15% off £30 OR 20% off £40

000000s
Code:BAG
 

15% off £30 OR 20% off £40

000000s

Code:BAG

🏷️ 3 for 2 Mix & MatchOffersOffers Hub3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 priceGreat SavingsBuy 1 Get 1 Free1/2 PriceBetter than 1/2 priceIntroductory Offer3 for £3 Mix & MatchLast chance to buyShort DatedBuy 6 for £15 Mix & MatchVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionWater RetentionAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthPain ReliefCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianSt John's WortRescue RemedyAgnus CastusAshwagandhaEchinaceaMilk ThistleDevil's ClawGinseng & GuaranaBlack CohoshHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & Supplements3 for 2 Mix & MatchBuy 1 Get 1 FreeShort DatedHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarNew NordicWeledaBioglanBach Original Flower RemediesBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Dairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubFood & Drink Shop AllVegan FoodHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyJams & ChutneysNut ButtersSpreadsPateTeas & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas & Hot BeveragesTeaCoffee & Coffee SubstituteMushroom DrinksDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderFlaxseedSpirulinaChia SeedsSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsCrisps & ChipsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsDrinksShop all DrinksKombuchaNatural Energy DrinksJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksNutritionally Complete Food3 for 2 Mix & MatchBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettNaturyaHeath & HeatherPukkaGrenadeMeridianTwiningsBionaNakdManuka DoctorGluten FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeWheat FreeMilk FreeSulphites FreeCelery FreeKiwi FreeMustard FreeFish FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinWhey ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsEnergy DrinksProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy DrinksAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersAmino Energy DrinksBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossSave up to 1/2 Price3 for 2 Mix & MatchGreat SavingsOptimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadeApplied NutritionPhDFoodspringSiSHuelYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautyHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesElectrical WellnessSexual Wellness3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceLast chance to buyDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandSukinMiaromaQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeParfum FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein Bars3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceGreat SavingsOptimum NutritionGrenadeHolland & BarrettUSNPulsinPhDEat WaterApplied NutritionNatures AidNew NordicDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & Relaxation3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 priceHolland & BarrettVitabioticsWeledaDr OrganicSolgarNaturtintNew NordicOptimum NutritionHeath & HeatherBeurerDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeAlcohol FreeParfum FreeWheat FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeNew inShop for your WellnessMuscle & Joint PainImmunityGut HealthMenopauseWomen's HealthFood & DietSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthChildren's HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast
Female standing in fields. sunset in background. Female wearing sunglasses and has a happy expression.

What is biotin? Uses and health benefits of vitamin B7

23 Jan 2023 • 1 min read

Find out all about biotin, including what it does, how much you need, where to find it and who might need to supplement their diet 

Written by Madeleine Bailey on 7 December, 2018 Reviewed by Dr Sarah Schenker on December 17, 2018 

Overview

What is biotin and what does it do? 

Biotin belongs to the B-group family of vitamins. It’s sometimes known as vitamin B7.1 We need biotin for:2 processing the nutrients from our food energy release healthy hair, skin and mucous membranes normal nervous system and mental health Biotin is a water-soluble nutrient, so we can’t store it in our body, but the bacteria that live in our guts can produce a small amount.3 Biotin is also found in a wide variety of foods, including liver, egg yolks and yeast.4 

Function of biotin 

What does biotin do in the body? 

Biotin has an important role in supporting the enzymes that break down the fat, protein and carbohydrates from the food we eat, turning them into energy.5 Biotin also helps us maintain normal healthy hair and skin.6 Our bodies use it to enable cells to reproduce properly, and skin and hair have a high cell-turnover. Together with other B vitamins, biotin also supports normal psychological and nervous system function7 by helping to maintain neurons in the brain. 

How much biotin do I need? 

Adults, including pregnant women, need 40mcg of biotin every day. Breast-feeding women need slightly more: 45mcg.8 

How much biotin do children need?

6 months to 1 year – 6mcg a day 1-3 years – 20mcg 4-10 years – 25mcg adolescents – 35mcg9 

Biotin foods 

Which foods are the best sources of biotin? 

The best animal-based sources of biotin include:10 
  1. beef liver 
  2. cooked eggs – absorption of biotin is blocked by a protein in raw egg whites 
  3. salmon 
  4. pork 
  5. dairy products such as milk and cheese 
The best plant-based sources of biotin include:11 
  1. sweet potato 
  2. roasted almonds 
  3. spinach 
  4. broccoli 
  5. bananas 

Biotin deficiency 

What are the symptoms of biotin deficiency? 

Biotin deficiency is very rare because it is found in so many foods. If it does occur, symptoms include:12 
  1. hair loss dry, 
  2. flaky skin 
  3. a rash on the face 
  4. tiredness and muscle pain 
  5. depression 

What happens if I consume too much biotin? 

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, so you’ll get rid of any excess in your urine. However, EU guidelines recommend not consuming any more than 970mcg per day because there’s a lack of evidence about the harm caused by taking higher doses.13 

Biotin supplements 

When should I take biotin supplements? 

Most people can get enough biotin by eating a balanced diet as it’s contained in such a wide range of foods.14 However, particular medications, like antibiotics, or digestive conditions such as colitis, can prevent your body absorbing nutrients efficiently. These people could consider taking a supplement.15 

Should children take a biotin supplement? 

Like adults, children should be able to get all the biotin they need from a healthy, balanced diet. 

Should women take a biotin supplement during pregnancy? 

Research suggests that women are at risk of a mild biotin deficiency during pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester.16 But taking high doses of biotin could harm the baby. A specially formulated prenatal supplement will contain all the nutrients you need, including biotin, in the right amounts but check with your doctor if you’re unsure. 

What are the potential benefits of taking biotin supplements? 

Many people with a biotin deficiency develop hair loss or dry skin, so it’s thought that increasing your biotin intake may help improve your hair, skin and nail health. While there are only a small amount of studies in this area, there has been some reported success. A 2007 study published in Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reported that taking 2.5mg of biotin a day could improve brittle nails,19 while a review of clinical trials in 2018 concluded that biotin could improve firmness, hardness and thickness of brittle nails, but called for larger trials to be carried out. 

Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.

Sources

1. Christian Nordqvist. Medical News Today. Why do we need biotin, or Vitamin B7?
2. European Commission. EU Register on Nutrition and Health Claims
3. NHS. B vitamins and folic acid
4. As Source 1
5. Hrefna Palsdottir. Medical News Today. What are the health benefits of biotin?
6. As above
7. As Source 2
8. European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for biotin
9. As above
10. National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Biotin: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals
11. As above
12. Kimberly Holland. Healthline. Biotin deficiency
13. Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals. Safe Upper Limits for Vitamins and Minerals 2003
14. As Source 3 
15. As Source 12
16. Mock DM, Quirk JG, Mock NI. Marginal biotin deficiency during normal pregnancy
17. Cara J Stevens. Healthline. Health benefits of biotin
18. Scheinfeld N, Dahdah MJ, Scher R. Vitamins and minerals: their role in nail health and disease
19. Lipner SR, Scher RK. Biotin for the treatment of nail disease: what is the evidence?
 
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2023. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.