Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) or Vitamin H is one of the B vitamins that is found in various natural food sources and supplements. Biotin is a coenzyme that helps enzymes to convert carbohydrates, proteins, and fats you eat into energy. Biotin is found in many cosmetic and health products for hair growth, skin development, and nail strength.
It is a heterobicyclic organic compound that contains 2-oxohexahydro-1H-thieno[3,4-d]imidazole attached with a valeric acid substituent at one of its carbon atoms of the tetrahydrothiophene ring. The chemical name of biotin is hexahydro-2-oxo-1H-thieno(3,4-d)imidazole-4-pentanoic acid.
The name of the biotin derives from the Greek word “bios” which means live and the suffix “in” is used in chemistry to indicate forming”.
The deficiency of B7 or biotin is rare in the United States and other developed countries but mild deficiency may be observed during pregnancy. It not only assists in various metabolic chemical processes but also helps with the transfer of carbon dioxide.
Vitamin B7 Sources
Vitamin B7 is found in various natural sources and supplements that use for treating biotin deficiency.
Water-soluble biotin is not stored in our body and is extracted through our urine. Therefore, we need to intake biotin in our daily diet. A healthy diet generally contains sufficient amounts of biotin for our health.
Foods rich in biotin
Most common foods that reached with vitamin B7 or biotin may include:
- Meat, fish, and eggs: chicken and beef liver, egg yolk, pork chop, turkey breast, and fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon.
- Dairy products: milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
- Vegetables: sweet potato, broccoli, tomato, corn, mushroom, cauliflower, carrot, onion, cucumber, etc.
- Grains and nuts: sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecan, almonds, peanuts, whole grains, cereals, etc.
- Legumes: soybean and black-eyed peas, etc.
- Fruits: Avocados, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, etc.
Best biotin supplement
Most people get enough biotin from their daily food sources but deficiency is observed in people who have genetic disorders, medication, and alcohol dependence. A mild deficiency is also observed during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period.
The supplementation is always safe for most cases but always ask a doctor or healthcare professional before taking vitamin B7 supplements. You can purchase biotin supplements in capsules, chewable gummies, and liquid forms. The supplementation of B7 chose according to your needs.
It is found in many multivitamins and multimineral supplements or vitamin B-complex supplements. Some best biotin supplements and their comparison and cost are listed below in the table,
|Cost per bottle
|Sugarbear Hair Vitamin Gummies (1 Month)
|Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength Hair, Skin & Nails Softgels
|Nature Made Hair, Skin & Nails Adult Gummies
|OLLY Heavenly Hair Gummy Supplement
Daily recommended biotin
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) does not exist for vitamin B7 because there is a rare deficiency found in the people of the United States and other developed counties.
The daily intake level of biotin per day depends on your age. The average daily recommended intake level in micrograms (mcg) for various life stages is given below in the table,
|above 19 years
|Pregnant teens and women
|Breastfeeding teens and women
Vitamin B7 Benefits
Vitamin B7 is a water-soluble vitamin B that helps to convert the food you eat into energy. It is a coenzyme that beneficial for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids.
It is recommended for hair growth, skin, and nail improvement. Biotin also keeps your liver, and nervous system healthy and regulates your blood sugar levels.
The supplements are also found in many cosmetic and health products for hair growth and skin development. But there is no good scientific evidence to support the use of biotin in hair growth, brittle nails, and skin development.
Biotin in metabolism
Biotin is a cofactor for enzymes propionyl-CoA carboxylase, methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase, pyruvate carboxylase, and two forms of acetyl-CoA carboxylase. These enzymes are involved in the metabolism of the human body and catalyze key reactions in gluconeogenesis, fatty acid metabolism, and amino acid catabolism.
It plays an important role in maintaining metabolic homeostasis. Vitamin B7 can help to break down food, including carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Therefore, it converts food into usable energy for biological processes.
Biotin for skin
Biotin is often recommended for strengthening skin and nails. Therefore, it is found in many cosmetic and health products for the improvement of our skin, and nails. It is good for glowing skin to maintain a youthful appearance. It is likely safe for most people when applied low level in cosmetic products.
Taking collagen in conjunction with a biotin supplement helps to produce keratin in our body. It is vital to the skin and nail structure. Collagen is found in the layer of the skin that gives fullness and plumpness to our skin.
Biotin for nails
Biotin is beneficial for nail strength and health. It helps in the production of keratin in our body. Keratin is a protein that forms the cells that make up the tissue in our nails.
Some studies show that taking a 2.5-milligram supplement daily for 6 months may improve nail thickness by 25%. A daily dose of biotin can help to reduce the splitting and breaking of fingernails in people.
Biotin supplements for hair growth
Many research studies have shown that biotin supplementation is beneficial for hair regrowth in people who have suffered from alopecia (hair loss). The supplements may significantly improve hair growth for people with temporary hair loss.
It is promoted by many companies for treating hair health and hair growth. Vitamin B7 is an important ingredient in hair products like oils and shampoos.
In some people, the effects of B7 on hair can be seen very early stage while in a few others it may take up to six months. But there is no strong clinical evidence supporting for use of biotin supplements or hair products to promote hair growth in non-deficient people.
Most hair growth supplements contained multiple vitamins and minerals including zinc and iron which are also necessary for hair growth. Therefore, it is not possible to study the beneficial result of biotin alone in hair loss and hair growth.
Controlling type-2 diabetes
Vitamin B7 or biotin is quite effective in controlling type-2 diabetes. It helps for reducing blood sugar levels in your blood by stimulating liver glucokinase activity, increasing insulin production, and enhancing glucose uptake in muscle cells.
Vitamin B7 is essential for improving the cognitive function of our brain. It helps in repairing the brain cells and treating symptoms associated with psychotic conditions like brain fog, depression, schizophrenia, hallucinations, etc.
Vitamin B7 is helpful for people who suffer from kidney problems. It effectively reduces muscle cramps and pain during your dialysis.
The B complex vitamins, which include thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B7, folic acid, and vitamin B12 significantly lower chronic inflammation in the system and preserve optimal concentrations of homocysteine.
Uses of Biotin in Pregnancy
Biotin takes care of the growth and development of your fetus. A mild deficiency may be observed during pregnancy because the body breaks down biotin faster during pregnancy.
It is never stored in the body of pregnant women. Therefore, it is important to intake biotin-reached foods or supplements during your pregnancy periods. Vitamin B7 is also essential during breastfeeding.
The 25 mcg to 30 mcg supplementation is safe during pregnancy but always consult your doctor before taking a biotin supplement. The supplements are usually taken orally or in the form of pills. In some cases, women may include biotin-rich food in their diet. Generally, it does not cause any side effects but in some cases, it causes irritation or allergic reaction.
Deficiency of Vitamin B7
Vitamin B7 or H deficiency is a rare nutritional disorder in the United States and other developed countries. Most United States people eat enough biotin reached foods in their daily diet.
Commonly vitamin B7 deficiency can cause thinning of the hair and a rash on the face. A lack of biotin in infants will lead to a medical condition called seborrheic dermatitis or cradle cap.
The risk of a B7 deficiency may increase due to alcoholism. The absorption of vitamin B7 and many other micronutrients can be blocked by alcohol. Many pregnant women suffer from a mild vitamin B7 deficiency despite eating adequate intakes.
There is no good test for detecting low levels of biotin in our bodies. Therefore, deficiency can be identified by its signs and symptoms. The main signs and symptoms of a vitamin B7 deficiency may include:
- Dry skin
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Fungal infections
- Scaly skin rashes around eyes, nose, mouth
- Fine and brittle hair
- Hair loss or total alopecia
- Loss of appetite
- High blood sugar levels
- Muscle pain
- Inflamed mucous membranes
If left untreated, the deficiency causes various neurological disorders such as mild mental depression muscular pains (myalgias), hyperesthesias, and paresthesias. For treatment of vitamin B7 deficiency, we simply start to take some biotin supplements.