Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 and vitamin H, occurs naturally in your body. The B-complex vitamin has been called vitamin H for the German word “haut,” which means “skin.” A water-soluble vitamin, biotin is found in meats, fish, egg yolks, whole grains, beans, nuts, soy, and other foods.
Biotin plays a role in multiple bodily functions. Here’s a look at some of them.
Metabolism and weight loss
Biotin plays a vital role in metabolism, processing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Proper biotin levels enable you to process food quickly. You may be prescribed biotin if have metabolic problems. Pair it with chromium if you want to lose weight, as it may speed up weight loss.
Blood glucose production
Because biotin breaks down carbohydrates, it plays a major role in keeping your blood sugar at healthy levels. If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe biotin to increase your glucose levels to functional amounts. Some believe biotin can help to prevent diabetes.
Hair and nail growth
If you’re biotin deficient, you may have hair loss or brittle nails. Taking biotin should stimulate their growth. The vitamin may also thicken nail cuticles and prevent breakage.
A biotin deficiency may be revealed as a skin problem, such as acne, a rash, psoriasis, dermatitis, or itchy skin. If your skin isn’t nourished from the inside out, toxicities can occur in the nervous system and present on your skin.
If you want to correct a biotin deficiency or intensify biotin’s effects, consider taking a nutritional supplement. It can be found in a multivitamin, B complex, or in pure tablet form.
A biotin deficiency is somewhat rare, and is more likely to occur if you are pregnant, drink alcohol, smoke, have Crohn’s or liver disease, or eat a lot of processed foods. Symptoms include hair loss, depression, scaly skin, or dry eyes.