Friday, November 22, 2013

Biotin 101


You may have heard much about this B vitamin, it helps our bodies convert food to energy, the importance of biotin was discovered about 60 years ago. Most of us get more than enough biotin in our regular diets. Many popular supplements for thinning hair contain  biotin.

Lately there has been an explosion of supplements that promise strongerhealthier hair. Indigenous Curls dives into the main  ingredient found  in those popular hair vitamins, and how it can effect your hair and body. 

·         What Is Biotin? Biotin is used for preventing and treating biotin deficiency associated with pregnancy, long-term tube feeding, malnutrition, and rapid weight loss. It is also used orally for hair loss, brittle nails, skin rash in infants (seborrheic dermatitis), diabetes, and even  mild depression. 
Biotin acts as a co-enzyme in the metabolism  and assists with the breakdown of proteins to urea, and the conversion of amino acids from protein into blood sugar for energy. You should eat at least 30 micrograms a day; fortunately, most of us get 3 to 10 times that much. 

·         Benefits of Biotin: In addition to its metabolic properties, biotin also has some health benefits. When normal intake of biotin is supplemented, it strengthens fingernails, relieves a scalp condition in newborns, and is very effective at controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics. On this page you'll learn how high of a dose to take to achieve these healthy effects.

Other natural supplements applied topically,  for hair loss, thin, or thinning hair: 


Foods with a relatively high biotin content include raw egg yolk beef liver, kidney, unpolished rice, brewer's yeast, peanuts, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Many curly girls add raw eggs to their home made or store brought conditioners for an extra boost of strength, and shine. 

Beware, there are side effects if you take too much biotin! Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any supplement program. 

Biotin Side Effects

  • Acne. Getting too much biotin in your system increases your risk of developing cystic acne on the chin and jawline. The reason why this occurs is unknown, but it is found that the acne fades a few weeks after you stop using biotin supplements. Make sure you take doses of biotin that are less than 2500 mcg or less each day and drink plenty of water while using biotin supplements to reduce your risk of developing cystic acne. You may need to experiment with different doses until you find the amount that works best with your skin.
  • Allergies. Allergic reactions to biotin are not common, but they are still possible. People that have known allergies to vitamin B12 cobalamin or cobalt tend to be allergic to biotin as well. If you are suffering from an allergic reaction to biotin you may feel nausea, develop an itchy rash, tightness or pain in your chest and swelling of the throat and face. If you start to develop these symptoms call your doctor for help immediately as some of these developments can be fatal.
  • Miscarriage. If you are taking high doses of biotin while you are trying to get pregnant it can increase your risk of suffering a miscarriage. The reasoning behind this is not clear, and no tests have been performed on humans to better determine the likelihood of this risk. Talk to a medical professional before taking biotin while pregnant to ensure your safety.
  • Interactions. Biotin negatively interacts with anti-seizure medications and medications that help lower cholesterol, causing these medications to work less effectively. While biotin is helpful in regulating your metabolism and blood sugar levels, it can have a distinct effect on the overall blood glucose level in your body. If you are taking medications like cholesterol medication or anticonvulsants or treating a condition like diabetes, taking biotin can have an impact on your symptoms. It is rare that people have a life-threatening experience while taking biotin. There is only one recorded case where a woman that suffered from heart and lung condition known as eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion developed life threatening conditions while taking vitamins B5 and B7 at high doses. After she stopped using biotin, her symptoms went away.