An ingredient used to enrich nearly every hair care product, biotin has a lot more benefits than those of which most people are aware. This super vitamin can is useful in a number of other ways and is prevalent in nature. In this article, we are going to discuss the top ten biotin benefits. We’ll also see where one can get it naturally. But before we do, let’s define what biotin is and where you can find it.
What Is Biotin?
Though it was once called coenzyme R or vitamin H, biotin is now labeled as a water-soluble B vitamin known as vitamin B7. Because biotin is water-soluble, excess amounts leave the body through the urine. The major biotin benefits achieved take place on a cellular level where it takes care of a number of functions, such as:
- Synthesizing glucose by breaking down fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
- Facilitates the uptake of glucose in the cells as a source of energy.
- Providing a strengthening function to certain types of tissues.
- Is essential for optimal nervous system function.
What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Biotin Deficiency?
Biotin deficiency can come from a number of sources, but the two most common ones are cigarette smoking and the regular consumption of raw egg whites. Biotin deficiency presents as dry scaly skin, dermatitis, anorexia, vomiting, nausea, alopecia, depression, hallucinations, tingling sensation in the arms and legs, and listlessness.
Where Can You Get Biotin Naturally?
Though biotin can be introduced into your body through most vitamin B complex supplements, it is also found in a number of natural food sources. Dr. Josh Axe provides this list of the top nine foods containing biotin:
- Liver — 3 ounces cooked: 27-35 milligrams;
- Eggs — 1 whole: 13–25 milligrams;
- Yeast — 7 grams/about 1 tablespoon: 1.4–14 milligrams;
- Salmon — 3 ounces: 4–5 milligrams;
- Cheese (try organic goat cheese) — 1 oz: 0.4–2 milligrams;
- Avocado — 1 whole: 2-6 milligrams;
- Raspberries — 1 cup: 0.2–2 milligrams;
- Cauliflower — 1 cup: 0.2–2 milligrams;
- Whole Grain Bread — 1 slice: 0.2–6 milligrams.
Though you can reap a number of benefits from this list of top 10 biotin benefits and where to get it naturally, these are not all inclusive cures. A health care professional should always be called upon in cases of severe illness.
Top 10 Biotin Benefits and Where to Get It Naturally
Healthy Hair and Nails
One of the most common of all biotin benefits is its contribution to healthy hair and nails. Though there is some disagreement as to how biotin helps strengthen hair and nails, the evidence, according to Durable Health, shows that continuous use of biotin does have a significant effect on both hair and nails.
Improved Cognitive Function
Improved cognitive function is one of the smartest of all biotin benefits. A study at Oregon State University asserts that biotin’s function in helping to metabolized fatty acids and amino acids is essential for proper cognitive function.
Balanced Blood Sugar
Another among the many biotin benefits is its essential role in helping balance blood sugar levels. Biotin along with chromium picolinate helps to reduce atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) and correlated cardiovascular disease risk factors that are present among those with type 2 diabetes, according to a Chicago Research Center study.
Adrenal support and the proper functioning of the renal system are additional biotin benefits. Dr. Nikolas Hedberg points out that it is biotin’s role in helping to balance blood sugar that also helps in supporting proper adrenal function.
Because it is essential in the breaking down of nutrients another element on the list of biotin benefits is the boosting of metabolism. Livestrong points out that proper levels of biotin are necessary in the metabolic process in order to provide energy to your cells by breaking down fat, protein and carbohydrates.
Because a major symptom of biotin deficiency is revealed in adverse skin conditions, biotin benefits skin health. A University of Iowa study demonstrates how impaired fatty acid metabolism from biotin deficiency contributes to dermatitis and other skin conditions.
One of the biotin benefits that might actually save your life is its ability to lower your risk of heart disease. Biotin.com points out that biotin’s metabolic function in breaking down nutrients is essential for maintaining a lower blood lipid level. This, furthermore, reduces arteriosclerosis.
Muscle Tissue Health and Growth
Developing healthy muscle tissue and muscle growth is another of the essential biotin benefits. Biotin’s role in glucose metabolism helps provide the necessary energy for carrying out protein synthesis. Consequently, this contributes to muscle health and growth, according to Livestrong.
Proper fetal development is another major item on our list of top ten biotin benefits. An article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that the “weak human placental transport of biotin may allow maternal biotin deficiency to cause fetal biotin deficiency.”
Treatment of MS
The more testing is still being conducted, resulting research indicates that another of the many biotin benefits with enormous potential in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Preliminary data from French studies have found a connection between elevated doses of biotin and a positive impact upon disability and progression factors of MS.
A Note of Caution
According to the food and drug administration (FDA), biotin is considered a safe and non-toxic vitamin. Furthermore, even in high doses there are no serious side effects, even for pregnant and nursing women. There are no negative drug interactions related to biotin reported either, however, certain drugs and lifestyle habits do have a tendency to reduce biotin levels and lead to biotin deficiency. They include:
- Long-term antibiotics;
- Anti-seizure medications;
- Raw egg whites prevent biotin absorption.
You may know it as the best source for strengthening hair and nails. Because of its essential role in metabolizing fats, carbohydrates and proteins, biotin also benefits your overall health on a significant level. Many illnesses and health issues are due to biotin deficiency. Therefore, it is essential that you recognize and integrate foods which are high in biotin into your diet. It will keep your body functioning at its very best.
Images from depositphotos.com.