Biotin (also known as Vitamin H) is a vitamin that’s a part of the vitamin B family. Your body needs biotin to convert nutrients and food into energy production, and it plays an important role in the health of your hair and nails.
If you aren’t getting enough biotin from your diet, you may experience things like hair loss, weak nails, or low energy. While a biotin deficiency is rare, your body may need more biotin in order to maintain strong hair and nails and more energy.
Keep reading to find out how to add biotin to your diet, what to look for in a biotin supplement, and possible side effects.
Biotin and Hair Growth: The Research
Research shows that biotin improves your body’s keratin infrastructure. Keratin is a protein that makes up your hair and nails – supplementing with biotin can improve the health of your hair and nails.
In one study, women with thinning hair were given a supplement that contained biotin or a placebo pill twice a day. After 90 days, those who took the biotin supplement experienced a significant amount of hair growth in areas affected by hair loss and had less hair shedding compared to the placebo.
A similar study found the same results, with participants experiencing improvement in hair growth and hair health after 90 and 180 days.
Biotin Recommended Daily Dosage
Biotin dosages may very based on a person’s age, sex, and overall health. However, health experts recommend 30 to 100 mcg per day for most adults.
Those who are pregnant are breastfeeding may need higher levels of biotin.
Those who are experiencing hair loss, hair shedding, frequent nail breakage, weak nails, or low energy levels may need higher levels of biotin, as well as a daily biotin supplement.
If you’re unsure how much biotin to take, talk with your doctor about the right daily intake for you and how to safely increase your dosage to provide the maximum benefits.
Foods Rich in Biotin
Most people get the daily recommended amount of biotin from a regular diet, but if you’re unsure or want to increase your intake, add more biotin-rich foods into your diet. These include:
An important thing to note is that heat can reduce biotin’s efficacy, so go for raw or minimally cooked dishes. The amount of biotin varies from food to food, so be sure to read the nutritional information whenever possible.
The best way to ensure you’re getting enough biotin or to increase your biotin intake is through supplementation – especially if you're trying to grow out your hair, lengthen eyelashes, grow your eyebrows thicker, or find a solution for hair loss or hair shedding.
Biotin supplements can be available over the counter in pills and powder forms, like Wholy Dose biotin + collagen powder.
While dietary supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it’s important to read the label and purchase from a brand you trust.
Risks and Side Effects
Adding biotin-rich foods and biotin supplements to your diet does not carry any risks. Most people can take biotin supplements without any negative effects, but very few people may experience rare effects that include nausea, cramping, or diarrhea. These side effects can be reduced by taking your supplement with food, or mixing them into a beverage like a smoothie.
If you’re worried you should talk to a doctor before making changes to your diet.
Biotin does not have any known interactions with medications, but you should consult a doctor before adding biotin supplements if you’re taking other medication.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, so any extra biotin in your body will be flushed out through your urine. This makes it unlikely to overdose, but if you develop an unusual or unexpected skin rash after increasing your biotin intake, see your doctor as this rare case may be a sign of biotin overdose. If your doctor confirms that you are getting too much biotin, then they will reduce your recommended dosage.
How Long Until You See Results?
With biotin supplementation, results can be seen in as little to 2-4 weeks, with more noticeable results in 6-8 weeks. Several studies have also reported that results may be seen in 90 days. For best results, be sure to take your biotin supplement consistently each day.
Increasing biotin through food rather than supplementation should also be taken consistently each day in order to see a noticeable difference.
In most cases, biotin supplements result in easier and more effective results for achieving noticeable improvements in your hair, skin, and nails.
If you’re experiencing hair thinning or hair loss, biotin may help in hair regrowth and hair strengthening. Research suggests that increased biotin intake can improve overall hair health quality, including thickness and shine.
While you may be getting enough biotin from your diet, if you are experiencing biotin deficiency symptoms – hair loss, hair shedding, weak nails, nail breakage, low energy – try adding a biotin supplement.
If you are unsure of which biotin supplement or dosage to take, talk with your doctor about the best option for you. Be sure to follow any dosage guidelines your biotin product or doctor provide. Speak with your doctor before taking a biotin supplement if you are taking other medication. If you begin having any unusual symptoms while taking a biotin supplement, stop taking it and speak with your doctor.
In any case, an increase in biotin offers positive results for those experiencing hair thinning, hair loss, or weak breaking nails. Biotin supplements are effective for hair and nail growth and improvement in overall health.
For biotin before & after pictures and biotin supplement reviews, see Wholy Dose results here, which include hair growth, eyelash growth, and eyebrow growth and thickening.