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Jul 19, 2018

Healthy Living: Biotin for Healthier Hair, Nails and Skin

It’s a supplement that has been growing in popularity. For many women, it carries their hopes for longer and healthier nails and hair and even better skin. It’s a tall order so, in tonight’s Healthy Living, we find out more about the hype behind biotin or hair and nails supplements.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

With all the celebrity endorsements and promises of better hair nails and skin, pills like biotin and hair skin and nail supplements have been growing in popularity. But are these magic pills really able to deliver on these big promises? Well, the main ingredient in these beauty supplements is biotin. Dermatologist Doctor Jorge Lopez explains what it does in our bodies.

 

Jorge Lopez

Dr. Jorge Lopez, Dermatologist

“Biotin also known as vitamin B7 was known also vitamin H. It’s a vitamin that has a n important role in the metabolism – metabolism is basically all the processes that your body does to keep alive. It’s readily available in foods you have in organ meats, you have in nuts in almonds, peanuts in some fruits like bananas, apples and you have in some leafy greens as well. So it’s actually readily available.”

 

So, if biotin is readily available in the foods we eat, why is it that so many women across the globe are swallowing these pills in hope of an improved appearance. Doctor Lopez explains that when there is a rare biotin deficiency the hair skin and nails are usually affected.

 

Dr. Jorge Lopez

“Whenever you have a deficiency of biotin then your hair gets brittle colorless and then your finger nails also get weak. So maybe that’s where it comes from but that we can say that studies have been done and that when you use biotin your hair will grown and it will be stronger we don’t really enough evidence to support that. What we have which is hard data is that biotin could help with the growth of the nails we don’t really have enough data to endorse biotin for hair growth. But yes for nails there is some type of evidence.”

 

In fact, there are many different causes for hair loss from stress to over processing which is why when you have a problem with your nails hair or skin, Lopez advises looking for the underlying cause.

 

Dr. Jorge Lopez

“It’s not as easy as people would want just to take something and that it and you also have to look at what the causes might be. For hair growth and nail growth we sometimes prescribe biotin because we now more than likely it’s not going to do any harm however if you’re having nail issues for example then you have to try and see first of all what your diet looks like. I think are tending to fix things through pills and stuff and we forget the very basics. So eating healthy and keeping your body running smoothly that’s basically all we should need to have healthy hair and healthy skin.”

 

Luckily, biotin is water soluble, meaning it dissolves in water. So if your diet is already providing sufficient biotin for your body and you are taking the supplement, the excess will flush out of your system in your urine. One very rare side effect of too much biotin would be acne flare ups.

 

Dr. Jorge Lopez

“For some patients it claims it works just like another things like aloe vera some patients swear by it. So I would say if someone is taking biotin and they feel it’s doing good for them the usual does is two point five milligrams per day that ok. It’s not really going to harm. Like studies that have even been done testing up to fifty milligrams and it is not expected to be toxic but of course you want to be careful if someone is pregnant you don’t want to take anything that your doctor hasn’t advised you.”

 

So the verdict is if you are eating healthy – including meats, nuts, fruits and vegetables in your diet – you are most likely getting enough biotin already.

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