1 The Hair-Raising Truth about Biotin on Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:55 pm
If you’ve heard of biotin at all, it is probably as a vitamin for hair growth or as a treatment for alopecia. In fact, it is sometimes called Vitamin H because of the health benefits biotin is thought to provide to skin, nails, and especially hair (“H” for hair). In fact, biotin is actually part of the B vitamin family often included in nutritional supplements and other multivitamins. Biotin certainly has many health benefits, specifically relating to hair health ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ), and this is why it is sold in both nutritional supplements and in hair-care treatments such as shampoos and conditioners.
But how useful are these nutritional supplements and other health products containing biotin? Do we need biotin, or are the health companies trying to sell us something we don’t need, or is not useful? The answer to these questions lies in knowing a bit more about this vitamin, its uses in the body, and how it is made.
Biotin: The Facts:
Biotin is naturally produced by yeast, bacteria, fungi, and algae. Luckily for us, some of the bacteria that produce biotin live naturally in our gut, providing a ready source of the vitamin that we can make use of. Biotin is essential for the maintenance of bones, nerves, and blood. It can boost the health of sweat glands, blood cells, nerve tissues, male sex glands, and bone marrow. Biotin also plays an important role in the metabolism of fats, glucose, and protein. Vitamin H also plays an important role in maintaining the health of mind, memory, and emotional well-being of a person. It helps in maintaining the health of cognitive function by producing of neurotransmitters in brain.
Biotin is used in hair growth and alopecia treatments because one of the main symptoms of biotin deficiency is hair loss. Other symptoms of deficiency include brittle nails, depression, fatigue, or rashes on the facial areas. Nutritional supplements of biotin are thought to overcome the deficiency of biotin, however genuine deficiencies of biotin are rare. Brewer’s yeast and the royal jelly are the richest sources of biotin and are used as nutritional supplements that “boost” vitamin levels to produce added benefits to the hair. Some other rich sources of biotin are nuts, egg yolk, barley, soy, cauliflower, liver, pancreas, kidney, and brewer’s yeast.
Benefits of Biotin as Nutritional Supplement for Hair:
There is certainly a connection between biotin deficiency and hair loss, so the hair health claims made are not totally unfounded. However, there are many forms of biotin: capsules, pills, royal jelly, or topical creams and shampoos. What is the best way to feel the real benefits of biotin? Many dermatologists prescribe nutritional supplements of biotin to treat hair loss, and they are also helpful for women who want to keep their hair long and strong. However, it is not thought that biotin can be absorbed through the skin. Therefore, shampoos and conditioners containing this vitamin as a supplement are unlikely to provide any health benefits. Biotin can only be effective in the body by orally ingesting nutritional supplements([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ), or other dietary sources of the vitamin([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ).
With the number of miracle hair-grow formulas on the market, it is always worth checking out the claims made by health and nutritional supplements companies. While water-soluble vitamins like biotin are unlikely to harm you, they can hurt your wallet if they turn out to be ineffective. Always remember (and this goes for most vitamins and minerals) that in is better than on. Nutritional supplements will get active forms of biotin to your body, whereas the biotin found in shampoos will probably end up being flushed down the drain. Like your money.
Vitamin health and Nutritional Supplements([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] )
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