healthy liver function. During pregnancy, biotin is very important for embryonic development.
Although intestinal bacteria produce very low levels of biotin, humans need more than what can be synthesized endogenously. Many foods can provide this vitamin, but in some cases, the use of dietary supplements can be beneficial.
This article reviews the role of biotin in the body, the alleged health benefits, the use of biotin dietary supplements, as well as the recommended daily doses, safety, possible side effects and possible interactions with the state of health, medications, laboratory tests.
What is Biotin Used for?
According to the Comprehensive Database of Natural Medicines (NMCD), biotin dietary supplements are used:
- Prevention and treatment of pregnancy-related biotin deficiency;
- Infantile seborrheic dermatitis;
- Repeated carboxylase deficiency;
- For long-term parenteral nutrition;
- For fast weight loss;
Biotin is also taken orally to relieve depressive symptoms, brittle nails and hair loss. It is believed to be beneficial in strengthening hair and nails and is a common ingredient in cosmetic products for skin health.
The NMCD states that Biotin was also used as a “hair extension agent in concentrations ranging from 0,0001% to 0,6% (19344).
The STI reports that Biotin is also used to treat biotin-responsive underlying ganglion diseases. It is a common or inherited disorder that affects the transfer of thiamine in the body. Biotin is also being studied for its effects in people with functional disabilities diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Benefits of Biotin
The NMCD prescribes natural drugs for their efficacy in specific health conditions based on impartial research data. Natural medicines can be considered as effective, likely to be effective, possibly effective, possibly ineffective, most likely ineffective, or lacking reliable evidence.
The NMCD evaluates biotin supplements that may be effective in the prevention and treatment of biotin deficiency.
Biotin supplements may not be effective in improving seborrheic dermatitis in infancy.
For all other proposed uses of biotin, the NMCD states that there is currently insufficient reliable evidence. This means that more research is needed to determine if this supplement is appropriate for these conditions.
Some biotin conditions have been studied:
- Peripheral neuropathy;
- Alopecia areata;
- Brittle nails;
According to Examine.com, taking this vitamin as a dietary supplement can be beneficial in conditions that can lead to biotin deficiency, including alcoholism, the use of certain antiepileptic drugs, and an excess of raw egg whites.
However, Examine says there is no evidence yet for other benefits to the human body other than the potential cosmetic and beauty benefits, which still need more research.
If you are planning to use a biotin supplement to address a particular health problem, you should first consult a qualified health care professional to determine if this product is right for you.
Biotin Administration and Dosage
The STI reports the following “Adequate Uptake Guidelines for Biotin” established by the Food and Nutrition Council of the Medical Institute:
- 5 micrograms (mcg) daily for infants 0 to 6 months of age;
- 6 mcg / day for infants 7-12 months;
- 8 mcg / day for children from 1 to 3 years;
- 12 mcg / day for children from 4-8 years;
- 20 mcg / day for children from 9 to 13 years;
- 25 micrograms / day for those aged 14-18;
- 30 micrograms per day for those 19 and older;
- 30 mcg / day for all ages of women during pregnancy;
- 35 mcg per day for all breastfeeding women;
Biotin Safety And Side Effects
Based on STIs, biotin is non-toxic and well tolerated at doses up to 5 mg daily. In one study in people with normal biotin metabolism, doses of 5 milligrams a day were given for two years without any side effects.
In another study, patients with inherited diseases were given up to 200 mg a day. This is 7000 times the adequate dose and still was not associated with adverse effects.
According to NMCD data, biotin can be safe when administered orally or in cosmetics at concentrations of 0,0001-0,6%.
Biotin is considered to be potentially safe for intramuscular use. Intramuscular injections should only be given under medical supervision.
Biotin may be safe for proper oral use in children and women during pregnancy and lactation.