Biotin is a vitamin that gets a lot of buzz in the beauty industry, but what is it and what does it do? Biotin is a B vitamin that is essential to multiple bodily functions and that does play a role in keeping a healthy and youthful appearance. If you’ve ever been curious about what biotin is and how you can benefit from biotin, keep reading. Learn what biotin is, what the benefits of biotin are and how you can get biotin for your body.
What is Biotin?
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a water-soluble vitamin that is one of the complex B vitamins. “B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly,” according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. These key nutrients are responsible for your digestive, cardiovascular, nervous and metabolic functions.
Perhaps more popularly, biotin is a nutrient that plays a role in maintaining the health of your hair, skin and nails. Vitamin B7 is a frequent addition to beauty products aimed at skin and hair care, but there is little research to support the claim that these formulations containing biotin have a significant impact on hair, skin and nails. Some experts believe that biotin is not well absorbed through the skin, so the benefits of topical application may be quite small. Ingesting biotin is recommended, and there are many food sources you can enjoy to get your daily recommended value of biotin.
Benefits of Biotin
Biotin has several important health benefits including:
- Healthy Metabolism – B7 and other B vitamins are required to convert the food you eat into energy. “All B vitamins help the body to convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and proteins,” writes the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- Blood Sugar – The link between biotin and diabetes continues to be studied, but research shows that biotin, particularly when combined with chromium, lowers blood sugar in people with diabetes. Biotin helps too with blood glucose levels because it facilitates the activity of insulin, which is the hormone responsible for balancing blood sugar.
- Hair, Skin and Nails – High doses of biotin have been shown to treat weak and brittle hair or nails. It is also thought that biotin helps protect your skin from acne, dryness, cracking, rashes and fungal infections.
How to Get Biotin
Because biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, your body does not store it and so you need a constant supply of biotin. Foods that are biotin-rich include:
- Egg yolks
- Brewer’s Yeast
- Whole Grain Bread
You can also take biotin in supplement forms in a wide range of doses.
Biotin, B7, is an important vitamin that not only strengthens your hair, nails and skin, but that also contributes to the proper functioning of several body systems. While you need a constant supply of biotin, it is rare for people that consume adequate calories each day to be deficient in biotin. Additionally, it is rare that biotin levels become so high that they are toxic. Eating biotin-rich foods benefits your body and your beauty.