WHAT IS BIOTIN?
Biotin, also called vitamin H, is primarily involved in various metabolic processes. The term “biotin” is drawn from “biotos”, an ancient Greek word that means “sustenance”. Digestive enzymes free protein-bound biotin so it can be absorbed in the small intestine. Biotin supplements, on the other hand, are unbound and can be absorbed effectively. Some rich natural sources of this vitamin include chicken liver, salmon, eggs, and peanuts.
WHAT IS BIOTIN GOOD FOR?
Biotin helps break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins—which is key to energy production. For this reason, a deficient intake of this vitamin can result in fatigue and muscle weakness.
Recently, biotin has been gaining popularity in the skin and hair care industry. This is attested in a study published in the Dermatology Research and Practice, which found evidence that biotin supplements can promote hair growth, thickness, and volume. It also noted improvement in skin texture and moisture among trial participants.
Furthermore, sufficient biotin intake may help prevent depression, dementia, and other age-related cognitive impairment. Because it influences brain health, pregnant women may also want to consider increasing their biotin intake to support fetal development. The nutrient breakdown is also faster during pregnancy. That said, taking supplements during pregnancy or while breastfeeding should be under professional supervision.
IS IT SAFE TO TAKE BIOTIN DAILY LONG TERM?
Biotin is water-soluble, which means any excess flows out of the body through sweat or urine. It stays in your system for about 2 hours but longer for those on regular biotin supplementation, it is considered safe to take long term.
HOW MUCH BIOTIN DO I NEED?
Currently, there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for biotin as there is insufficient evidence to pinpoint the exact daily amount most people need. However, there is an assumed Adequate Intake (AI) level. Adults and teenagers need only 20-30 micrograms (mcg) per day. Generally, 35 mcg per day is enough for pregnant and lactating, but this should be consulted with a healthcare provider.