The biotin supplement, which is also known as vitamin H or vitamin B7, is a coenzyme that is found in many common foods. This element is important to the overall health and proper functioning of the body. It helps support healthy cells, nerves, skin and the digestive tract. Some health conditions that people take this supplement for include brittle nails and diabetes. It is mainly used for preventing biotin deficiency tied to pregnancy, long-term tube feeding, malnutrition, and rapid weight loss. Other uses are for skin rash in infants (seborrheic dermatitis), the aforementioned and milk depression.
If you suspect you have biotin deficiency there are some clues to be watchful about. Symptoms of deficiency include thinning of the hair (often with loss of hair color), and red scaly rash around the eyes, nose, and mouse. Other symptoms include depression, listlessness, hallucinations, and tingling in the arms and legs. There is some evidence to indicate the cigarette smoking may cause a mild biotin deficiency.
Because vitamin B7 is so crucial to the health of the body, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that biotin provides numerous benefits throughout nearly every part of your body. For example, in addition to its key role in effective digestion, biotin also improves the health of your nails, skin and hair by repairing damage. This supplement can also boost your energy levels and help you reach your weight loss goals.
Biotin occurs naturally in many foods and — in most cases — the amounts that you ingest in that manner will be enough to maintain your normal bodily functions. That being said, a biotin can have an advantageous effect on your health. For adults ages 19 years and up as well as pregnant women, the recommended dosage is 30 mcg per day. For breastfeeding women, the recommended dosage is 35 mcg per day.
When treating certain conditions such as diabetes, a medical professional may recommend higher doses. For example, one study involved a subject combining 2 milligrams of biotin with 600 micrograms of chromium. It is important to note that the biotin alone without chromium is ineffective in the treatment of diabetes (type 2). There is also some evidence that biotin can reduce diabetic nerve pain in people with diabetes.
Even when taken in large amounts, biotin supplements appear to have little-to-no side effects. However, a maximum safe dosage for this element is not known at this time. In addition, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a previous medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before taking this vitamin as a supplement.
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