Vitamin B7, also called biotin, is a vital part of a healthy metabolism and creating important enzymes. biotin, is a water-soluble nutrient that is part of the B vitamin family. B vitamins help support adrenal function, help calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and are necessary for key metabolic processes. Biotin is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrate and fat. Biotin is often used to strengthen and grow hair and nails, and is also called Vitamin H (for hair)!
"Many systems benefit from biotin including the skin, nerves, digestive tract, metabolism and cells," said Dr. Sherry Ross, OB/GYN and Women’s Health Expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. "Biotin is needed for the formation of fatty acids and glucose, which are used as energy in our body."
Without biotin as a co-factor, many enzymes do not work properly, and serious complications can occur, including varied diseases of the skin, intestinal tract, and nervous system. Biotin can help address high blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and may be helpful in maintaining healthy hair and nails, decreasing insulin resistance and improving glucose tolerance, and possibly preventing birth defects. It plays a role in energy metabolism, and has been used to treat alopecia, cancer, Crohn's disease, hair loss, Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathy, Rett syndrome, seborrheic dermatitis, and vaginal candidiasis.
Biotin is vital to many body functions. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin B7 is used by the body to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. It is also vital for the normal growth of fetuses.
Many people take biotin supplements to increase the health of their skin, hair and nails. While more research is needed, it seems that B7 may be helpful in these areas. A double-blind study by the Ablon Skin Institute Research Center and the University of California found that taking biotin created significant hair growth in women with temporary hair thinning. The U.S. National Library of Medicine also notes that biotin can be helpful in the treatment of skin rashes in infants known as seborrheic dermatitis or cradle cap. There is no research to prove this claim, according to the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
"Biotin is important for hair, skin and nails," said Lauren Graf, clinical dietitian for Montefiore-Einstein Cardiac Wellness Program. "Low levels of biotin can lead to brittle nails and thinning hair. There is some evidence that biotin supplements can help prevent hair thinning, especially if you are deficient. Taking a biotin supplement is not likely to be harmful and may improve hair quality."
B7 may also be helpful in the treatment of diabetes. A study by Alpha Therapy Center found that a treatment that combines chromium picolinate and B7 improves glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes. High doses of biotin were also found helpful in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy, a symptom of diabetes.
1. Strengthen hair and nails
Though there’s minimal research to support the effects of biotin on hair growth, there’s strong evidence to support a deficiency will cause hair loss. Similarly, the vitamin also helps thicken nail cuticles and prevents breakage. A number of hair care companies are now including biotin directly in their products though Fyshe suggests taking biotin orally for optimal results. Thirty micrograms (mcg) a day is the adequate intake level listed for adults over the age of 19.
2. Improve the health of your skin
A biotin deficiency can lead to a variety of skin problems including rashes, acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and overall itchiness. “B vitamins play a key role in the function of the nervous system and do affect hormone function, which suggests why depleting biotin levels can in turn play a significant role in skin health,” says Fyshe. If skin isn’t nourished from the inside out, toxicities will form throughout the nervous system and manifest itself on the skin’s surface. This is one of the biggest signs that suggest a deficiency in biotin or vitamin B.
3. Aid in weight loss
Biotin plays a pivotal role in supporting metabolic function and works as a co-enzyme to help break down food, particularly carbohydrates. This reaction is further accelerated when biotin is paired with chromium. Your resting metabolic rate is elevated and food breaks down faster when consuming biotin, which is why there’s a link to biotin and accelerating weight loss. However, research is still preliminary and in no way does biotin act as a weight loss pill. It is still important to pair the supplement with a healthy diet and exercise regime to make sure you meet your slim-down goals. The good news: biotin is widely available and can be found in many foods such chicken, soy, walnuts, whole grains, beans and legumes.
4. Lower cholesterol
Biotin has been shown to play a role in lowering cholesterol, which when too high, can lead to heart disease including heart attack and stroke. Preliminary research has shown biotin can help reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
It’s important to note that raw eggs can inhibit the absorption of biotin so if you’re drinking a raw egg shake or eat raw eggs in food, beware that it can reduce the amount of biotin you’re metabolizing.
5. Regulate blood sugar
Biotin intake has been associated with helping to fight and preventing diabetes, particularly type 2. Pairing biotin with chromium has been show to have an even greater effect. A study conducted at the Alpha Therapy Center in Corpus Christi, Texas found that, “a chromium picolinate/biotin combination…can improve glycaemic control in overweight to obese individuals with type 2 diabetes; especially those patients with poor glycaemic control on oral therapy.” A 2005 study found that, “Biotin deficiency has been linked to impaired glucose tolerance and decreased utilization of glucose.”
We want everyone to remember, just like everything else in the world, not all supplements are created equal. A lot of bigger name brand companies can get away with putting less of the ingredients that actually matter in them and pricing them for much much less, but you get what you pay for and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
That's why our Me First Living Biotin Supplement contains everything you need and nothing you don't. Our Biotin supplement has 5,000 MCG's of Biotin
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*Please note the serving size is two pills, but we recommend customers start off taking one pill and after a week or so of taking the supplement, increase to two pills if necessary.