What is biotin (vitamin B7), and how is it beneficial for the whole body?
Vitamin B7 (or what you’re more used to calling it “biotin”) is a vitamin our body’s need for converting food into energy. Once it was called co-enzyme R or Vitamin H (H stood for Haar und Haut, German for “hair and skin”). The benefits of vitamin B7 are necessary for the function of several enzymes known as “carboxylases”. These Vitamin B7 containing enzymes participate in important metabolic pathways, such as the production of glucose and fatty acids.
So now we know what vitamin b7 is, let’s get to the benefits…
1.) May Improve Glucose Regulation / Blood Sugar
Biotin has been shown to help improve glucose regulation for those with diabetes. This is especially true when used in coordination with chromium, because biotin helps to facilitate insulin, the hormone responsible for bringing blood sugar back to a balanced state. Biotin decreases the activity of enzymes that stimulate glucose production in the liver resulting in less blood sugar being released into the bloodstream. Another great supplement for diabetes is chromium polynicotinate.
For those without diabetes, biotin could also work preemptively to help to regulate blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, various metabolic syndromes, and weight gain.
2.) Biotin is Great For Hair, Skin, and Nails
Vitamin B7 is crucial for maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails. If someone is biotin deficient, symptoms may include brittle, thinning, or splitting hair and nails, and dry or irritated skin.
Biotin can either be added to over-the-counter beauty products such as skin creams, hair masks, or nail polish, or can be taken orally to aid in the health of these extremities.
For hair, one study showed that women with thinning hair were given an oral marine protein supplement (MPS) containing biotin 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. Each participant’s hair was also washed and any shed hairs were counted. The researcher found that women who took an MPS experienced a significant amount of hair growth in the areas affected by hair loss. They also had less shedding.
3.) Support a Healthy Metabolism
Biotin also helps to regulate gene expressions that aid in the function of your metabolism. All types of Vitamin B help to convert your food into energy the body uses.
It accomplishes this by activating fatty acids from foods with oils and animal fats, helping the body to use amino acids in proteins to carry out bodily functions, and converting glucose from sugar and carbohydrates into usable energy to fuel the body.
4.) Protect Brain Function and Fight Cognitive Decline
Biotin benefits neurotransmitter and nerve signaling while also helping cognitive and memory function. As a result, biotin helps to defend against age-related impairment like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Additionally, because they are related to mood regulating hormones, Vitamin B7 helps to increase energy, sharpen concentration, and maintain positively.
High doses of vitamin b7 (5-10 mg/kg/day) is effective in treating biotin-responsive basal ganglia disease, a rare brain metabolic condition characterized by seizures, confusion, and abnormal coordination
5.) Cardiovascular Benefits
Vitamin B7 also helps to defend against cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks, stroke, atherosclerosis, and inflammation. As reported earlier, biotin and chromium together can have positive effects on the body. In addition to aiding with glucose regulation, these two nutrients also help to increase positive HDL cholesterol and decrease negative LDL cholesterol, helping to regulate overall cholesterol levels which is important for heart health.
6.) Thyroid and Adrenal Function
Vitamin B7 is needed for correct thyroid and adrenal gland function. These two glands help to control many bodily functions such as sleeping, hunger, mood, energy, and pain perception. Without proper thyroid and adrenal glands, fatigue, sleeplessness, unwanted weight gain, and unwanted weight loss can occur. Supplemental biotin can help to regulate these functions.
7.) Build and Repair Tissues and Muscles
Finally, Biotin helps to grow and maintain muscle tissue. This can be helpful when either trying to recover from an injury, or, when attempting to build strength and tone your body. Additionally, because biotin helps to reduce inflammation, it can aid in reducing muscles aches, pains, and issues with movement and flexibility.
To this end, if a child is deficient in Vitamin B7, their growth can be stunted. Furthermore, infants and fetuses may have irregular development without correct biotin levels, which makes it vital to regulate during pregnancy.