Known as a water-soluble B-vitamin (B7), Biotin helps the body to convert food into energy. This is vital during breastfeeding and pregnancy in particular. Biotin plays an important role in the overall health of your hair, skin and nails.
Biotin or Vitamin B7 was once called coenzyme R and vitamin H. The H stands for Haar und Haut, which is the German for hair and skin. As biotin is water-soluble it means that the body doesn’t store it, even though it has many important functions within the body. Biotin plays an important part in the function of several enzymes known as carboxylases. These enzymes participate in important metabolic pathways and this includes the production of glucose and fatty acids.
The commonly recommended intake is 5mcg per day for infants and 30mcg for adults. Breastfeeding women can take up to 35mcg per day. While a B7 deficiency is considered rare, it’s believed that some groups such as pregnant women may experience it in a mild form. Here are some of Biotin’s amazing benefits…
- Plays a Key Role in Macronutrient Metabolism. Biotin is essential for energy production and requires several enzymes that are needed to enable it to function properly. These enzymes in particular are involved with carb, fat and protein metabolism. This initiates critical steps within the metabolic processing of these nutrients. The B7 plays a vital role in Gluconeogenesis and this metabolic pathway enables glucose from other sources other than carbs, such as amino acids. Vitamin B7 containing enzymes can help to initiate this process. Biotin is also involved with fatty acid synthesis and in the breakdown of several important amino acids including leucine.
- Helps with Brittle Nails. When nails are weak they can easily become chipped, split or cracked. This is a common condition estimated to affect around 20% of the world’s population. Biotin can benefit brittle fingernails  and studies have shown that taking B7 regularly can improve symptoms including nail thickness, while reducing nail splitting.
- Biotin is associated with Increased Hair Growth and this promotes healthier and stronger hair. There is actually relatively little evidence to support this but a biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss, indicative of how important this vitamin is for hair . Supplementing with B7 is recommended for anyone experiencing hair loss, yet improving hair growth in healthy people has not yet been determined.
- Important During Pregnancy. It’s estimated that up to 50% of women are deficient in B7 and this means it may affect their wellbeing slightly although it’s often not severe enough for any noticeable symptoms to occur. Deficiencies are believed to happen because biotin breaks down much faster in the body during pregnancy. This is a cause for concern as some non-human studies indicate that a biotin deficiency during pregnancy may cause birth defects.  It’s therefore imperative to consult a doctor/dietitian or nutritionist before taking any supplements during pregnancy or throughout the breastfeeding process.
- Supports Skin Health. A deficiency in B7 can cause skin problems including red and scaly skin rashes.  Certain studies also indicate that biotin deficiency can cause seborrheic dermatitis or cradle cap.  Biotin also has an important role in effecting fat metabolism and this is important for skin health.
- Can Affect Multiple Sclerosis. The autoimmune disease known as Multiple Sclerosis or M.S. affects the protective covering of the nerve fibers in the brain causing damage or destruction to the spinal cord and the eyes. The protective sheath is known as the myelin and this is believed to be an important factor in producing it. Two randomised controls have been carried out on people who have progressive M.S and the preliminary results are promising. 
- Lowers Blood Sugar Levels Within Diabetics. Research has indicated that biotin concentrations in the blood can be lowered in people with diabetes as compared with healthy individuals. Studies have also shown that when biotin supplements are combined with the mineral known as chromium, it can help to lower blood sugar levels especially in people with Type 2 diabetes.
B4 Health™ Sublingual Spray – This formula contains 300mcg of Biotin, along with Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12 along with vitamins C, D, E, Folate and Selenium. It is designed to support healthy homocysteine levels, the heart and cardiovascular system, proper vitamin B12 absorption through the digestive tract and a healthy immune system.
MaxiFocus™ Sublingual Drops – Contains 150mcg of Biotin, along with Vitamins A, D, E, Vitamin B6, B12, Bilberry extract, Copper, Chromium, Folic Acid, Gingko Biloba, Lutein, L-Taurine, Selenium, Zinc and Zeaxanthin amongst other important minerals. Supports good eye health, brain health and a healthy body.
Active Life™ Capsules – This multivitamin contains 300mcg of Biotin, along with being an all-natural source of 130 vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. As part of a multivitamin formula, Biotin can help to support a healthy immune system and normal recovery processes. It also provides balance to a healthy daily nutritional program that includes critical minerals such as chromium and selenium.