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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHealth Arrow to Vitamins and Minerals Vitamins & Minerals Arrow to BiotinBiotin

biotin supplementBiotin Fast Facts

Foods: liver, cauliflower, cheese, eggs, mushrooms, spinach, chicken breast, salmon

Nutritional & health benefits: helps in metabolizing fats, proteins & carbohydrates with additional research indicating beneficial uses to fight type 2 diabetes, brittle nails, and hair loss

Biotin is a vitamin that goes by several names, including vitamin H and vitamin B7. It is essential in several of the body's metabolic reactions and plays an important role in cell growth. Although most of the biotin the body needs is produced in the intestines, there are still some health benefits to be garnered from biotin supplementation.

One common use for biotin is for keeping fingernails strong, healthy, and beautiful. One study found that 67% to 91% of those who had brittle fingernails and were given biotin reported a significant improvement. A similar research study found that those with brittle fingernails who were given biotin experienced a 25% growth in fingernail thickness, and nail splitting was significantly decreased.

There is also research to suggest that biotin may be useful in treating diabetes. It is quite common for those with type 2 diabetes to have low levels of biotin, much lower than the recommended amount. The researchers found that biotin may plays a useful role in improving blood glucose control, and so those with diabetes, and especially type 2 diabetes, should take care to make sure they have an adequate level of biotin.

One extremely common use of biotin is as a topical treatment for hair loss.

Consumers should be aware, however, that despite the widespread practice of adding biotin to hair loss treatments, there is no evidence to suggest that biotin is actually effective unless that hair loss comes as a result of biotin deficiency.

Most of the biotin the body needs is actually produced in the intestines, but additional biotin can be found in a variety of foods, including romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and swiss chard.

Around the Web, find out more about how biotin functions, where else it can be found in natural food sources, and its recommended daily intake.

More information about biotin around the Web:

eMedicine - Biotin Deficiency
- Comprehensive information and causes of the rare disorder, plus a description of physical symptoms, along with a history and biochemistry.

Biotin, Linus Pauling Institute's Micronutrient Information Center - Detailed information on its function, with conditions that lead to possible deficiency, adequate intake by life stages, its use in disease prevention and treatment, and major food sources.

Biotin information - Get a complete description plus information on its benefits, how it works, indications and usage, drug interactions, and dosage by life stage


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