When it comes to taking biotin supplements, not many people are familiar with the effects and benefits of it, however many people are familiar with Vitamin B7. Vitamin B7 is the same supplement as biotin, just a different name. B7 is commonly added to many health and beauty products such as shampoos, cosmetics, and lotions. This is thanks to its outstanding effects of keeping your hair, skin, and nails all in check and looking healthy. You may be able to find Vitamin B7 in many beauty-related nutritional supplements or even in things like nail hardeners or hair growth products.
Vitamin B7, or biotin, is often thought of as only being beneficial for supporting healthy nail growth, smooth and supple skin, or keeping your hair lush and full. While it has shown its worth for these things, biotin is also fantastic in supporting your heart health, metabolic system, nervous system, and even your cardiovascular system. Who knew that such a simple vitamin could help your whole body perform better?
The average dosage of biotin remains unclear as scientists have recommended anything from 2.5 mg per day to 10 mg per day, and in some research studies and cases, these dosages stretch all the way up to 50 mg. Now, while it may sound careless at first, the reason for this is far from unsettling: scientists can't seem to find an upper limit to how much biotin the average human can tolerate. Biotin has been used to treat multiple patients who range in age from infancy to adulthood and all the way to the elderly. In one study, a nine-month pregnant woman was treated with several milligrams of biotin, and no adverse effects were found in either the child or the mother afterwards. The methods of intake vary as well, from oral to intravenous, providing a very large range to test.
While it is definite that scientists need to do further research to determine this upper intake level, it certainly poses potential good news for us until then, suggesting that our bodies can easily take on a supplemental dosage without any adverse effects at all.
WebMD has published an “adequate intake” chart, courtesy of the Institute of Medicine, however, this chart suggests taking your biotin supplement in micrograms (mcg), not milligrams (mg). According to this chart, children between 4 and 8 years of age can take up to 12 mcg per day while 9-13 years are suggested to take up to 20 mcg per day.
Adults 19 years and older as well as pregnant women should take 30 mcg per day according to the information provided. Breastfeeding women are suggested to have the highest dosage for biotin, coming in at 35 mcg per day.
Some individuals may experience some side effects such as nausea and dizziness, but this is often attributed to taking multiple medications at once. Scientists and doctors alike aren't quite sure what the tolerable upper intake dosage is, but neither of them have found biotin to be the cause of any side effects, even when taken in up to 10 milligrams per day. This is certainly an unusual case, as nearly every supplement, chemical, compound and everything in-between has been found to have some kind of potential side effect attributed to it.
There is a theory that our bodies are so tolerant of the nutrient that we can store it, or very effectively get rid of excess. In either case, more research is needed to effectively determine the side effects of taking biotin supplements, as well as the tolerable upper intake levels.
Biotin deficiency may be caused by an over-consumption of egg whites over a prolonged period of months or years. Egg whites contain a specific protein that prevents the absorption of biotin in your body if eaten in excess.
Long-term use of antibiotics may also be the cause of biotin deficiency in some individuals. The intestinal flora that produces biotin may be at risk when some antibiotics are taken over a long period of time.
Another way that doctors have discovered may cause a deficiency in biotin is long-term intravenous nutrition, often given in hospitals to help weak individuals eat the proper nutrition they need to heal.
Of course, certain medical conditions hinder the absorption of nutrients such as Crohn's disease. These medical conditions may be the culprit behind a biotin deficiency as well. Fortunately, conditions that cause nutritional deficiencies are being researched far more than biotin, and they may be able to provide a treatment in the future to solve the issue of biotin deficiency as well as many others.
Scientists and doctors are both looking for other possible causes of biotin deficiency. Since biotin seems to be one of the nutrients that are continuously giving scientists the run around, the next step is to make yourself aware of the known effects of too-little biotin can have on your body. By listening to your body and how your body reacts to diet changes, you can help ensure that you are doing your best to keep your body healthy and happy, as well as avoiding anything that can potentially become a worse symptom.
While scientists and doctors may be puzzling over finding something wrong with biotin, one thing is for sure: we do know what effects too little biotin does to our bodies. Common effects include loss of appetite, weight gain, lethargy, depression and in more severe cases, hallucinations, numbness and unexplained tingling in the arms and legs.
Dermatological side effects commonly include hair loss or hair thinning, and in more severe cases, a scaly-looking red rash may appear around sensitive skin, such as around the nose, mouth, eyes, and genitals.
Other and more minor dermatological side effects of biotin deficiency may include brittle nails, dry eyes, fatigue, cracking in the skin around the mouth, and headaches.
It's important to take into consideration your current health concerns or ailments when you begin taking a new supplement. This is also true when it comes to any medication or herbal supplements you may be taking, as everything can interact like two prescription drugs – yes, even herbal supplements.
Some medications can hinder how your body absorbs biotin, others have the potential to interact with biotin. It is important to always talk to your doctor before beginning a new supplement or changing your dietary habits, especially if you already have a medical condition, concern or are taking other medicines. It's important that your doctor knows all of the medications you are taking including herbal supplements as this can help avoid and prevent any unnecessary risks.