What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking Biotin for hair health?
Biotin (also known as Vitamin H) is an essential water soluble vitamin of the B Vitamin family which acts as a co-enzyme for many reactions in the body including digestion (metabolism of carbohydrates and dietary fats and atabolism of proteins).
Healthy hair, skin and nails requires the appropriate building blocks to ensure the growth and maintainence of the structure. Biotin is required in many of the enzymes reactions that occur during growth of new hair and the long term maintenance of healthy skin, hair and nails. Naturopaths will often prescribe higher doses of B Vitamins and Biotin when the individual is displaying deficiency symptoms.
- Dandruff, eczema and dermatitis
- Early onset gray hair or hair loss
- Brittle nails and unhealthy appearance of hair
- Dry or flaky skin and for the general appearance of skin
- Wrinkles and brittle fingernails
- Immune and nervous system dysfunction
- Protein digestion disruption
Recommended daily intake of Biotin
The recommended daily allowance of Biotin is between 200-800mcg.
Foods which contain Biotin
Cereal Grains: Barley, Oatmeal, Brown Rice
Dairy Products: Milk
Fish: Haddock, Cod, Halibut, Mackerel, Salmon, Tuna
Herbs: Alfalfa, Ginsengs, Chickweed, Dandelion, Goldenseal
Legumes: Split Peas, Lentils, Soya Beans
Meats: Beef, Kidneys, Liver – Chicken, Liver
Nuts: Almonds, Peanuts, Pecan Nuts, Walnuts
Vegetables: CaulifloweR, Kelp, Corn
Yeasts: Brewer's Yeast
Excessive consumption of sugar, alcohol and caffeine can dramatically reduce Biotin concentration in the body. Deficiencies in Biotin are rare, as only small amounts of Biotin are needed each day and it is found in many foods. Biotin is essentially non toxic which means that high doses can be tolerated in the body with no ill effects.