What does Biotin do?
Posted on June 21 2019
Biotin is well-known as a ‘beauty’ supplement. It’s part of the B vitamin complex and is also known as vitamin H or B7. But what does it actually do? Here’s what you need to know.
Supports your metabolism
Biotin plays a key role in energy production as it helps your body metabolise fats and carbohydrates. Several enzymes involved in this process need biotin to function properly, including those involved in gluconeogenesis, fatty acid synthesis and the breakdown of amino acids. In other words, it helps turn carbs, fats and proteins from your diet into energy for you to use. B vitamins are essential for a fully functioning metabolism, and work together throughout your body to achieve this.
Biotin is a popular supplement, but it’s also found in many nutrient-rich foods. Meat is a big source, along with fish, eggs, nuts and seeds. Veggies like sweet potato, spinach and broccoli will give you a big helping, too.
Improves skin health
Similar to how it affects your hair’s appearance, biotin helps nourish the skin and therefore help maintain a clear complexion. When the protective outer layer of skin is unbalanced, it can result in dryness and dehydration. Biotin assists in the production of new cells and helps oil glands function properly, resulting in all-round healthier skin.
A biotin deficiency can lead to a variety of skin problems, including rashes, acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and overall itchiness. B Vitamins play an important role in hormone function and the nervous system, which explains why biotin is so central to the appearance of your skin. If skin isn’t nourished from the inside out, problems can develop that come to light on the surface of your skin. This is one of the tell-tale signs of a deficiency in biotin or vitamin B.
Strengthens hair and nails
Here’s the one you’ve probably already heard about. Biotin is often associated with the strength and health of your hair. It works synergistically with pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) to encourage nail thickness and help prevent split ends and thinning hair.
B vitamins help create amino acids that produce a form of keratin, which is what your hair is mostly made up of. So, it makes sense that getting enough biotin is a key factor in how your locks look. A lack of this vitamin can result in hair loss and brittle nails, meaning it’s key to make sure you’re keeping topped up.
What to remember
Although it’s well-known for its role in supporting healthy hair and skin, biotin also plays an important role in supporting the enzymes that help us turn food into energy. Together with other vitamins in the B Complex, biotin helps maintain the normal function of your metabolism. You can get plenty of biotin by eating the right foods, and it’s also available in supplement form if you need a helping hand.