If you are concerned about your hair and skin health, you have probably heard of‘biotin’ at least once. It is an ingredient known to be particularly helpful for those suffering from hair loss. Biotin is a type of water-soluble vitamin containing sulfur. It is also called vitamin H, taking the initials of the German word ‘Harr und Haut’, which means hair and skin.
However, the functional content of biotin recognized by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety is not hair or skin-related functionality, but is ‘necessary for fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism and energy production.’ So why is biotin known to be helpful for hair and skin health? Let’s take a look at the efficacy of biotin through research reported in academia today.
1. Improves Hair Health
Keratin is the basic protein component that makes up hair, skin, and nails. Biotin helps in the synthesis of keratin, contributing to hair growth and strengthening hair tissue. However, long-term use of medications such as antibiotics and acne medications may cause biotin deficiency. Biotin deficiency causes hair loss and nail diseases.
A paper published in the International Journal of Dermatology in 2021 reported that the proportion of hair in the growing phase increased when biotin was supplemented in subjects who had biotin deficiency due to drugs.
“Biotin (10 mg per day) administered along with isotretinoin (acne treatment) treatment reduced the telogen phase, increased the proportion of hair in the growing phase, and helped maintain skin moisture.”
Reference : Aksac, S. E., Bilgili, S. G., Yavuz, G. O., Yavuz, I. H., Aksac, M., & Karadag, A. S. (2021). Evaluation of biophysical skin parameters and hair changes in patients with acne vulgaris treated with isotretinoin, and the effect of biotin use on these parameters. International journal of dermatology, 60(8), 980–985.
2. Improves Skin Diseases
Biotin is a coenzyme of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, which is involved in fatty acid synthesis. Therefore, if biotin is deficient, the fat needed for the skin becomes insufficient, which can lead to skin rashes and dermatitis.
A paper published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2018 introduces the effects of ingesting 4 to 5 mg of biotin in pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis with biotin deficiency.
“For children with atopic dermatitis who are deficient in biotin, oral biotin intake led to improvement in dryness and itching.”
Reference : Lipner S. R. (2018). Rethinking biotin therapy for hair, nail, and skin disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 78(6), 1236–1238.
3. Reduces Fasting Blood Sugar
Biotin not only helps with hair and skin health, but also helps regulate blood sugar levels. Biotin improves the activity of pyruvate carboxylase, which is involved in the gluconeogenesis process. The glucose produced at this time moves through the bloodstream to tissues involved in blood sugar regulation or that use glucose as a primary energy source. Additionally, biotin promotes the use of glucose to enter the triacarboxylic acid cycle, an important metabolic cycle for energy production. Therefore, taking biotin can improve abnormal glucose metabolism.
Already in 1993, a paper was published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition showing that fasting blood sugar levels decreased when diabetic subjects consumed biotin.
“Fasting blood sugar levels fell to normal within two months and remained within the normal range thereafter.”
Reference : Masaru MAEBASHI, Yoshio MAKINO, Yuji FURUKAWA, Kosaku OHINATA, Shuichi KIMURA, Takao SATO, Therapeutic Evaluation of the Effect of Biotin on Hyperglycemia in Patients with Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 1993, Volume 14, Issue 3, Pages 211-218.
Today we looked at the benefits of taking biotin. Although it is true that biotin plays a very important role in hair and skin health, you should not think that biotin can cure hair loss. If you suspect hair loss, we recommend that you receive appropriate treatment through a professional diagnosis.
I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.