As you scroll down your Instagram feed, you’ll probably come across some form of advertisement for a hair and skin vitamin that contains Biotin. They usually come in two shapes, either a gummy or a pill, and there are countless brands. Most people are familiar with the brand called “SugarBearHair.” Many celebrities, even previous Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants, post selfies of themselves taking the vitamin.
When you read the back of the label, it says that it contains Biotin (5000 micrograms), along with a list of other vitamins like B12 and Vitamin A that “clinically” support hair growth and skin health. If you look at the website, it says that 94% of consumers saw results after three months.
But is this true, or is this just another form of false advertising commonly seen in the beauty industry?
Dietitian Andy Bellatti, MS, RD, told INSIDER that a Biotin supplement wouldn’t do anything to change your hair, skin, and nails even if you take it religiously.
First off, what is Biotin? It’s just another name for Vitamin B7. It’s water-soluble, which means that your body doesn’t store it, and it helps convert food into energy. It’s similar to all of the other B vitamins. Still, Bellatti says what’s different about Biotin is that it is involved in the infrastructure of keratin, a protein in hair, skin, and nails. So there is a link, but only if you are already deficient in Biotin.
Being deficient in Biotin can cause symptoms like hair loss, thinning hair, and brittle nails and research does show that taking a Biotin supplement when you need it can make a difference.
But Biotin deficiencies are very rare. It’s mostly because it’s found in so many foods, and our bodies don’t need much. So if you are deficient, it’s recommended that people only take about 30 to 11 micrograms per day. Infants would need a smaller dose of 10 to 30 micrograms.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Am I overdosing on Biotin?” Don’t worry; you’re not. Excess B vitamins are flushed out with your urine and not stored in your body.
So ditch the pill and look at some foods that naturally give you the Biotin you need.
It’s present in the yolk. Although heat preparation decreases the amount of Biotin in the yolk, you should always consume it cooked, not raw. Egg yolks are the most Biotin-rich things that you can eat because of the function Biotin serves in developing an embryo.
When you eat it raw, it contains 17 micrograms per serving. Since biotin is water-soluble, eat cauliflower raw to get the maximum nutritional benefit.
Many dairy products contain some amount of Biotin. For example, blue cheese, Camembert cheese, Cheddar and American cheese are rich in vitamins.
The Biotin content of mushrooms helps protect them from parasites and predators as they grow. Eating them raw is the best.
5.) Sweet Potato
Contains some of the highest levels of Biotin found in vegetables. It also has Beta Carotene, which can improve your skin’s appearance.
Contains one of the highest Biotin levels among the leafy green vegetables. It doesn’t matter if it’s frozen or fresh because even one serving of chopped spinach that’s been frozen contains seven micrograms of Biotin.
When they’re raw, salted, or roasted, they contain high levels of Biotin. Nuts and legumes, in general, are a source of Biotin. However, the vitamin can also be found in soybeans, peanuts, green beans, walnuts, and pecans.
References: Insider, SugarBearHair, Medical News Today, and Healthline.