Vitamin B7 or more commonly known as biotin is an essential vitamin which forms part of the vitamin B complex family. The reason that biotin is found in most health supplements and multivitamin formulas is because of its ability to speed up your metabolism, strengthen hair, clear your complexion and restore weak brittle nails back to its original healthy state. Biotin can also be found in many vitamins that cater to pregnant women because it assists in fetal development.
These are just a few ways in which biotin benefits women:
Since biotin is part of the vitamin B family, it is a water-soluble nutrient which means that the body does not store. Biotin is essential for fueling the body because it plays an important role in converting glucose into energy from carbohydrates, fats, sugars, and proteins, this process also helps to regulate blood sugar because it stimulates the production of insulin. By regulating your metabolism, you are also effectively maintaining a healthy weight by using food for energy instead of your body storing it.
While it is rare, it’s not unheard of to develop a biotin deficiency when you are pregnant. A biotin deficiency can lead to symptoms such as hair loss, a rash around the eyes, nose, and mouth. It can also cause neurological symptoms which include depression and tingling in the arms and legs. Some studies have shown that biotin deficiency affects the development of the palate, upper jaw, digits, and limbs. Cradle cap is also a sign of biotin deficiency in infants. This is often the reason why most prenatal supplements have included biotin as an ingredient in their formulas.
Healthier Hair and Nails
It is not uncommon to find biotin in most cosmetics and hair products. This is because biotin and cell enzymes cause a reaction which helps to produce essential amino acids that form proteins such as keratin, the main protein found in hair and nails. Some studies discovered that biotin was a solution to brittle nails when it proved to be effective in treating horses that had cracked and brittle hooves. Hair loss and weak brittle nails are also a common symptom of biotin deficiency, taking additional biotin supplements or eating foods such as eggs, cauliflower, almonds, and mushrooms can help to restore them back to their natural healthy state.
Restores Tissue and Muscles
Biotin helps to maintain and promote the growth of tissues and muscles. When tissues or muscles are damaged, vitamin B7 steps in to help build the former strength of the muscle and tissue. It is also been found to reduce inflammation that results in muscle cramps or joint pain.
How Much Biotin Should You Be Getting?
Biotin is safe to use and while there is no official recommended daily allowance figures set forth for this vitamin, it is important to know what the suggested use is. It is also important to consult your doctor first before taking any additional supplements especially if you are pregnant.
The suggested use of biotin is as follows:
- Infants from birth to 12 months should be getting about 7 mcg
- Toddlers who are between 1 to 3 years old should be getting about 8 mcg
- Children aged 4 to 8 years old should be getting about 12 mcg
- Children aged 9 to 13 years old should be getting about 20 mcg
- Children aged 14 to 18 years old should be getting about 25 mcg
- Adults should be getting a daily dose of about 30 mcg