Biotin is part of the vitamin B complex family. It is also known as vitamin H on its own and is responsible for helping to turn the nutrients we ingest (i.e. proteins, fats and carbohydrates) into energy. Important metabolic, digestive and cardiovascular functions wouldn’t be carried out in the body without the presence of biotin. The general public may recognize it as the super-ingredient behind improved hair, skin and nails. There’s a reason why it’s called vitamin H. The letter stands for the German words Haar and Haut, which translate to “hair” and “skin,” respectively.
Sound too good to be true? Keep reading to find out more about one of the body’s key vitamins and its alleged aesthetic benefits.
So, What Does Biotin Do for Me?
On top of the critical health functions we previously mentioned, biotin has been popularized due to its alleged skincare benefits. Though there is not enough concrete research to fully support this claim, some people who’ve increased their biotin intake have reported healthier hair, skin and nails.
What Could Happen If I’m Deficient?
Luckily, a deficiency is rare because of how easy it is to increase levels through biotin-rich foods. But if this does occur, those affected may experience dry, irritated skin, hair loss, muscle aches and lack of energy. Inversely, an overdose – also unlikely because biotin is water-soluble, meaning extra nutrients would just exit the body through waste — may lead to high blood sugar levels, skin rashes and low vitamin C and B6 levels.
You may want to discuss the right amount for you with your doctor since there is not a universally recommended daily dosage.
How Can I Add It to My Diet?
There are natural sources of biotin. Egg yolk, almonds, nut butters, cauliflower, bananas and mushrooms, among other common foods, contain the vitamin.