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Home > Articles > Biotin Helps Reverse Hair Loss and Promotes Overall Health

Biotin Helps Reverse Hair Loss and Promotes Overall Health

by Alexandra Kilpatrick

Many women use Biotin, a vitamin found on the shelves of most local drugstores and natural food shops, for the beauty benefits, but it turns out that biotin could play a much larger role in women’s overall health.

“These B complex vitamins (also known as vitamin H) are important in metabolism, helping your body to process energy and transporting carbon dioxide from your body’s cells,” Dr. Susan Stuart, a board-certified dermatologist, told the Huffington Post.

Enhancing Keratin

A dermatologist widely known for his expertise on nail care and disorders, Dr. Richard Scher argues that it is still not clear what role biotin plays but he does know that taking the vitamin improves keratin infrastructure, a basic protein that makes up the hair, skin and nails.

“Biotin deficiency is rare and low levels may result in brittle nails and hair loss,” Dr. Stuart told the Huffington Post. “However, hair loss and brittle nails may have multiple causes and taking biotin supplements may actually halt this process and even help to reverse it.”

Biotin deficiency is often caused by the consumption of raw egg whites, since the avidin they contain, a protein that binds strongly with biotin, makes the vitamin unavailable.

Vitamin Deficiency Effects

The vitamin deficiency produces such symptoms as hair loss or alopecia, conjunctivitis and dermatitis in the form of a scaly red rash around the eyes, nose, mouth and genital region. Neurological symptoms in adults include depression, lethargy, hallucination and numbness and tingling of the extremities. Experts have even termed the characteristic face rash the biotin-deficient face.

Pregnant women hold a higher risk of developing biotin deficiency, as almost half of pregnant women have abnormal increases in 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid, signifying reduced biotin. Studies have shown that biotin deficiency during pregnancy may cause congenital malformations in infants like cleft palate.

Convincing Research

Studies of rats fed dried raw egg to induce biotin deficiency during gestation found up to 100 percent incidence of malnourishment in the infants. Infants and embryos are more sensitive to biotin deficiency and even a mild level of biotin deficiency in the mother could cause serious complications in the infants.

Dr. Scher claims that the general daily recommended dose of biotin is 2.5 milligrams (mg), but that it is still not clear what the correct dose is for the vitamin’s full effect. Therefore, it is very important to consult with a doctor to avoid overdosing.

Dr. Stuart recommends looking for possible signs of biotin overdose, including a slower release of insulin, skin rashes, lower vitamin C and B6 levels and high blood sugar levels.

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