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Looking for longer hair, more radiant skin, or to pep up a sluggish metabolism? A biotin vitamin or supplement may be exactly what you need. This essential B vitamin is often found in products designed to improve the youthful vigor and the appearance of the body. It is Biotin’s ability to affect the health of skin and nails that has contributed to another nickname for the B vitamin: Vitamin H. The H comes from the German words Haar and Haut or “hair and skin”.
What is Biotin?
Also known as vitamin B7, Biotin is well-known for it beauty-boosting benefits and being one of the best vitamins for hair growth. But the importance of Biotin goes far beyond luxurious locks and radiant skin. As part of the family of B vitamins, Biotin plays an important role in the health of the whole body. Biotin is necessary for a strong metabolism. Biotin is also needed for the healthy function of the nervous, digestive, and cardiovascular systems.
Vitamin B Pages
Biotin behaves like a coenzyme in the body, and must be present for the metabolism of fatty acids, carbohydrates, and amino acids. This means that when you eat any food containing fat, carbs, or protein (that’s basically every food!), Biotin needs to be in your body to process those foods and allow you to gain the energy and nutrition that these foods can provide.
Biotin’s benefits are far-reaching, and the effects of too little Biotin can inhibit function in many areas of the body. If you’re wondering, ‘What does Biotin do?’, take a look at a few of the Biotin benefits throughout the body:
- Heart Health
- Increased Muscle Mass and Strength
- Increased Energy
- Proper Fetal Development
- Hair, Skin, and Nail Health
- Improved Brain Function
When you eat foods containing fatty acids, amino acids, or glucose, Biotin is needed to allow your body to access the nutrients from these foods. Since most foods contain one or all of these things (think fat, carbohydrates, or protein), Biotin is very important! Biotin allows you to gain energy from the foods you eat so that you can maintain proper body function.
Without Biotin, your body is unable to turn your food to fuel. Biotin deficiency is often accompanied by low energy and sluggishness. If you have noticed a lack of pep in your step, it might be time to increase your intake of Biotin.
Are you pregnant now or hope to be pregnant soon? Biotin! Biotin is an important nutrient that is critical to the development of your unborn child. If you are pregnant now or plan to be in the future, a prenatal vitamin that contains adequate amounts of Biotin can help support your own body and that of your growing babe. Inadequate Biotin during pregnancy has been linked to the stunted growth and development of the fetus.
While it was once thought that Biotin deficiency rarely affected pregnant women, studies now reveal this is not the case. It is actually very common to be deficient in Biotin while pregnant, so don’t skimp on this important nutrient! We all want healthy babies that can grow and develop in the ways that they need and Biotin may be able to help.
But, there can be too much of a good thing. Excessive amounts of Biotin may actually be dangerous to your baby. So stick with one supplemental source of Biotin vitamins and you should be just fine. Always talk to your doctor to make sure the supplements you are taking are baby friendly and that you are getting enough for your needs.
If you’ve ever experienced dry and brittle hair, thin and cracking nails, or dull and irritated skin, you may need more Biotin in your diet. Biotin deficiency is often the culprit behind many of these beauty woes. And Biotin is well known as a beauty vitamin for this very reason.
Biotin helps maintain the strength, beauty, and integrity of your precious hair, skin, and nails. This is why you can often find Biotin in many face creams, treatments to increase hair growth, and other beauty products. Studies suggest that the benefits of topical Biotin treatments are much less effective than if you ingest it, like in the form of a supplement. So while these topical beauty treatments can help, combining them with an oral Biotin supplement will help you maximize the beauty-boosting benefits of Biotin.
And men, don’t yawn your way through this one. Biotin is for men too. Everyone wants to have skin that is healthy and ages well through life. But aside from just your skin, Biotin is also beneficial for something else front and center on your face. Your beard. With a Biotin deficiency, your body may have a really hard time growing any hair, including facial hair. And no one wants a patchy beard. That’s a sure way to take your look from the masculine to the wimpy. Biotin for beard growth to the rescue! Increasing Biotin through supplements and as part of beard oils can improve the growth and thickness of your beard and give you that mountain man fullness.
We’ve already touched on the benefits of Biotin for healthy skin. But Biotin for acne deserves its own special place. Acne affects many of us and unfortunately does not always clear up when the high school days are over. Many men and women suffer with acne throughout adulthood. More than 50% of both men and women over the age of 25 suffer from some form of facial acne. If you’re one of them, take heart that you are not alone, and listen up to how Biotin may be able to help.
You may feel like you have tried everything to clear up your acne and finally have smooth, clear skin. But one thing you may not have tried is Biotin. A Biotin deficiency often means your skin is suffering. Biotin helps maintain the correct hormone levels and skin oil levels. When these get thrown off, skin can get flaky and dry. Surface cuts and adhesions can form. And bacteria, unfortunately, take this as the perfect situation to grow and cause black heads, white heads, and pimples.
Making sure you are getting enough Biotin may be what you need to turn the bad skin cycle around. Biotin can help balance out gut bacteria and hormones, improve skin moisture and integrity, and help the skin have a stronger defense against bacteria that wants to take up residence.
Biotin is needed in the nerve signaling and neurotransmitter activity of the body as well. For this reason, Biotin is beneficial for the health of your brain and nervous system. Together with the other B vitamins, Biotin can keep your brain sharp and active. Biotin may help improve cognitive function and memory. Biotin may also be able to slow age-related cognitive decline from diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
B vitamins, including Biotin, are also necessary for the production of mood-affecting hormones. Getting enough Biotin in your diet can help improve your mood, increase your energy, and boost cognition.
You may have grown up learning that the best or the healthiest diet out there was one that consisted of higher amounts of carbohydrates and very low fat. Unfortunately, studies now suggest that this way of eating may actually increase the risk of a Biotin deficiency.
Many people adopt the high carb low/ fat lifestyle in hopes of preventing heart disease, but with increased risk of Biotin deficiency, eating in this way may actually be having the opposite effect. Biotin deficiency can put a strain on the function and health of the heart and cardiovascular system.
Biotin is important for the metabolism of lipids. Biotin is also needed to make essential fatty acids. Both of these things are important for cardiovascular health. A deficiency in Biotin can often be followed by an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Biotin helps defend against many common heart disease risks, including inflammation, atherosclerosis, heart attacks and stroke. Biotin may also be able to improve cholesterol levels. Increased Biotin may help raise “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Hitting the gym usually means you have a few things in your collection to help improve performance and build muscle. Pre-workouts, creatine, and protein powders are well-known for these reasons. But you may not know that Biotin can improve muscle growth as well. It might be time to consider adding Biotin to your list of workout supplements.
Biotin is necessary for the growth and healing of the tissues in the body, including lean muscle. When you work out, muscle tissues get torn and broken down. Biotin helps repair, rebuild, and make the muscle fibers even stronger. Biotin also helps reduce inflammation in the muscle to decrease muscle soreness.
Biotin Side Effects
We’ve learned about the good with Biotin. So… is there an ugly side? For the most part, negative side effects all seem to come from a Biotin deficiency instead of a surplus. Some of these unwanted side effects due to too little Biotin include:
- Hair Loss
- Hair Thinning
- High Cholesterol
- Skin Rashes
- Heart Problems
- Brain Fog
- Lack of Energy
- Thin, Brittle Nails
Excess Biotin in the body can affect certain laboratory tests and skew the results. And while getting enough Biotin is very important during pregnancy, too much Biotin might also be harmful to a developing fetus. Talk to your doctor to find out if taking Biotin pills is something that you might benefit from. And if you are already taking a Biotin supplement, make sure your doctor is aware. Especially if you are having any blood work or tests performed, or if you are pregnant.
Now that you’ve learned why Biotin is so important, you might be asking yourself another question: How much Biotin should I take? While there is no recommended daily allowance made for Biotin there are suggested adequate intakes. Which means, this is the amount that should be enough for your daily needs. The adequate intakes vary by age starting from infancy through adulthood:
- Birth to 6 months- 5 mcg
- 7 to 12 months- 6 mcg
- 1 to 3 years- 8 mcg
- 4 to 8 years- 12 mcg
- 9 to 13 year- 20 mcg
- 14 to 18 years- 25 mcg
- 19+ years- 30 mcg
Adequate intake of Biotin is thought to be the same for both men and women throughout life, with 2 exceptions. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, women may need even more Biotin. In general it is thought that pregnant and breastfeeding women need up to 35 mcg per day for their needs and the needs of their baby.
Best Sources of Biotin
If you want to increase your intake of Biotin each day, there are many ways to do that. The food you eat is always a great place to start. Biotin pills are also a simple way to supplement your dietary needs.
Many foods contain some amount of Biotin. Here are some of the best Biotin foods:
- Whole grains
- Swiss Chard
- Dairy Products
The healthy bacteria found in the gut is also able to manufacture Biotin in small amounts.
It’s always a great idea to try to incorporate more whole foods into your diet and to get a good part of your Biotin that way. Some may even be able to get all the Biotin they need just through diet. But sometimes it can be hard to get the adequate amount of Biotin only from the things you eat. Especially if you have limited variety on hand or if you’re a somewhat picky eater. And this is where a good supplement can step in.
You can easily increase your intake of Biotin by taking a quality supplement that contains the adequate intake recommendation. Check out one of the top 10 Biotin Supplements for Biotin pills that can help fill in those gaps and help you in your journey towards health, beauty, and a vibrant life.
Our top 10 list of Biotin Supplements is organized to reflect what you most value in your supplements. First and foremost is quality. All ten of our top ten supplements meet high standards of quality and come from brands with a proven record in excellence and purity. Another important factor in deciding the top ten was cost. You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a high quality supplement. In addition, all the companies represented on our top ten list have stellar records with customer service and prompt shipping to ensure that your supplement experience is enjoyable from the first click to your final pill.
- Biotin Benefits: Thicken Hair, Nails and Beautify Skin draxe.com. Retrieved on May 18 2018
- Bradford, AlinaWhat Is Biotin (Vitamin B7)?livescience.com. Retrieved on May 18 2018
- Perry, Cydne A., Caudill, Marie ABiotin: Critical for Fetal Growth and Development Yet Often OverlookedNutrition Today 47.2 (2012): 79-85.
- Biotin Can Help Lower Risks of Heart Diseasebiotin.com. Retrieved May 18 2018
- Stevens, Cara JHealth Benefits of Biotonhealthline.com. Retrieved on May 18 2018
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