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The Biotin Beard Myth: Should I use a biotin supplement for beard growth?

Many guys have been asking me about biotin. They often reference several dozen videos that they have seen online promoting the effects of biotin for beard growth. However, most of those videos are created for the sole purpose of selling biotin supplements. The conflict of interest might go unnoticed, by many of the viewers who are struggling with beard growth and are looking for a quick fix.


So let's dive a little deeper in to biotin to understand if it can actually help fledgling beards growth to glorious manes.


What is Biotin?


Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that is defined as a micronutrient and is found in many foods, including eggs, nuts, and seeds. It is also available as a dietary supplement.


Biotin plays a vital role in assisting enzymes to break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in food. Biotin is a member of the B vitamin family, and is also known as vitamin B7. The human cells cannot synthesize vitamin B7. However, bacteria in the body can produce biotin, and the vitamin is present in numerous foods.


What Does the Science Show about Biotin for Beard Growth?


Biotin is important for many bodily functions, including hair growth. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that biotin can promote beard growth.


Some people believe that taking biotin supplements can help to grow a thicker, fuller beard. However, there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that there was no significant difference in beard growth between men who took biotin supplements and those who did not.


Many manufacturers of cosmetics claim that biotin supplements may improve the strength and durability of fingernails and enhance hair and skin health. However, there is limited evidence for this in scientific research and much of the existing evidence is old and outdated.


A study published in 2015 found that women with thinning hair experienced some reduction in shedding after taking an oral marine protein supplement for 90 days. However, biotin was only one ingredient in this supplement, and the research was sponsored by a company that sells health and beauty products.


According to the National Institutes of Health, the average person in a western population consumes 35–70 mcg of biotin daily from foods they eat. For most people, a supplement will not be necessary as long as they are eating a healthy, varied diet.


The Institute of Medicine suggests an AI of 30 mcg per day for adults ages 19 years and over.

Further research is needed to support the use of biotin supplements for this purpose in healthy individuals.


Dosage and Safety

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning excess biotin is usually excreted from your body. This means that if you take more than the recommended dose the excess will just be expelled from the body when you urinate.


The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) has not established a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for biotin.

However, the following adequate intakes (AI) per day for biotin have been established:

  • Birth to 6 months: 5 micrograms (mcg) per day

  • 7 to 12 months: 6 mcg

  • 1 to 3 years: 8 mcg

  • 4 to 8 years: 12 mcg

  • 9 to 13 years: 20 mcg

  • Adults 19 years and older: 30 mcg

  • During breastfeeding: 35 mcg2

People in the United States usually get this amount and more through their diet.

great ways to get biotin supplements
10 food sources of Biotin Vitamin B7

Biotin Therapy and Benefits

Biotin therapy has been shown to be successful in treating MS, lowering blood glucose, and managing neuropathy.


Several studies have tested biotin’s ability to lower blood glucose in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Results have been promising.


In a 2013 animal study, researchers found that biotin may stimulate the secretion of insulin from the pancreas and subsequently lower blood glucose.


Research from 2016 indicated that biotin may assist with glycemic control in people with type 1 diabetes.

Medical professionals need more studies before they can confirm biotin’s effects on blood sugar.


Studies have suggested that high dose biotin therapy might help improve symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). This is an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system, leading to muscle weakness and a range of other problems.


Results published in 2016 suggested that biotin was a safe therapy. In some participants, a high dose taken three times daily reduced symptoms after 9 months of use.



Here are some other ways to promote beard growth:

  • Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet that is rich in nutrients, such as protein, iron, and zinc, can help to promote overall health and well-being, including beard growth.

  • Get regular exercise. Exercise can help to improve circulation and blood flow to the scalp, which can help to promote hair growth.

  • Drink water. Drinking water can help beard growth by delivering nutrients and lubrication to the hair follicles that your beard needs to grow. Water is also the primary delivery system for nutrients and lubrication to the follicles.

  • Be patient. It takes time for a beard to grow in fully. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Just keep up with a healthy lifestyle and beard care routine, and you will eventually achieve the beard you desire.


In Conclusion



Biotin as a supplement can offer benefits to those with a biotin deficiency. However, biotin deficiencies in humans is extremely rare. Since it is a micronutrient, and so little of vitamin B7 is needed for proper bodily functions.


Most of our daily needs of biotin are met through eating a healthy diet which includes a variety of meats, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.


Since biotin is water soluble, any excess vitamin B7 will just be excreted from the body. Also because our bodies need so little biotin, vitamin supplements are an ineffective unnecessary expense.




Sources:

  1. USDA FoodCentral. Food search.

  2. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Biotin.

  3. Lipner SR. Rethinking biotin therapy for hair, nail, and skin disorders. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018;78(6):1236-1238. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2018.02.018

  4. Patel DP, Swink SM, Castelo-Soccio L. A review of the use of biotin for hair loss. Skin Appendage Disord. 2017;3(3):166-169. doi:10.1159/000462981

  5. Lipner SR, Scher RK. Biotin for the treatment of nail disease: what is the evidence?. J Dermatolog Treat. 2018;29(4):411-414. doi:10.1080/09546634.2017.1395799

  6. Revilla-Monsalve C, Zendejas-Ruiz I, Islas-Andrade S, et al. Biotin supplementation reduces plasma triacylglycerol and VLDL in type 2 diabetic patients and in nondiabetic subjects with hypertriglyceridemia. Biomed Pharmacother. 2006;60(4):182-185. doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2006.03.005

  7. Sealey WM, Teague AM, Stratton SL, Mock DM. Smoking accelerates biotin catabolism in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(4):932-935. doi:10.1093/ajcn/80.4.932

  8. Şen O, Türkçapar AG. Hair loss after sleeve gastrectomy and effect of biotin supplements. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2021;31(3):296-300. doi:10.1089/lap.2020.0468

  9. Guo EL, Katta R. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatol Pract Concept. 2017;7(1):1-10. doi:10.5826/dpc.0701a01

  10. Piraccini BM, Berardesca E, Fabbrocini G, Micali G, Tosti A. Biotin: overview of the treatment of diseases of cutaneous appendages and of hyperseborrhea. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2019;154(5):557-566. doi:10.23736/S0392-0488.19.06434-4

  11. Mock DM, Henrich-Shell CL, Carnell N, Stumbo P, Mock NI. 3-Hydroxypropionic acid and methylcitric acid are not reliable indicators of marginal biotin deficiency in humans. J Nutr. 2004;134(2):317-320. doi:10.1093/jn/134.2.317

  12. Gehrig KA, Dinulos JG. Acrodermatitis due to nutritional deficiency. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2010;22(1):107-112. doi:10.1097/MOP.0b013e328335107f

  13. Bowen R, Benavides R, Colón-Franco JM, et al. Best practices in mitigating the risk of biotin interference with laboratory testing. Clin Biochem. 2019;74:1-11. doi:10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2019.08.012

  14. Zempleni J, Mock DM. Biotin biochemistry and human requirements. J Nutr Biochem. 1999;10(3):128-138. doi:10.1016/s0955-2863(98)00095-3



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