Biotin benefits, dosage, and deficiency
Discover biotin benefits and how you can get more of it in your diet or with a supplement
Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is part of the full B complex. It’s a nutrient that everyone needs, and it helps your metabolism extract energy from food sources. In this article, we’ll go through biotin benefits, whether a supplement is necessary, and if there are any side effects.
What are the benefits of biotin?
Biotin is a water-soluble nutrient. It’s essential for converting the energy in foods into energy that our bodies and brains can use, as well as the production of fatty acids.
We can’t produce it ourselves, so we get the benefits of biotin from food (the vitamin is commonly found bound to proteins) and the bacteria in our gut.
We don’t need a lot of biotin, but it is still an essential vitamin that plays an important role in various functions of your brain and body.
So what is biotin good for?
Converting food to energy
Metabolising fats to promote healthy skin
Contributing to a balanced mood
Maintaining a healthy nervous system
Supporting the immune system
There is also promising research that suggests high-dose biotin supplementation may help to decline or even reverse MS-related disability.
Does biotin grow hair?
There’s some evidence to suggest that there are biotin benefits for hair in particular. If you're after luscious locks and have tried many hair treatments, this might get you thinking 'well, is biotin better for hair growth?'. There's no conclusive answer yet, but not getting enough has been shown to contribute to thinner hair and there’s ongoing research to determine whether the extra supplementation of biotin can lead to hair growth.
Is it good to take biotin everyday?
You can take biotin every day, but really don’t need a lot. Whereas many nutrient reference values (NRVs) are measured in milligrams, the NRV for biotin is 50 micrograms (0.05mg) per day. In every dose of Heights Smart Supplement there's the full 50mcg, which is equivalent to 10 tins of cooked salmon or 8 cups of almonds.
What are the symptoms of a biotin deficiency?
Biotin deficiencies are rare, but they can happen, particularly among individuals predisposed towards nutrient deficiencies. Chronic exposure to alcohol is another factor that can make a biotin deficiency more likely. Signs of a potential biotin deficiency include thinning hair, rashes, brittle nails and conjunctivitis.
While a lot of biotin is created by gut bacteria, it’s also available in small quantities in a variety of ingredients. Foods that contain a lot of biotin include:
Biotin supplement benefits
Biotin is available through your diet, but many people can benefit from supplementation. If you do take a biotin supplement, taking it at the same time as other B vitamins will help optimise energy release. You can read more about each of these vitamins here:
Are there any side effects of biotin?
Research suggests that there are no side effects of biotin, even if taken in large amounts. That means that there’s no established safe upper limit (SUL), and no reason to be worried about excess intake.
How we use biotin in the Smart Supplement
At Heights, we've formulated the Smart Supplement with vitamin B7 from d-biotin, which is the naturally occurring, biologically active form of the vitamin. You can be sure that:
Each dose contains 100% of the NRV for biotin.
Our biotin is pure and quality-tested.
Everything is manufactured in small batches.
It meets many common dietary and lifestyle practices: It's gluten-free, 100% plant-based, allergen-free and contains absolutely zero GMOs, contaminants, fillers or colourants.
Here’s a handful of relevant scientific studies on biotin.
Koutsikos, D., Agroyannis, B., & Tzanatos-Exarchou, H. (1990). Biotin for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy, 44(10), 511-514.
Osada, K., Komai, M., Sugiyama, K., Urayama, N., & Furukawa, Y. (2004). Experimental study of fatigue provoked by biotin deficiency in mice. International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. Internationale Zeitschrift fur Vitamin-und Ernahrungsforschung. Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition, 74(5), 334-340.
Tourbah, A., Lebrun-Frenay, C., Edan, G., Clanet, M., Papeix, C., Vukusic, S., ... & Defer, G. (2016). MD1003 (high-dose biotin) for the treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 22(13), 1719-1731.
We also used these sources when writing this article:
For more information on how to help your brain thrive, read Dr Tara Swart's easy advice here.