Why Biotin Is Important And How You Can Get More Of It

2258_0Biotin as Vitamin H is known is a member of the family of B complex vitamins.  As with all B vitamins it helps to convert food to produce energy and aids with metabolizing protein and fat.  Biotin is a water soluble vitamin so the body does not store it.  The bacteria in the intestines can make biotin.  It is unusual for someone to be deficient in

Vitamin H (biotin).  However, in the event the body is not making enough biotin it is available in small amounts in some foods and in multi-vitamins, biotin supplements and in B complex vitamins.

Symptoms of a deficiency in biotin include hair loss, depression, insomnia, dry eyes, dry scaly skin, cracking at the mouth corners and loss of appetite.

Limited amounts of biotin are available in some foods.  Foods which contain biotin are almonds, pecans, walnuts, bananas, beans, blackeye peas, cauliflower, soybeans, nut butters. cooked egg yolks, and sardines.  Foods that are less processed will be better biotin sources since biotin can be destroyed by the food processing methods.

There have not been large test studies done to support various claims as to the benefits of biotin.  However, it is said to improve thinning hair and to help improve brittle and splitting fingernails and toenails.  Biotin is often found in cosmetic products produced for use on skin or the hair.

When combined with chromium biotin may help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.  It does not appear to have the same effect on blood sugar when taken alone.  Biotin also may help those who suffer from peripheral neuropathy which  is nerve damage to the arms or legs.  Some symptoms for peripheral neuropathy may include muscle weakness, numbness and/or a tingling sensation or trouble walking.

Biotin does not seem to have any adverse side effects.  However, some medications may interfere with biotin levels.  Be sure to consult with your health care professional before beginning any supplement.