Beauty has many faces. Nevertheless, we all feel drawn to radiant skin and glossy hair. The phrase “true beauty comes from within” has long been a part of everyday parlance. It may appear somewhat glib at first glance, but there is more to this saying than you might think: where topical applications such as creams, masks & co. reach their limits, vital substances provide essential care from within. For example, carefully selected vitamins and minerals can help improve the structure of our skin and hair. Targeted use of internal nutritional supplements helps us to maintain our vitality and beauty for as long as possible. This is where biotin, the well-known beauty nutrient, comes into play.
What does biotin do?
Vitamin B7, vitamin H, the beauty vitamin – biotin has many names. Whichever name you prefer, the water-soluble B-vitamin is one thing: essential, that is to say, vital for the human body. As an indispensable constituent part of enzymes (coenzyme), it is involved in many cellular metabolic processes – not least in the metabolism of macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates). It also supports the body’s energy metabolism and promotes the normal functioning of the nervous system and the psyche. If you happen to come across vitamin B7 on the internet or in the press, it is usually in the context of beauty, because it helps to preserve healthy skin tissue structures and makes a valuable contribution to maintaining beautiful hair.
Where is biotin found?
It is present – if often only in low concentrations – in many foods; a healthy, balanced diet is essential. Raw eggs are considered to be particularly rich in biotin, but only the yolks. Avidin, which is present in raw egg whites, is a real biotin thief. It can interfere with biotin uptake by bonding with the vitamin to form a complex that cannot be absorbed by our intestinal cells. In practice, complex binding plays only a minor role because avidin is destroyed at temperatures above 100 °C. Yeast and offal also have a high biotin content. Good plant-based sources include nuts, lentils, oatmeal and unpolished rice. By the way, our intestinal flora can also produce small amounts of biotin – in addition to low concentrations of vitamin K, vitamin B1 and vitamin B2.
Who needs extra biotin?
The German Society for Nutrition recommends a daily dose of 30-60 micrograms of biotin for adults and adolescents aged 15 years and older. This is only an estimate, as it is not known how much biotin our body really needs. As a rule, a balanced diet covers all of our biotin requirements – but certain factors, such as regular alcohol consumption and a restrictive diet, can increase the amount we need. For more detailed information, you can have your biotin levels measured by a laboratory.
Which type of biotin is best for strong nails and hair?
For the best biotin care from within, combination products containing vital substances that work together with biotin are ideal. For example, zinc has a positive effect on maintaining healthy nails, while vitamin C helps to support normal collagen formation in the skin.
When should a supplement be taken?
Biotin can be taken at any time of the day, but biotin capsules are best taken before or during meals.
How long should biotin be taken for?
No negative consequences of long-term biotin supplementation have been reported to date. The best way to determine whether and for how long biotin supplements should be taken is to have your biotin levels measured.