9 Health Benefits of Biotin (Vitamin B7): Functions, Sources, Deficiency

Health Benefits of Biotin (Vitamin B7)

‘Biotin’ also known as ‘vitamin B7’ or ‘vitamin H’ is a water-soluble vitamin that assists the body in metabolizing proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Water-soluble vitamins like B7 are not stored in the body, so they must be taken daily.

Human cells can’t synthesize vitamin B7, but they are produced by bacteria in the body and are also found in many foods.

  • Biotin therapy can help treat some medical conditions.
  • Deficiency can lead to skin problems and hair loss, but it is rare.
  • Food sources include red meat, eggs, nuts, and seeds.

This article explains why you need biotin, its functions, recommended intake, sources, and potential health benefits of biotin.

How Does Biotin Work?

Biotin is an essential nutrient required for several functions in the body. But deficiency is rare with a balanced diet.

The body needs biotin to metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. B7 is a coenzyme of carboxylase enzymes. These enzymes are involved in:

  • Synthesis of fatty acids
  • Gluconeogenesis or glucose generation
  • Valine’s and isoleucine’s synthesis

What Are The Health Benefits of Biotin (Vitamin B7)?

There are several health benefits of biotin as it performs many vital functions in the body, including:

1. Vitamin B7 Help Breakdown ‘Macronutrients’

Vitamin B7 plays a role in converting food into energy: it supports several enzymes involved in the breakdown of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. In particular, biotin is involved in:

  • GlycogenesisSynthesis of fatty acids
  • Breakdown of amino acids

2. Biotin Support Healthy Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

This vitamin is essential for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Mild biotin deficiency is commonly seen during pregnancy. It can lead to abnormal development of the “fetus.”

About 50% of pregnant women in the U.S. may have at least a mild deficiency. This level of a B7 deficiency can affect a person’s health but is not sufficient to cause noticeable ‘symptoms.’

3. Vitamin B7 Improve Your Skin Health

This vitamin helps maintain the skin’s mucous membranes. Its deficiency can cause skin problems, such as red, scaly rashes, or acne. Some people also believe that biotin can help improve psoriasis.

The effect of this vitamin may be because it affects lipid metabolism. It is vital to maintaining healthy skin, and a low level of biotin can impair it.

4. Vitamin B7 Help Stimulating The Hair Health

Diet can play an essential role in skin and hair health. B-vitamin, called biotin, is one of the best-known vitamins for hair growth. Hair loss is linked to biotin deficiency in humans, according to researchers. Some foods for “healthy hair” are eggs, fatty fish, and Brazil nuts.

Many hair products that claim to promote hair health and strength contain biotin. Biotin deficiency can cause hair loss, which indicates that the vitamin has a role in maintaining healthy hair.

5. Biotin Support Your Nail Health

Supplementing with biotin can lead to longer, stronger nails. Numerous studies have indicated that biotin can strengthen brittle nails, preventing them from breaking or splitting, so it may be possible to grow your nails longer after taking this supplement regularly.

One study found that 2.5 mg of a biotin supplement per day resulted in “stronger, harder nails” in 91% of candidates.

6. Vitamin B7 Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Several studies have tested biotin’s ability to lower blood glucose in people with type-1 and type 2-diabetes. The results were promising.

Research has found that biotin can help control blood sugar in people with type-1 diabetes.

7. Biotin Can Control Neuropathy Symptoms

Biotin is required for pyruvate carboxylase activity. It can also help reduce nerve damage in people who have diabetes or are on dialysis (for kidney disease).

The researchers found that three patients who took a high dose of biotin for 1-2 years experienced an “improvement in neuropathy symptoms.”

8. Biotin-Thiamine-Responsive Basal Ganglia Disease

An autoimmune disorder known as biotin-thiamine-responsive basal ganglia disease affects the nervous system, particularly specific structures in the brain that control movement. It can lead to involuntary muscle tension, muscle weakness, muscle stiffness, and other problems.

Treatment with biotin and thiamine may help improve this condition. 

9. Biotin Can Support Multiple Sclerosis Treatments

Multiple sclerosis (M.S.) is also an autoimmune disease. It damages the protective layer of nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord, and eyes.

Scientists discovered that biotin is a safe treatment for M.S. In some participants, a high dose three times a day reduced symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

What Are The Natural Food Sources of Vitamin B7?

Vitamin B7 is found in various foods, which helps explain why vitamin deficiencies are so rare. Also, gut bacteria produce some biotin.

Foods that are particularly rich in biotin include:

Here are the top 10 foods rich in biotin:

  1. Egg Yolks: Cooked whole eggs are a good source of vitamin B7 due to the egg yolk, rich in “various B vitamins.”
  2. Legumes: Legumes, especially soybeans and peanuts, are a good source of biotin. It is also rich in fiber, protein, other vitamins, and minerals.
  3. Nuts and Seeds: Eating various nuts and seeds is an excellent way to increase your biotin intake. Almonds and Sunflower seeds are excellent sources.
  4. Liver: Although the liver is not the most popular food, it is one of the best sources of biotin. Both chicken liver and beef liver provide more than 100% of the Daily Value.
  5. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a great source of plant-based biotin, containing ½ cup (125 grams) and “cooked, up to 8% of the DV.”
  6. Mushrooms: Canned and fresh mushrooms are a good source of biotin and are easy to add to many dishes.
  7. Bananas: Bananas are a sweet, nutritious, and popular snack that also provides small amounts of biotin.
  8. Broccoli: Broccoli provides small amounts of biotin and is rich in many other nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and calcium.
  9. Yeast: Nutritious and active dry yeast, which are used as a food flavoring and in baking, respectively, are good sources of biotin.
  10. Avocado: Avocados are often used to make guacamole and are rich in healthy fats and biotin.

Note: Because cooking reduces biotin’s effectiveness, raw or less processed versions of these foods have a higher biotin concentration.

Biotin Recommended Daily Allowance

For teens and adults, 30 to 100 mcg/day of biotin is often recommended. Due to its water-soluble nature, the extra biotin in your system will pass through your urine. There is no known toxicity symptom associated with high biotin doses.

What is Biotin Deficiency?

Biotin deficiency in the United States is rare. Most people get enough biotin from a varied diet, and “good” gut bacteria can usually manufacture more biotin than the body needs.

Signs of Vitamin B7 deficiency include:

  • Thinning hair
  • Brittle nails
  • Dry skin
  • Scaly skin rashes around mouth, eyes, nose
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired immune function
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms, legs

Should You Take Vitamin B7 Supplements?

If you have a deficiency, a biotin supplement can boost levels in the body. However, before taking a supplement, you should consult a doctor first. Biotin supplements are available alone, combined with B vitamins, or included in a “multivitamin.”

You can take biotin supplements for prevention or treatment of:

  • Hair loss
  • Brittle nails
  • Diabetic
  • Slight depression
  • Seborrheic dermatitis, a skin condition that affects children 

Note: People with biotini deficiency generally start with 5 to 10 mg daily.

Is Biotin Really Good for My Skin, Hair, and Nails?

As a critical nutrient, biotin is essential in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

The majority of people obtain biotin from their diet. Most people, however, use biotin supplements to get youthful-looking skin, hair, and nails.

Research suggests that the supplement only works if the person has a health condition, like brittle nails or biotin deficiency.

Biotin supplementation is generally safe for most people, so trying out a hair, skin, and nail supplement should not cause harm. However, you might end up spending money on something ineffective.

The best way to improve your hair, skin, and nails – as well as your overall health – is to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet.

Health Benefits of Biotin (Vitamin B7) – Takeaway

Biotin is mainly obtained from your diet. Biotin deficiency is rare, but pregnancy, breastfeeding, and a few other factors can intensify the risk.

Consuming foods rich in biotin will help to ensure that individuals get enough of the vitamin. A few examples are eggs, liver, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

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