This popular supplement has been around for awhile, but like everything it gains its popularity. I wanted to see what all the hype was about and try it out for myself.
What is biotin?
Biotin is a b vitamin specifically vitamin b7. While doing some research a journal stated that “Because of its abundance (biotin) in a typical North American diet, biotin deficiency is uncommon” (Fan, Pudek,
Mattman, Dahl, and Wong, 2019). In a typically North American diet majority of foods consumed biotin. Some of those items include pork, avocado, egg yolk, and almonds to name a few.
- Stronger hair and nails
- Skin support
A biotin deficiency causes brittle hair and nails. To counter that many patients take biotin supplements. These biotin supplements help reduce or stop hair loss and thinning. With nails it makes them stronger and prevents a brittle, weak nail bed. While there are various studies that conclude biotin does is not that sufficient in promoting skin and nails there are studies that prove their is some improvement. In 1993 3 Swiss doctors conducted a study that showed an improvement with nails. The study found that “a 25 percent increase in nail plate thickness in patients with brittle nails who received biotin supplementation” (Hochman, Scher, Meyerson, 1993).
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that whatever the body doesn’t used is flushed out with urine. It’s extremely rare to experience side affects from biotin.
I’ve been studying biotin for awhile and have spent months trying to figure out which supplement I wanted to take. After visiting my nearest health food store I decided to go with the Neocell chews. What I like about this option is that it gives you your daily biotin without a pill. I’m not a fan of pills and only take them when I need to. This also makes getting my daily biotin easy because the daily serving size is 1 chew daily. This sweet acai flavored chew taste like candy so I usually think of it as a treat. The first two weeks of me taking biotin were fine. I did notice the nails on my right hand were growing a lot faster than my left hand. About two weeks in I noticed I was getting acne. I usually only get spots on my face when it’s that time of the month, but these pimples were hard and started to make me feel insecure.
Even with the breakouts I continued to take the biotin because I thought it would do away eventually. After I finished the bag of chews I decided to take a week off. After after a few weeks I noticed my nails becoming brittle and fragile. The following month I decided to go to the health food store again and this time I picked up collagen and biotin. The same thing happened again about 2 weeks in my skin started to breakout and these breakouts were far more worse. I did some research that mentioned biotin causes breakouts when the body is low in vitamin B5. When i’m open to trying it again I will pick up biotin and the B5 to see how my skin reacts.
Although, I didn’t have the best experience taking biotin I do encourage anyone interested in trying biotin to give it a try.
Fan, J., Pudek, M., Mattman, A., Dahl, M., & Wong, S. (2019). When vitamin supplementation leads to harm: The growing popularity of biotin and its impact on laboratory testing. British Columbia Medical Journal, 61(3), 66–71. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,cpid&custid=s8419239&db=a9h&AN=135141537&site=ehost-live