HairXT Vitamin Spotlight: Biotin
Welcome to a new blog series we’re excited to share: the Hair XT Vitamin Spotlight series! One of the reasons we love HairXT so much is because it’s a natural blend of many vitamins, all in the right amounts. But in order to fully communicate just how exciting that is, it’s helpful to understand what each vitamin does and how it works with other nutrients.
So, we’re going to discuss a different vitamin in each subsequent article, sharing need-to-know info about the vitamin’s function and benefits, what happens if you have too much, other natural places to find it, and more. By the end you’ll start seeing how the proper balance of all of them is essential.
Because it’s such a fixture in many “hair, skin and nails” formulas, we’re going to start with Biotin today.
What is Biotin?
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin - B7 - and if you ever see the words “B complex,” there’s a good chance that biotin is included in the mix. Biotin is a powerhouse ingredient with many benefits, but its “official” function is metabolic: it helps the body convert food into energy. Unofficially, it has a reputation for being the vitamin you take if you’re looking for healthy hair, skin or nails. In fact, you may have heard of “vitamin H” before, which used to be the common name for biotin. The H stood for “haar and haut,” which is German for hair and skin.
Where is Biotin Found?
Biotin is available naturally in a wide range of foods and ingredients, which means Biotin deficiencies are rare. For biotin-rich nutrition, look to yeast, nuts, eggs, cheese, legumes, leafy greens, and mushrooms.
In supplement form, it’s common to find biotin by itself; marketed as a hair, skin and nails vitamin; in pregnancy and breastfeeding vitamins; and in B complex vitamins. Don’t assume your multi-vitamin has biotin in it without checking, though! Too much biotin commonly leads to breakouts and greasy skin or hair, and since many people are getting enough biotin from their diet alone, multis will often decide to go easy on this one or leave it out. The recommended daily allowance for biotin is 300 micrograms. For the record, most Hair, Skin & Nail vitamins contain about 5,000 micrograms.
What are the Benefits of Biotin?
Biotin has a wide range of benefits, including:
- Promotion of brain function
- Prevention of cognitive decline
- Immune system support
- May aid in preventing heart disease
- Fatty acid synthesis and metabolism, which leads to: keratin production, improved skin, improved hair, and thicker nails
- Supports a healthy pregnancy
If you don’t have enough biotin in your diet, you can look forward to:
- Hair loss
- Fungal infections
- Brittle hair or nails
What About Too Much Biotin?
Well, the good news is, it’s hard to take too much biotin in a way that would create toxicity; like other water-soluble vitamins, excess biotin is simply rid as waste in the urine. It’s considered a very safe vitamin, and it has no known major side effects. It does have minor side effects, however, that can be a serious problem for some people. The same mechanism that allows biotin to produce healthy skin and hair can also overproduce for some people, leading to greasy skin or hair and acne. Biotin taken in excess, like in the amount typical in other hair vitamins, can trigger these problems.
Biotin in HairXT
HairXT vitamins do contain a B complex comprised of biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, niacinamide, and amino acids. Together they create and boost keratin, among other things. What makes us different, though, is that we include biotin in an amount that is unlikely to lead to adverse side effects, whereas other hair vitamins lean heavily on the ingredient. It’s absolutely possible to reap the benefits of biotin when you take a lower dose of it, especially when it’s enhanced by other vitamins that do similar or complementary things.
For us, biotin is just one voice in a chorus of many - and we can’t wait to introduce you to the others!