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Biotin - 10 reasons to try it.

Posted May 23 2008 5:01am

My cousin is really into “health stuff”. She’s not like a PETA vegetarian herbal extremist, but she’s pretty knowledgeable when it comes to things like natural foods and vitamins and what to take/eat/drink for certain ailments, and she hates to have to take prescription drugs if she doesn’t have to.

Anyway, I was in her dog grooming parlor, bathing the pups, and bemoaning the fact that my nails just don’t grow nicely. I’ve been victim to the addiction of acrylic nails since as long as I can remember, and well let’s face it, even superglue and acrylic can fall apart when submerged in water for 6-8 hours a day. So as my fakers were falling off, I was complaining about the even more drastic thin-ness of them - yes, fake nails look nice, but the damage they do is obscene.

Biotin B7

She recommended I take Biotin, and said that when she did, she found that her hair and nails got stronger and grew faster. Being the wonderful sweetheart that she is, the next time she went to the health foods store, she grabbed me a bottle for five bucks. :)

The bottle says “Biotin - Energy Production” and is 1000mcg (1mg) with 100 capsules. It says it supports amino acid metabolism and promotes normal immunity. It says it’s 333% of the RDA value.

I decided to do some more research, and found these facts and claims:

  • Biotin has an essential role in helping the body metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Biotin also helps the body process glucose. These roles in metabolism help the body produce energy more efficiently, which may help reduce feelings of fatigue that are caused by metabolism problems. Since biotin is essential in converting carbohydrates, fats and proteins to energy, it may be a useful aid to weight loss.
  • Biotin has an essential role in helping the body metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Biotin also helps the body process glucose. These roles in metabolism help the body produce energy more efficiently, which may help reduce feelings of fatigue that are caused by metabolism problems.
  • Biotin also helps build and maintain muscle tissue, bone marrow, and nervous system tissue.
  • Daily supplementation of 2,500 mcg significantly increased nail thickness in about 90 percent of the patients. (Looks like I may need to take more than the one pill per day as recommended on my bottle?)
  • Diabetics may also benefit from biotin supplementation. In both insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes, supplementation with biotin can improve blood sugar control and help lower fasting blood glucose levels, in some studies the reduction in fasting glucose exceeded 50 percent!
  • Milk, liver, egg yolk, yeast, and dried peas and beans are good sources of biotin. Nuts and mushrooms contain smaller amounts of the vitamin. Bacteria in the intestinal tract can also make biotin. A healthy, balanced diet should provide enough Biotin, but if you’re feeling fatigued, have issues with nails or hair, or are diabetic, a supplement may help. The elderly, athletes, and burn victims may need more biotin than the general population.
  • Biotin is essential for the maintenance of bones, nerves, and blood. It can boost the health of sweat glands, blood cells, nerve tissues, male sex glands, and bone marrow.
  • It also plays an important role in maintaining the health of mind, memory, and emotional well-being of a person. It helps in maintaining the health of cognitive function by producing of neurotransmitters in brain.
  • Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin like vitamin C. This means that a supplement enters your bloodstream, and once your body’s reached it’s full capacity, the rest is flushed down the toilet when you urinate. (I’ve always loved this fact about vitamin C, when people claim you need to take thousands of mg’s of it if you’re sick. This simply isn’t true, at least not all at once. If you take any water-soluble vitamins, spread them out across your day if you’re taking more than one pill.)
  • Some symptoms of a biotin deficiency may be dry skin, fungal infections, rashes, fine and brittle hair, hair loss, high cholesterol, heart problems, and other symptoms.

I am not a doctor or certified nutritionist, so please, don’t take anything without consulting your physician beforehand. This is just my experience, supplemented with a bit of Google research.

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