Biotin is also called as the Vitamin H which is a part of the Vitamin B complex. All the Vitamin B complex helps in the conversion of carbohydrates from our food to glucose which fuels the body. They help our body in metabolizing the fats & proteins.
The vitamin B complexes are essential in order for us to have healthy skin, hair, liver and nails. They allow the nervous system in functioning properly. Our body needs Biotin to metabolize the carbohydrates, amino acids and fats which are the building blocks for protein. It’s also often recommended to use Biotin in order to have healthy skin and hair and this can also be found in different cosmetics.
This vitamin is water soluble so it means it’s not stored in our body. Biotin is produced by some living bacteria in our intestines and it’s also found in the food we eat.
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The deficiency in biotin is rather rare. Symptoms for biotin deficiency may include dry skin, hair loss, cracking on mouth corners, fatigue, loss of appetite and depression.
There are some people that could be at risk of this deficiency and this includes those that are fed intravenously for long periods, those who take medicine for convulsion for a long period and those that have problems in absorption. If this is left untreated, the neurological symptoms may appear. These symptoms can include generalized muscle pain, changes in mental status, paraesthesias and hyperesthesias.
The deficiency in biotin can be easily corrected with the aid of supplements.
Biotin and Hair Loss
Sometimes the initial symptoms of disease or illness are noticeable such as with brittle nails, skin problems and with thinning hairlines and these are the first noticeable symptoms that would appear. This is true for those suffering from nutritional deficiency.
They can be detected through blood tests but since our body has many nutrients and it can be expensive to test for the deficiency, doctors usually don’t order for this test unless they are having problem in diagnosing the patient’s condition. Usually they prescribe medication that is effective.
Propecia is usually what is prescribed but it doesn’t work on everyone. Research has found that a certain gene could be what’s responsible for the difference in the effect of Propecia.
Biotin was found to be effective in treatment especially for hair loss because of these reasons: It’s a cofactor in the metabolism of the amino acids in our body. This is essential in the production of keratin protein which is the hair’s primary structural protein; It’s needed for the cellular growth of our hair; it is needed for fatty acid production as these are primary components of our body’s natural oils that prevent the hair from breaking and protects it from harmful elements such as UV rays and can also protect from harsh conditions due to styling.
Another food supplement that may help hair loss is Melatonin. Melatonin supplement is typically used as a sleep aid. Melatonin can help with jet-lag and insomnia but a new research suggest that melatonin can also be helpful in preventing hair loss. More research is still needed to confirm the effects of melatonin on hair loss.
Possible Biotin Side Effects
Through normal use, biotin is not known to have any side effects but this doesn’t mean that excessive use of the vitamin won’t have its drawbacks. Even with an excess use of Biotin, there aren’t a lot of reported side effects even with extreme doses either through IV or by mouth.
These few side effects happened just over the past years. One case that had been documented involed a high dose of the Vitamin B7 or biotin together with B5 which caused a life threatening condition that is called as eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion but it subsided after the intake of B5 and B7 was stopped and there’s a possibility that the condition was prompted with the combination of the two B vitamins in high dosage but it is also possible that this has nothing to do with the condition.
Animal tests on pregnant rates with high dosage of biotin show that the placenta had reduced in size that can increase the miscarriage possibility. The reason for this result is still unknown and it’s also still unknown if this could result on humans as well.
Last Notes on the Side Effects of Biotin
When taking any supplements or medicine and if you experience any form of side effects, you must let your healthcare provider know right away.
The signs could be easily spotted and can be caused by several factors but when you feel something’s just not right don’t take any chances. It may not be a biotin side effect specifically but this should be diagnosed correctly by your doctor to take the much needed steps in correcting and treating it.