You probably know that B vitamins are very important for good health. You’ll have heard of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 but have you heard about vitamin B7? Vitamin B7 is called biotin and it has a wide range of uses in the body. You can get biotin in small amounts from some foods and it’s also available in supplement form. You can buy a biotin supplement, or check the label of a B vitamin complex to ensure that biotin is included.
So let’s take a look at some of the benefits of taking biotin…
It could help to regulate your blood sugar levels
Biotin is known to lower blood sugar levels, so it can be very useful for diabetics who need to keep a close eye on their blood sugar. Biotin increases the insulin response. This is beneficial for diabetics, but it could also help to prevent the onset of diabetes in the first place. In addition to the enhanced insulin response, biotin also reduces the amount of glucose that is produced by the liver. Again this is beneficial for blood sugar levels as less sugar is being released into the blood stream.
Studies show positive effect on the brain
Biotin plays a part in healthy neurotransmitter activity. It’s also been shown to be important for memory. Both these factors make it useful in helping to alleviate the distressing symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
It can help to lower cholesterol levels
Studies have shown that biotin can help to lower the levels of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol in your body, while increasing the levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol. Researchers have found that this effect is even more pronounced in people with diabetes.
Biotin can help speed up the healing process
Biotin is used to rebuild tissue after it has been damaged. It’s especially good at helping to heal muscle damage.
Take biotin for a healthy baby
Pregnant women often suffer from a deficiency of biotin. By taking supplements of both biotin and folic acid, you can help to ensure that your baby develops perfectly in the womb.
Biotin can give your metabolism a boost
Biotin helps your body to turn food into energy more efficiently. With sufficient biotin in your body, your body can convert more glucose from your food into useable energy. It also improves the way in which the body uses amino acids. Amino acids are vital for a great many bodily processes. This all adds up to a faster metabolism. If you have a slow metabolism you may find that you put on weight more easily. You are also likely to feel tired more often and could suffer from mood swings and digestive problems. A biotin supplement could certainly help you to feel better.
It’s great for your hair, nails and skin
A deficiency in biotin causes problems with hair, nails and skin. It can cause skin conditions such as rashes and dry scaly skin. It can make your hair thinner and more liable to break. It can also make your nails weak. If you suffer from any of these symptoms then biotin may help you improve the appearance and condition of your hair, skin and nails.
Added benefits for heart health
Biotin, like other B vitamins is great for protecting your heart. It can reduce inflammation and the build up of plaque in the arteries and so lowers your risk of heart disease, strokes and heart attack.
Biotin is great for your mood
Biotin encourages the release of ‘happy’ hormones, giving your mood a real boost. It also helps to improve concentration and can give you more energy.
So you’ve read about all the health benefits of biotin and you’d like to ensure you’re getting enough. You can add some foods that are rich in biotin to your diet. Egg yolks are a decent source of biotin, however it is not present in the egg white, so make sure you eat the yolk. It is also present in liver, but bear in mind that it is not recommended to eat liver while pregnant so if you’re looking at taking biotin as a pregnancy supplement, don’t get it from eating liver. It’s also present in small amounts in bananas and cauliflower as well as whole grains, cereal and nut butters.
There are also several biotin supplements on the market. However, they are not all alike. If you are considering taking a supplement of biotin then it’s important to choose a high quality biotin supplement. Sometimes paying a little extra has its benefits. You need a supplement that is made from real food sources without any added fillers.