Healthy skin and strong hair: Among the vitamins, the water-soluble vitamin B7 is responsible for this. It is not for nothing that it is also referred to as the beauty vitamin.
Vitamins are important. Everyone can probably agree with this statement. But which vitamin has which function in the body becomes more difficult. Biotin is also known as vitamin B7 and belongs to the group of water-soluble vitamins.
What do we need biotin for?
As a vitamin, biotin is involved in certain metabolic processes in the body. This includes:
- carbohydrate metabolism
- protein metabolism
- fat metabolism
- cell growth
- DNA and protein synthesis
Can I have a biotin deficiency?
Yes and no. Normally, the diet ensures a sufficient supply of the vitamin, so that a biotin deficiency does not usually exist with a normal nutrient supply. According to the European Food Safety Authority, it is therefore no longer necessary to take additional food supplements. However, there are also exceptions. One of them is the so-called carboxylase deficiency. A carboxylase deficiency is a rare metabolic disorder in which the body cannot adequately recycle biotin. In this case, the person concerned has a clinical biotin deficiency. Unlike commercially available food supplements, the biotin administered here is defined as a drug and must therefore also meet the requirements of proven effectiveness for drugs. Artificial nutrition, high consumption of raw eggs, and alcoholism can also promote a biotin deficiency.
What is the daily requirement for biotin?
The German Society for Nutrition recommends a daily biotin intake of 30 to 60 µg for young people aged 15 and over. A high proportion of biotin is found in yeast, egg yolk, peanuts, and oatmeal, for example. Dairy products and meat also contain biotin.
Symptoms of a biotin deficiency
As rare as a vitamin B deficiency may be, it can still have specific symptoms.
Typical signs of a biotin deficiency include:
- hair loss
- Ataxia (the coordination of movements is disturbed)
- inflammation of the mucous membranes
- Muscle aches
- Higher immune susceptibility
Biotin – the beauty vitamin for skin and hair?
But what is the myth that biotin specifically promotes healthy skin and beautiful hair? As an enzyme, biotin is involved in various metabolic processes in the body and thus also promotes a permanently healthy appearance of skin and hair, as it is involved in cell growth and cell regeneration. It is therefore also permitted to advertise “maintaining healthy skin and hair” on the packaging for corresponding dietary supplements. The situation is different when it comes to “healthy nails”: Although the nail thickness increases with a greatly increased biotin intake and the surface condition also improves, this observation has not been proven by a medical study, which is why it is not allowed to be advertised.