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Biotin

Biotin, also known as vitamin H or vitamin B7 is considered one of the most important vitamins for the well-being of our hair.

Composed of a thiophenic and an imidazolic ring and a chain of valerianic acid, it is an essential micronutrient able to play an essential metabolic role for the body.

It can be taken through foods of animal origin, such as liver, veal, lamb, pork, chicken, fish, animal derivatives such as eggs and cheese, or of vegetable origin, especially carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, spinach and beans, lentils, nuts and brewer’s yeast. It is also possible to increase the doses of biotin in the body by taking supplements.

 

The history of biotin from 1931 to the present.

The biotin was discovered almost by chance in 1931, during some experiments on mice, which were given a diet based only on raw egg whites. The aim was to demonstrate that they represented a fundamental source of protein.

However, in the medium term, the mice had severe hemorrhages and dermatitis, their hair fell out and vital functions were reduced, until the death of the animal. It was discovered, after investigation, that the cause of death was the lack of biotin. The egg white, if uncooked, has a large amount of a particular glycoprotein, the avidine, which binds with biotin and prevents its formation.

The experiment demonstrated the importance of biotin for the health of the organism. The vitamin acts in numerous metabolic processes and promotes the well-being of nerves, skin, spinal cord and glands. Hair also benefits greatly from the presence of biotin.

 

Current studies on biotin

The processes of absorption and action of biotin are not yet fully clear to scholars. It seems that absorption occurs in the ileum and fasting, and that the vitamin is then transported by two proteins, albumin and alpha- and beta- globulins within the plasma reaching the tissues.

Numerous studies and medical trials are still in progress for the precise definition of the mechanisms of action of biotin.

 

Functions of biotin

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Biotin represents the coenzyme of several enzymes called carboxylases, which play leading roles in the metabolism of sugars, fats and proteins.

Although expert opinion is divided on the effects of biotin on the body, it seems that the vitamin is able to act as follows:

It favors the treatment of certain congenital enzymatic deficiencies;

  • Improve the metabolism of sugar in people with fir tree of 2nd type;
  • Improve the metabolism intermediate;
  • Renforces and strengthens nails;.
  • Promote the health of the skin by hydrating and nourishing it
  • Improve the quality of hair.

Let’s focus on the last aspect.

How does it act on the hair?

Research shows that biotin is able to regulate the action of the sebaceous glands and therefore the production of sebo. The latter, if produced in large quantities, can weaken the hair. A correct secretion favours, consequently, a correct balance and a greater wellbeing of the scalp.

On the other hand, the lack of biotin can cause seborrheic dermatitis, characterized by strong desquamation, and a consequent hair loss in the affected area.

It seems, finally, that biotin is able to promote regrowth in thinned areas and greater hair thickness. A similar phenomenon seems to occur also with beard hair in men.

 

Integrators and recommended doses

As already mentioned, biotin can also be taken through multivitamin supplements. The molecule, in fact, is completely soluble and never toxic, because the body is able to eliminate it through the action of the kidneys and lymphatic system.

Biotin is presented in the form of tablets, injectable ampoules or effervescent or granular sachets.

The doses recommended by experts vary between 15 and 100 micrograms per day. Scientists recommend that these doses are not exceeded.