Biotin is a lesser-known member of the vitamin B family. This B vitamin facilitates cell growth, fat and protein metabolism, synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids and normalizes the blood sugar level.In the hair care industry, biotin is known as vitamin H due to its hair strengthening property.
Biotin for hair
Several studies have shown that hair loss could be treated with biotin. Researchers believe that this B vitamin aids synthesis of keratin. Keratin is a form of protein, which forms the basic building block of the hair and the nail.
Women who want to keep their hair long could take biotin supplements to prevent hair breakage. Biotin is believed to increase the elasticity of the hair cortex, which makes the hair shafts stronger and less prone to breakage. People prone to split ends and hair breakage should ensure adequate intake of biotin rich foods and supplements.
Biotin can even help your hair appear more voluminous. It helps to increase the diameter of the hair shafts by increasing the thickness of the hair cuticles. Biotin could even lower the dryness of the hair by increasing production of unsaturated fats, which could form a protective oily cover on the hair shafts.
Biotin could even treat dermatitis, which is a common cause of hair loss. According to some studies, biotin works best when combined with vitamin B3 or zinc. In a University of Maryland Medical Center study, researchers have observed that alopecia areata could be treated with by combining biotin with zinc and clobetasol propionate, a type of topical corticosteroid usually used for treating eczema and psoriasis.
Sources of biotin
Biotin is present naturally in numerous foods. Tomato, carrot, romaine lettuce and chard are the best sources of biotin. Eggs, almond, cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage and onion are fairly good sources of biotin. Biotin is also present in milk, walnut, oat, strawberries and raspberries.
Daily biotin requirement
Adult men and women need about 30 micrograms of biotin daily. Lactating women need 5 micrograms of extra biotin in their diet daily. However, people suffering from hair problems might need excess biotin. To treat abnormal hair loss, you might need 3 to 10 milligrams of biotin daily. Usually 8 to 10 mg of biotin should be taken for 4 to 6 weeks to arrest excess hair fall.