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5 Benefits and Side Effects of Biotin (4 Contraindications To Be Noted)

Biotin has excellent beauty effects, can maintain strong hair, skin and nails, often added to beauty products, can also be called vitamin H, H is the German hair Haar and skin Haut abbreviation

What are the benefits of biotin in empirical medicine? Are there any side effects of Boitin? See text analysis for details

What is Biotin?

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a member of the vitamin B group, mainly a coenzyme of 5 carboxylases in the human body, which is fatty acid synthesis, glycogenesis, and decomposition of amino acids. and other essential nutrients for the process, which are very important for energy production. Note 14

Biotin also regulates immune function, playing a role in antibody production, lymphocyte differentiation, and the normal functioning of macrophages, and natural killer cells.

In addition to this, current evidence suggests that biotin plays an important role in gene expression and chromosomal structure. To date, about 2000 biotin-dependent genes have been identified that play a role in the transcriptional inhibition of genes, including gene regulation and genomic stability.

Is biotin deficiency common? What are the symptoms of deficiency?

Biotin deficiency is rare because many natural foods contain a lot of vitamins, and eating a healthy, balanced diet can get enough biotin, unless there are acquired or congenital deficiency factors.

Possible symptoms of biotin deficiency include: thinning hair, loss of hair throughout the body, brittle nails, dry eyes, eczematous rash, seborrheic dermatitis, conjunctivitis, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and various neurological symptoms such as: depression, lethargy, hypotonia, seizures, numbness and tingling in the limbs, mental retardation, developmental delays in children etc.

What are the causes of biotin deficiency?

There are many causes of biotin deficiency and can be congenital or acquired.

Congenital biotinidase deficiency is an autosomal recessive disorder. It can manifest itself as severe biotin deficiency with features of neurological and dermatotic features. It affects endogenous circulation and the inability to release biotin from dietary proteins, which affects the activity of biotin carboxylase.

A common cause of acquired biotin deficiency is increased consumption of raw eggs. The protein antivodin, found in raw egg whites, can be denatured by cooking, but when undercooked, this protein binds tightly to biotin, preventing it from being used as an essential cofactor

Other acquired risk factors for biotin deficiency include:

    • Patients receiving intravenous nutrition and enteral feeding for a long time
    • Long-term use of antiepileptic drugs (such as valproic acid)
    • Long-term use of antibiotics (because they destroy biotin-producing bacteria in the gut)
    • Have Crohn’s disease and other intestinal inflammatory diseases, making it difficult for the intestine to absorb nutrients
    • Excessive exposure to alcohol (alcoholism) inhibits the absorption of biotin
    • Excessive dieting or dietary imbalance (excessive intake of processed foods)

What are the natural foods that contain biotin?

Biotin sources are very wide and include egg yolks, brewer’s yeast, tree nuts (especially almonds, peanuts, walnuts), legumes, whole grains, mushrooms, bananas, cauliflower, fish, offal, dairy products, seafood etc.

Over-processing of ingredients destroys biotin, so try to eat full, unprocessed form whenever possible to get more vitamins.

What are the recommended benefits of biotin?

1. Biotin improves hair loss

Hair loss is a health concern for many people, related to exterior and self-confidence, and it is estimated that nearly 50% of men and women are affected by different patterns of hair loss.

Nutrient deficiencies are often associated with chronic telogen hair loss, androgenetic alopecia, female pattern alopecia, and plaque alopecia. Biotin, on the other hand, is good for hair growth and hair strengthening.

A literature review (including 18 case reports of using biotin to alter hair and nails) noted that no evidence was found that biotin supplementation was beneficial other than a known defect due to congenital or acquired causes, and that biotin supplementation had not been shown to be effective in hair and nail growth in healthy individuals. Note 1

*Summary: For hair loss improvement, additional biotin supplementation is only helpful in subjects with acquired and inherited causes of biotin deficiency, however, these cases are uncommon and there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate benefit from supplementation in healthy individuals

2. Biotin is beneficial for multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a common and disabling multifocal central nervous system lesion characterized by perivenous inflammatory cell infiltration, demyelinating, axon transection, neuronal degeneration, and glial hyperplasia.

Once progressive disability is identified, there are currently no therapies available to protect, repair, or regenerate nerve tissue to restore nerve function, and common clinical manifestations include motor weakness with progressive paralysis, sensory dysfunction, bladder/bowel dysfunction, coordination difficulties, and cognitive decline.

A systematic literature review and meta-analyses (3 randomized controlled trials, 889 people with multiple sclerosis) noted that high-dose biotin adjuvant therapy (300 mg daily for 12 to 15 months) was associated with improved timed 25-foot walk (T25-FW). Note 1

The mechanism behind this may be related to the activation of high doses of biotin (HDB) acetyl-CoA, 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA, propionyl-CoA, and pyruvate carboxylase to increase myelin repair or synthesis, enhancing the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essential for preventing neurodegeneration.

*Conclusion: In patients with progressive multiple sclerosis, high doses of biotin may bring positive help, but limited by the small sample size, more studies are needed to further validate

3. Biotin is beneficial for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by degeneration of upper motor neurons in the primary motor cortex and lower motor neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord.

Initial symptoms include muscle wasting and weakness. This is followed by the development of voluntary and respiratory muscle paralysis. About 50 percent of ALS patients die within 30 months of the onset of symptoms, usually from respiratory insufficiency, while about 10 percent may survive for more than 10 years.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (24 weeks, 30 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) noted that high-dose biotin therapy (300 mg daily) had a good safety profile and was well tolerated, with a lower worsening of sniff nasal inspiratory pressure observed in the treatment group. Note 2

*Conclusion: Due to the small sample size and inconsistency of clinical features, the effect of biotin therapy, although encouraging, needs more studies to further verify

4. Biotin improves brittle nails

Brittlenail is a structural disorder of nails, the main symptoms of which are loss of elasticity and softness of nails, accompanied by cracking, peeling and crushing, it is estimated that about 20% of the population is affected by this disease, and the incidence is twice that of women. Note 6

Brittlenailism is usually idiopathic (meaning the cause is unknown) and may be caused by skin or systemic disease, nutritional deficiencies, drug use, and trauma.

In veterinary medicine, biotin is often used to improve hoof defects or abnormalities in ungulates such as horses, cattle and sheep. Note 3

Several human studies have also found that biotin supplementation can help improve brittle nails (63% to 91% of subjects reported improvement) and nail plate thickness. Note 4-5

The mechanism behind it is related to improving the synthesis of lipid molecules required to make keratinocytes of the nail plate.

*Summary: Biotin may have the effect of improving brittle nails, but the sample size is too small to confirm more large-scale experiments with precise design

5. Biotin improves diabetes

Diabetes is one of the oldest diseases in human history, first discovered in ancient Egypt, 3,000 years ago.

The main causative factors of diabetes are related to genes and life factors, such as lack of exercise, sedentary, smoking and drinking, of which obesity accounts for about 55%, which is the most common causative factor.

A small study showed that people with diabetes generally have lower blood biotin concentrations than healthy people, and supplementation can help improve fasting blood sugar levels. Note 8

Another double-blind controlled study (90 days, 447 diabetic patients with poor glycemic control) showed that the additional use of chromium and biotin had better glucose control effects (improvement of glycated hemoglobin and fasting blood sugar) compared with drug therapy alone. Note 9

The mechanism behind it is related to factors such as biotin’s promotion of glucose synthesis into fat, glucokinase secretion (which promotes liver glycosynthesis) and triggering insulin, so it is believed to help maintain blood sugar stability. Note 7

*Summary: The combination of biotin and chromium can make glycemic control more efficient, but the effect of using it alone needs to be verified

Are there any side effects of biotin?

Biotin is a very safe nutrient, mostly safe without side effects, and very high doses of 100 mg to 600 mg have been used for several months in studies without any adverse effects (excessive amounts are excreted in urine due to its water-soluble nature)

However, there is not enough research to confirm all the side effects of taking too much biotin, and if you need to take biotin supplements (especially high doses for long-term use), consult your doctor first.

Safety precautions (4 contraindications to use)

1. Biotin can interfere with some hormonal test results, in the use of biotin-streptavidin immunoassays, biotin interference may lead to false positive and false negative results (especially for high doses), affected test results may include: thyroid function (Free thyroxine, Free triiodothyronine, Thyroid-stimulating hormone, Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibodies), Testosterone (Estradiol), folic acid, vitamin B12vitamin D … etc., be sure to inform the physician of the use of health food before engaging in relevant testing. If biotin interference is thought to be present, blood tests should be deferred until biotin is stopped for at least 3 to 7 days. Note 1

2. With high doses of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), a competitive effect may occur and hinder biotin absorption

3. Taking antibiotics or sulfonamide antibacterial destroys the beneficial bacteria in the intestines, resulting in a decrease in the rate of biotin synthesis

4. Long-term use of antiepileptic drugs and anticonvulsants (anticonvulsant) will reduce the absorption and reabsorption of biotin in the intestines and renal tubules (Note 1), common related drug names are: Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin, Primidone