Benefits of Biotin
Biotin (also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H) is an important vitamin that is beneficial in the body for several reasons. Besides being used to treat a biotin deficiency, this vitamin may be beneficial for several conditions, such as hair loss, brittle nails, and high cholesterol. However, there is little scientific evidence to support biotin benefits for uses other than treating a biotin deficiency.
What Are the Possible Benefits of Biotin?Biotin is a vitamin (it is also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H). Although biotin supplementation is clearly beneficial for people who have biotin deficiencies, people take biotin for other reasons as well. Biotin is claimed to be beneficial for the following problems or conditions:
- Hair loss (see Biotin and Hair Growth)
- Brittle nails
- Cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis in infants)
- High cholesterol
There is little scientific evidence to support the use of biotin for uses other than to treat a biotin deficiency (see Does Biotin Work? for more information). Biotin deficiencies are rare, although certain conditions or situations may increase the risk, such as:
- Biotinidase deficiency (a genetic disorder)
- Certain seizure medications or antibiotics (see Biotin Drug Interactions)
- Consumption of large quantities of raw egg whites (which contain a substance that causes biotin depletion)
- Kidney dialysis
- IV feedings (known as total parenteral nutrition or TPN) that do not contain biotin.
Smokers and pregnant women may also be at risk for mild biotin deficiencies.