Biotin: From Healthy Skin To Strong Hair, Know All The Benefits Of This Nutrient
Biotin is a part of vitamin B group. Foods like pulses and legumes, fish, egg yolks, cheese, soybeans and peanuts contain biotin.
- Biotin can help boost skin and hair health
- There are several foods naturally loaded with biotin
- You should not take biotin supplements without consulting your doctor
Biotin, is a vitamin which is a part of the B complex group. Humans cannot synthesize biotin in their body and it must be obtained through dietary sources. Biotin helps to convert certain nutrients found in food into energy and also plays a role in maintaining health of the hair, skin, and nails. Biotin exists in a wide variety of foods, hence its deficiency is very rare. Mostly, biotin requirement is optimized from a healthy diet.
Foods that are particularly high in biotin includes: pulses and legumes, fish, egg yolks, cheese, soybeans, peanuts, dark green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, mushrooms, nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds.
In most cases, the biotin we get from our diet is enough for us to reap the health benefits it offers. In addition, gut bacteria produce some biotin, therefore maintaining a good gut health is important. Recommended Dietary Allowance of between 30 and 100 micrograms (mcg) per day of biotin is often recommended for adolescents and adults. Since it is a water soluble vitamin one cannot overdose on biotin.
Biotin deficiency symptoms start gradually and can build up over a period of time. The symptoms include thinning of hair, progressing to loss of hair across the body, and a scaly, red rash around body openings, including the eyes, nose, mouth, and anus. However, a deficiency is rare.
Since we are on the topic of biotin, let's try to keep a drift of the latest trends in its association - Does biotin supplements play any role of improvement with respect to thinning of hair? There is an increase in the number of females approaching clinics showing concerns regarding their hair health. What's more interesting to this report is that they believe that they really notice an improvement when it comes to hair quality with biotin supplements. This really had interested the researchers out there to get to the root of the things.
FDA suggests to avoid overdose or excessive supplementation (likely from multiple sources) as it could interfere with important lab test results, including those for thyroid hormone. Hence it must be consumed under proper guidance by a doctor. To sum it all, research demonstrating the efficacy of biotin is too limited. There is lack of enough evidence and solid proofs in respect to this concern. More focus needs to be driven in this area.
From the public health data, it can also be suggested that iron deficiency, poor protein intake is probably a more common concern in average population and thus might be associated with hair related problems. Hence, biotin supplementation with adequate protein intake (0.8-1g per kg body weight per day), since biotin is protein bound, might be beneficial for hair related problem.
Tips: include Biotin rich foods or supplements (prescribed amounts) along with protein rich foods like low fat milk and milk Products like low fat curd, paneer, legumes & pulses, soya bean, egg, fish, lean meat, chicken in the diet on a regular basis.
(Bhakti Samant is a Chief Dietician at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital)
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