Biotin, or B7, might be one of the less discussed essential vitamins. Most have heard that it is beneficial to you, but know little about it. In fact, you may be vaguely aware of some of its practical uses. But few know the full extent of all this vitamin to contribute to our general well-being.
Do you know that B7 has at least ten proven health benefits? Did you know it can be helpful for a variety of reasons, from improving the strength of your nails to helping regulate a diabetic's blood sugar?
B7 is one of those nutrients that is readily available if you eat a balanced and healthy diet, but deficiencies can lead to a variety of problems. We will take a look at B7, how it works and its uses.
WHAT IS BIOTIN?
Biotin is one of the B complex vitamins. They are essential for your health and well-being for everything from physical processes to your mental and emotional health.
It plays a massive role in keeping your digestive, metabolic, and nervous systems healthy. Helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The body uses it to convert food into energy. It is a critical component of the enzymes that work to metabolize fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids. It also plays an important role in gene regulation, histone modifications, and cell signaling.
As a water-soluble vitamin B, the body does not store it or. That means that daily intake (through diet) is necessary.
People can generally get the B7 they need through a healthy diet. You don't need that much to function on a daily basis. That works out to be between 30 and 35 micrograms (mcg) per day, although Western populations can absorb up to 70 mcg. In general, you will hear that taking too much will not have any adverse effects as it is water soluble.
Actual B7 deficiencies are relatively rare because gut bacteria tend to produce more than the body requires. Specific populations of people may have higher requirements. Pregnant and lactating women are among them.
In rare cases, some people have an inherited condition in which their body cannot process the vitamin properly. It's called biotinidase deficiency. This is a recessive metabolic disorder where your body does not release B7 it is not released through normal cellular processes. In extreme cases, the patient may suffer from seizures, weak muscle tone, breathing problems, loss of vision or hearing, and susceptibility to yeast infection, a yeast infection. Someone suffering from this condition may need to take additional supplements.
Many people mistakenly believe that this B vitamin promotes more hair growth and stronger, healthier hair. It is quite possible that this myth is nothing more than a marketing ploy aimed at shampoo consumers, as there is very little evidence to support it.
However, vitamin B7 deficiency slows the rate of hair loss and hair thinning. People diagnosed with biotin deficiency have been shown to benefit from B7 supplementation. In 2015, a study showed that women who had experienced thinning hair had a reduction in shedding after taking an oral marine protein supplement that included B7 for three months.
Many people commonly suffer from brittle nails. His nails chipped easily. They are also weak and can split or crack. Biotin can play a role in improving the strength and durability of nails. One study found that of 45 patients who took a B7 supplement (2.5 mg per day), 91% of them exhibited “firmer and harder nails” after five months. Consequently, there have been other smaller studies that show similar results.
Deficiency of the B vitamin, B7, can lead to red, scaly skin rashes. It has also been implicated in the condition, seborrheic dermatitis.
Doctors believe that vitamin B's link to skin health may be related to its role in fat metabolism, which is essential for skin. When the vitamin is lacking, this process can be affected. When a deficiency is suspected, you can benefit from supplementation.
PREGNANCY AND BREAST FEEDING
The body's requirements increase during this stressful time. On top of that, B7 is broken down in the body much faster during pregnancy. It is believed that approximately 50% of pregnant women can develop a mild form of deficiency. This could be cause for concern, as some studies have shown that B7 deficiency during pregnancy could cause congenital disabilities.
Your doctor may recommend folic acid supplements before and during your pregnancy. Most prenatal supplements contain adequate amounts of folic acid and B7.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that manifests itself as impaired insulin function and subsequent elevated blood sugar levels. Given the close relationship of B7 to glucose production in the body, the correlation is not surprising. There are some studies that have shown that people with diabetes may have lower levels of B vitamins in their system compared to healthy people.
Multiple controlled studies have shown low blood sugar levels in some people with type 2 diabetes when B7 is supplemented along with the mineral chromium to stimulate insulin secretion from the pancreas.
It is believed to play an important role in the production of myelin, the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers in the brain, eyes, and spinal cord. In a study treating patients with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis with high doses of B7, more than 90% showed some degree of clinical improvement.
High doses can help improve vision and reduce partial paralysis in some people. Other studies are currently in progress that show more promising results.
This B vitamin is essential for the function of pyruvate carboxylase, an enzyme involved in the metabolism of proteins. When things don't work out, high levels of pyruvate and aspartate can negatively affect the nerves.
Diabetic patients suffering from neuropathy as a result of dialysis can get some relief from supplementation. Early studies with small numbers of patients showed that patients taking a high dose of biotin for one to two years saw an improvement in their symptoms.
BASAL GANGLIA DISEASE
Basal ganglia disease is a rare inherited disorder that affects the part of the nervous system that controls movement. Sufferers may experience involuntary muscle tension, muscle stiffness, muscle weakness, and even some episodes of altered mental status.
Early research shows that taking thiamine plus B7 together can shorten the duration of episodes when they strike.
Chronic alcohol use can do a number on the body. Among the damage, the intestines may not be able to absorb B7 properly, leading to a significant reduction in plasma levels.
Those people may be suffering from a vitamin B7 deficiency and could benefit from taking a supplement.
Cigarette smoking has been shown to accelerate B7 catabolism, or breakdown, in women, leading to lower B7 levels, which could lead to tumors. If you are a long-term smoker, it may be a good idea to talk with your doctor about supplementing your B vitamin.
WHERE TO FIND IT
Most people get enough B7 throughout the day by eating a variety of foods rich in the source of vitamin B, so a true deficiency is rare.
Foods that are particularly rich in vitamin include:
- Yeast foods
- Green leafy vegetables
- Organ meats such as liver and kidney.
- Egg yolks
- Legumes like peanuts and soybeans
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans (and nut butter)
- Wheat bran
- Sunflower seeds
- Whole grains and cereals
Many other fruits and vegetables also contain at least a small amount. Food processing can render the vitamin ineffective. So if you are concerned about your intake, then you should go for raw organic food.
The bacteria that make up your intestinal flora also produce it through the normal process of digestion.
CAN YOU TAKE TOO MUCH BIOTIN?
There is no evidence linking high levels of B7 supplementation with any form of toxicity. As a water-soluble vitamin, your fat cells don't store it for later use. Therefore, you will excrete any unused excess in your urine.
Another downside to taking too much vitamin is that it can skew lab test results, which can lead to inaccurate treatment plans or a misdiagnosis of a medical condition.
Also, the vitamin could interact with certain medications. That means you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements if you are also taking prescription drugs.
Some medications, such as anticonvulsants, can adversely affect levels, so monitoring by your doctor may be recommended.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT THE HEALTHY BENEFITS OF BIOTIN
Biotin is an essential nutrient for many of your body's functions. It is closely connected with protein metabolism, glucose synthesis, and other processes.
Scientists continue to conduct more research. They hope to strengthen the premise that taking B7 in some cases can be beneficial in alleviating many common problems. In the meantime, it's never a bad idea to eat a well-balanced diet, potentially alleviating the need for supplements.