20% off £35

000000s
Code:FLASH
 

20% off £35

000000s

Code:FLASH

Buy 1 Get 1 Half PriceSummer ShopOffersOffers HubBuy one get one 1/2 price25% off or moreOnline only 25% off or moreOutletGreat SavingsBuy 1 Get 1 FreeBetter than 1/2 price2 for £18 Mix & MatchLast chance to buy3 for 2 Mix & Match1/2 PriceVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubJoints, Aches & PainsImmunityGut HealthEnergyChildren's HealthLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietyHealthy HeartWeight ManagementExercise & RecoveryVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBD Vitamins & SupplementsShop all CBD Vitamins & SupplementsCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaMuscle Support & Joint PainHair, 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 HTPDigestive EnzymesSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionCholesterolAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesRescue RemedyAshwagandhaMilk ThistleGinseng & GuaranaHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & SupplementsCBD Homeopathic Buy one get one 1/2 price25% off or moreOnline only 25% off or moreHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarNew NordicWeledaBioglanBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Nature's WayDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubImmunityExercise & RecoveryGut HealthEnergyJoints, Aches & PainsWeight ManagementDental HealthFood & Drink Shop AllDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyNut ButtersJams & ChutneysSyrupsSpreadsPateDrinks & JuicesShop all Drinks & JuicesNatural Energy DrinksKombuchaJuices & Health ShotsSoft DrinksWaterProtein ShakesAlcohol Free DrinksTeas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesCoffee & Coffee SubstitutesMushroom DrinksTeasSuperfood TeasMatcha & Green TeaSleep & RelaxationPeppermint TeaSlimming TeaSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMoringa PowderMaca PowderChia SeedsFlaxseedSpirulinaGoji BerriesBaobabSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsCrisps & ChipsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsFlapjacksPopcornVegan FoodShop all Vegan FoodMeat-Free AlternativesDairy AlternativesEgg SubstitutesVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsTinned FoodsBreakfast CerealsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesMeat-Free AlternativesSoup & 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 FoodBuy one get one 1/2 price25% off or moreOnline only 25% off or moreHolland & BarrettNaturyaGrenadePukkaHeath & HeatherHuelPhDNakdTwiningsMeridianGluten FreeDairy FreeWheat FreeEgg FreeSugar FreeMilk FreeSoya FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeFish FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubExercise & RecoveryEnergyWeight ManagementLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietySports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinWhey ProteinClear ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneElectrolytesEnergy GelsSports CollagenPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutCaffeine-free-pre-workoutAmino Energy PowdersBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesVegan 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 Loss25% off or moreGreat SavingsBuy one get one 1/2 priceOptimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadePhDApplied NutritionHuelSiSFoodspringYfoodGluten FreeDairy FreeSugar FreeSoya FreePalm Oil FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubSkin Health - by skin concernDental HealthWomen's Health - Cycles & MenstruationSexual HealthJoints, Aches & PainsWomen's Health - PregnancyChildren's HealthExercise & RecoveryImmunityLow Mood & DepressionNatural 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 BeautySun CareShop all Sun CareSun Lotion SPFMineral Sun CareFace SPFAfter SunHair 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 WellnessBuy one get one 1/2 price25% off or moreOnline only 25% off or moreDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandMiaromaSukinQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeParfum FreeMicroplastics FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDShop all CBDExercise & RecoveryLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietySleep & RelaxationCBD Vitamins & SupplementsShop all CBD Vitamins & SupplementsCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCBD Food DrinkCBD BeautyBuy one get one 1/2 price25% off or moreOnline only 25% off or moreLove HempGrass & Co.CBDfxfourfiveTRIPHolistic HerbCannaray CBDReakiroHolland & BarrettBody & Mind BotanicalsDairy FreeAlcohol FreeGluten FreeNew inWeight ManagementWeight Management HubExercise & RecoveryWeight ManagementEnergyHealthy HeartWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsWeight Management Shakes Shop all Weight Management Shakes Meal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein BarsBuy one get one 1/2 price25% off or moreGreat SavingsGrenadeOptimum NutritionHolland & BarrettPhDUSNPulsinEat WaterNew NordicSlimExpertApplied NutritionGluten FreeSugar FreeDairy FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessJoints, Aches & PainsGut HealthSkin Health - by skin concernEnergyWomen's Health - Menopause & PerimenopauseLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietyExercise & RecoveryWomen's Health - Hormonal HealthImmunityJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & RelaxationBuy one get one 1/2 price25% off or moreOnline only 25% off or moreHolland & BarrettVitabioticsWeledaSolgarDr OrganicNaturtintOptimum NutritionBetterYouNew NordicBioglanDairy FreeGluten FreeAlcohol FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeSoya FreePalm Oil FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeNew inShop for your WellnessJoints, Bones & MusclesWomen's HealthMenstrual HealthMenopauseSkincareGut HealthHair, Skin & NailsImmunitySleep & RelaxationFood & DietChildren's HealthStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthLearn about WellnessJoints, Bones & MusclesWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsArticlesAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast

What is biotin? Uses and health benefits of vitamin B7

Female standing in fields. sunset in background. Female wearing sunglasses and has a happy expression.
Biotin belongs to the B-group family of vitamins. Find out the function of biotin, its food sources, what deficiency looks like and taking supplements.
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?
 

Related Articles

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2024. 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.