For BEAUTY, biotin promotes radiant skin, and stimulates healthy hair growth and strong nails. It helps the body convert food into natural energy and boosts the delivery of oxygen to the skin and hair follicles. Biotin fortifies production of keratin, the inert protein that makes up hair and nails. Additionally, it helps to clear skin rashes and redness. Biotin has a key role in blood sugar balance: Stable blood glucose enhances stamina and the ability to exercise, and reduces food cravings and infection risk. This all results in less body fat, a healthier BMI, and greater beauty from head to toe.
Biotin is a water-soluble B-vitamin, sometimes known as vitamin B7. Although biotin deficiency is rare, it is not stored in the body, and as it has many important functions, an ample intake is recommended. As an essential coenzyme, biotin is necessary for the activation of five important enzymes known as carboxylases, which have a range of actions and benefits in the body.
For enhancing natural beauty, biotin has several specific roles:
- Biotin-containing enzymes are important for energy production from macronutrient metabolism. These enzymes begin the critical steps necessary to break down carbohydrate, fat, and protein into smaller components that ultimately release energy. Biotin has a key part in the production of glucose and fatty acids, and the metabolism of several important amino acids, all of which are essential for beautiful, healthy skin and hair, and for energy to maintain an ideal body weight.
- Biotin helps strengthen weak, brittle nails that easily become split, chipped, or cracked. It is a classic remedy for the integumentary system–our external covering including nails, skin and hair–and it has a long track record for nail health.
- For hair loss, biotin is a long-standing remedy, and patients frequently report regrowth of thinning hair after several months of extra biotin. A deficiency in biotin is linked associated with hair loss, and evidence supports the association of biotin supplementation with healthier, stronger hair.
- Biotin is important for supple, healthy skin. It is known that a biotin deficiency can lead to skin disorders. These include seborrheic dermatitis, which appears as scaly patches, reddened skin, and dandruff on the scalp, eyebrows, eye lids, and sides of the nose, possibly caused by a yeast infection or immune dysfunction. Biotin has a role in fat metabolism, which may relate to its benefits for skin health.
- Keratin production requires biotin: The body uses biotin to produce the specific amino acids which are then converted into keratin, a foundational protein in the infrastructure that makes up the hair, skin, and nails. Biotin’s function in protein synthesis and in keratin production makes it a necessary nutrient for healthy nail and hair growth. Fortifying the body’s natural production of keratin protein with biotin improves the speed of growth and the robustness of integumentary tissues.
- Biotin also acts as a transporter carrying oxygen to cells in the scalp, hair follicles, and other body systems. By augmenting oxygen delivery to active cells, biotin supports better cell repair and more efficient waste removal from tissues. This improves hair development, encourages the growing phase, and helps hairs to stay rooted for longer. The hair tends to be less brittle with lower risk of breaking. This leads to longer, shinier, and more beautiful hair.
“It is true that ‘beauty comes from within’ both physically and emotionally, and biotin nourishes many aspects of health that lead to better skin tone, leaner body mass, stronger muscles and less fat deposition, and lustrous healthy hair and nails.”
Dr. Rachelle Herdman, Custom Health Guide
Research confirms the benefits of biotin for beauty, hair, and nails. In a dermatology study of 32 people, individuals with brittle nails, or onychoschizia, were given 2,500mcg of biotin per day for 6 to 15 months. Nail thickness increased significantly by up to 25% in participants who took biotin, and this was corroborated by scanning electron microscopy. Nail splitting was also reduced for the biotin recipients, and irregular nail surfaces became smoother.1
Yet another study from Switzerland examined 35 participants who took daily biotin supplementation. On average, they demonstrated a 25% increase in nail plate thickness. This was especially noticeable in patients who began the study with brittle nails. Overall, 63% of the subjects showed clinical improvement in one or more aspects of nail quality.2
A 2015 randomized, double-blind research trial analyzed the effects of biotin for 3 months. In this study, 60 women with thinning hair were given a biotin supplement or a placebo pill twice per day, for 90 days. At the beginning and end of the study, digital images were taken of the affected areas on the scalp. Also, when each participant’s hair was washed, the number of shed hairs were counted. The study results found that individuals treated with biotin experienced a significant amount of measurable hair regrowth in the areas affected by hair loss. They also had significantly less shedding.3
A 2017 review looked at a sizeable number of case reports and randomized clinical trials that tested biotin for hair loss in human subjects. The results revealed that all cases showed evidence of clinical improvement after receiving biotin.4
In our clinic, we seek the best absorption, ideally using a plant-based formula made without texturizing agents that can inhibit bioavailability. A biotin capsule should also preferably be free of lubricants and diluents, and free of magnesium stearate or preservatives which could bind up the biotin and impede its absorption.
Our patients who take adequate doses of biotin, 8,000 to 16,000mcg daily, regularly observe healthier hair growth and, for women, reduction of alopecia. They lose fewer hairs when brushing and washing, and they notice less ‘split ends’ or hair breakage. These patients report stronger nail growth with longer nails that crack less often. They also notice clearer skin, less dandruff, and fewer blemishes. Because biotin stabilizes blood sugar, they suffer fewer sweet cravings, less skin puffiness, better stamina for exercise, and then more easily achieve their ideal weights. These people experience themselves as having greater natural beauty, from the inside out.
Recommendation: Biotin 8,000 to 10,000mcg, once or twice daily, in a plant cellulose base. Take with any meals, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
- Colombo, Victor E., et al. “Treatment of brittle fingernails and onychoschizia with biotin: scanning electron microscopy.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 23.6 (1990): 1127-1132.
- Hochman, L. G., R. K. Scher, and M. S. Meyerson. “Brittle nails: response to daily biotin supplementation.” Cutis 51.4 (1993): 303-305.
- Ablon, Glynis. “A 3-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the ability of an extra-strength marine protein supplement to promote hair growth and decrease shedding in women with self-perceived thinning hair.” Dermatology research and practice 2015 (2015).
- Patel, Deepa P., Shane M. Swink, and Leslie Castelo-Soccio. “A review of the use of biotin for hair loss.” Skin appendage disorders 3.3 (2017): 166-169.