Being a ‘Beardsman’ and running a Beard related website, I hear and read about all sorts of things that folks use to help increase their beard’s health, growth, etc. Biotin is one such thing and I seem to be reading more and more about it. According to our friends at Wikipedia, Biotin is “… necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. It plays a role in the citric acid cycle, which is the process by which biochemical energy is generated during aerobic respiration. Biotin not only assists in various metabolic reactions, but also helps to transfer carbon dioxide. It may also be helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level. Biotin is often recommended as a dietary supplement for strengthening hair and nails, though scientific data supporting this usage are weak. As a consequence, biotin is found in many cosmetics and health products for the hair and skin.” Biotin is known as vitamin H or coenzyme R, is a water-soluble B-vitamin (vitamin B7).
Biotin is produced by our bodies naturally and in sufficient supply. Rare occasions will call for Biotin to be added to one’s diet, such as having your stomach removed. Ouch. So why do folks take this stuff? WebMD says
“Biotin plays a key role in the body. It supports the health of the skin, nerves, digestive tract, metabolism, and cells. Biotin may also help to treat some types of nerve pathology, such as the peripheral neuropathy that can result from kidney failure or diabetes.
Biotin supplements have been studied as a treatment for a number of conditions. In people with type 2 diabetes, early research suggests that a combination of biotin and chromium might improve blood sugar. On its own, biotin might decrease insulin resistance and nerve symptoms related to type 2 diabetes. More research needs to be done. Some preliminary evidence suggests that biotin might help strengthen brittle nails. Other uses of biotin — for conditions like cradle cap, hepatitis, hair loss, and depression — are unsupported or untested.”
WebMD tells us “Biotin occurs naturally in many foods. Wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, whole wheat bread, eggs, dairy products, nuts, Swiss chard, salmon, and chicken are all sources of biotin. The biotin in food is usually attached to protein and has relatively poor absorption.”
I started taking Biotin in July of 2012 at 1000 mcgs (1 mg), then after reading somewhere that Dr’s suggest 2.5 mgs for Hair growth, I upped my intake to 2.5 mgs or 2500 mcg. I took that for awhile and noticed that my beard was shedding less, and that my finger and toenails were growing at an incredible rate! I noticed no such increase in hair growth on my head or with my beard. I then upped the daily intake to 5000 mcg or 5 mgs. Still, less shedding of the beard and fast nail growth.
I’ve recently purchased a product called ‘VitaBeard’ by DOVitamins. These vitamins are heavy on the B’s and light on Biotin, only containing .75 mg (750 mcg). The label says this amount is 250% of our RDA, but according to the MayoClinic, because lack of biotin is rare, there is no RDA or RNI (Canada) for it. The label says 1 serving is one pill, but then the directions say to take 1 – 3 pills per day with meals. hhmm okay.
The bottle also goes on to read that if you’ve gone ‘gray’ due to stress, your natural hair color may return! Wow…after being gray for 10 years or more, this would be miraculous! lol I will take them all and have ordered an extra bottle to be sure I can write a good review on the product for my website, The Society of Bearded Gentlemen at BeardedGents.com. I will follow this post up with a review in another month or two.
Gary W Norman 12/07/12