There are claims that biotin works for hair growth, thus making it a supplement or compound that people suffering from hair loss can take. But the real question however is, does it actually work? Can it help you grow you regrow your lost hair? This is what we’ll be exploring in this article.
We’ll also be looking at the following:
- What causes inadequate biotin levels
- How you should take biotin pills for hair growth
- Possible biotin hair growth side effects
- Biotin rich foods
- Natural hair growth remedies
Biotin for Hair Growth – Does It Work?
There’s been a lot of rumors and speculations regarding the effectiveness of biotin for hair growth. Scientists and researchers have been researching this for years, and the results are still far from conclusive.
Also known as vitamin H, biotin used to be –and still is- prescribed to balding patients and those suffering from alopecia as a possible remedy. Unfortunately, there’s still no concrete evidence that it actually works for hair loss and stimulates hair growth in those two categories of people. This doesn’t mean that it’s ineffective. It just means there’s no solid, incontrovertible evidence that biotin actually helps hair regrowth.
Clinical studies have been scarce and there hasn’t been anything scientifically proven about its efficacy or the lack of it. What biotin is known to actually do in the body is help your body’s cells get rid of carbon dioxide whilst aiding the energy process and boosting your metabolism.
Biotin is still being sold in multiple drug and convenient stores as a supplement that can help you grow your hair and nails. This is why you’ll often find lots of women swallowing these pills, in the hopes of benefitting from its rewards.
While there’s no tangible evidence about how it works, it is believed that it plays a role in developing the keratin structure necessary for hair and nail growth. This is evident in those who are biotin deficient.
These are the people who tend to have brittle nails, develop alopecia and lose their hair. Studies have shown that people who have inadequate amounts of biotin, tend to suffer from undue hair loss.
This is an issue that scientists can’t seem to wrap their heads around and one that they’ve been trying to figure out for a long time.
Bottom line, Biotin for Hair Growth seems to work for some reason. Scientist just haven’t figured out how and why it does.
What Causes Inadequate Biotin Levels?
Since biotin is often found in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), it makes sense that anything that affects your gut can also affect your biotin levels.
In essence, some of the major causes of biotin deficiency include:
- Malnutrition, particularly among athletes, anorexics, bulimics and elderly citizens
- GIT related infections
- Lifestyle habits such as smoking
- Inadequate biotin levels in parents during pregnancy, childbirth and early nursing stages
- Prolonged use of antibiotics
- Prolonged use of intravenous medications
- Missing enzymes necessary for biotin extraction from foods you eat
- Consumption of certain foods can inhibit biotin absorption –egg yolk for instance, contain compounds which inhibits rate at which your body absorbs biotin (interestingly, egg yolk is also a rich source of biotin).
- Certain drugs like Isotretinoin
- Prolonged extreme dieting
- Hereditary conditions like biotinidase deficiency –rare, but possible
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Prolonged usages of drugs that inhibit convulsion
- GIT related diseases that may inhibit biotin absorption –these include Colitis and Crohn’s disease
How Can You Tell If You’re Biotin Deficient?
The weird thing about biotin is most people don’t even know their hair loss or brittle nails may be linked to biotin deficiency. This is why you need to be on the lookout for tell-tale signs and symptoms of biotin deficiency. These include:
- Partial memory loss and impaired cognitive abilities
- Muscular cramping and pains
- Red patchy rash around the mouth and nose
- Abdominal cramps
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Persistent fungal infection
- Fine brittle hair
- Sudden hair loss without any other possible cause
While it’s true that these symptoms are similar to that of many other conditions, you need to have them checked out as soon as you notice them. This is why we would recommend you to visit your physician as soon as you notice one or more of these symptoms.
How You Should Take Biotin for Hair Growth?
The good news is that you can almost never overdose on biotin supplements. However, you should always take only the recommended daily dosage to meet the daily required amount. Daily recommended biotin dosage is 35-70 mcg/day for adult, and 10-30 mcg/day for babies.
As you can see, this is a very low amount, seeing as the average American actually gets a lot of biotin from their daily meals. The biotin supplements should be taken as a precautionary measure or a top-off of some sort, and even then, is only recommended for people who have been diagnosed as lacking adequate amounts of biotin.
Biotin Rich Foods
Understand that these foods don’t have the biotin in concentrated amounts. But, the steady inflow of biotin through these foods can regulate your biotin levels and keep them normal so that your body can have adequate biotin supply.
Biotin has two major sources:
- Plant based biotin rich foods
- Protein bound biotin rich foods
Plant based biotin rich foods include
- Leafy green vegetables
- Cereals like oatmeal, barley and rice bran
- Berries like raspberry
- Nuts like walnuts, peanuts, almonds and pecans
- Legumes like lentils and green peas
- Sunflower seeds
Protein bound biotin rich foods include:
- Biotin in eggs –egg yolk in particular
- Seafood and organ meat like kidney and liver
- Dairy products like milk
That’s pretty much everything about Biotin for Hair Growth. As you can see, simply eating healthy can provide you with the required amounts of biotin needed for daily upkeep. But, if you have a major deficiency, see your doctor for recommendations on biotin supplements that can help.