There’s a whole lot of information out there about hair, skin, and nail health. So many foods and vitamins are recommended for hair health. But how do you know which ones are the best? How do you know which foods contain the highest amounts of desired vitamins and minerals?
One thing is for certain: biotin for hair has been rigorously researched, and the science is clear. Biotin is essential for healthy hair, especially if you want your hair to grow long and strong.
Let’s go over all the basic facts you should know about biotin for hair, as well as some of the ways you can maximize your biotin intake…
What is Biotin?
Biotin is an essential, water-soluble vitamin that is critical to hair health and hair growth.
It is classified as a coenzyme, which simply means it aids other compounds in your body in carrying out their functions. It is sometimes referred to as vitamin B7, coenzyme R, or vitamin H. Biotin attaches to other proteins in your body and aids in a variety of functions, including:
- Creation of essential fatty acids (necessary for health of skin, hair, and nails)
- Conversion of amino acids into other necessary compounds (also necessary for health of hair, skin, and nails)
- Conversion of glucose from non-carbohydrates (provides energy to brain and red blood cells)1
How Much Biotin do You Really Need?
Adults need about 30 micrograms (mcg) of biotin daily. This can come from natural food sources, or a dietary supplement. Most people do get enough biotin from their normal diets, but some individuals may have trouble getting the recommended amount from diet alone.2
“Biotinidase deficiency” is a condition in which a person can’t get enough biotin through natural dietary means. Deficiencies can also be common in pregnant or nursing mothers, and in individuals who suffer with alcohol dependence. Over-supplementation has not shown any directly adverse side effects, but it can potentially lead to incorrect readings in urine samples. Otherwise, there are no known adverse side effects of biotin supplementation.3
Can You Get Too Much Biotin?
There have been no unsafe levels of biotin intake found in any current scientific research. This vitamin does not lead to toxicity or unwanted side effects and is even considered safe in high doses. Since it is water-soluble, it’s easy for your body to get rid of any excess in your urine.4
What Foods Provide the Most Biotin for Hair Health?
If you want to increase your biotin intake naturally with real foods, then these are some of the best foods you can add to your grocery list. Alongside each food is the biotin content in micrograms (mcg):
- Beef Liver – 30.8 mcg per 3 ounces
- Whole, cooked eggs – 10 mcg per egg
- Salmon – 5 mcg per 3 ounces
- Pork chop – 3.8 mcg per 3 ounces
- Hamburger patty – 3.8 mcg per 3 ounces
- Sunflower seeds – 2.6 mcg per ¼ cup
- Sweet potato – 2.4 mcg per ½ cup
- Almonds – 1.5 mcg per ¼ cup
- Tuna – 0.6 mcg per 3 ounces
- Spinach – 0.5 mcg per ½ cup
- Broccoli – 0.4 mcg per ½ cup
- Cheddar cheese – 0.4 mcg per 1 ounce
- Milk – 0.3 mcg per 1 cup
- Plain yogurt – 0.2 mcg per 1 cup
- Oatmeal – 0.2 mcg per 1 cup
- Banana – 0.2 mcg per ½ cup5
That’s a whole lot of foods that you can eat to get more biotin! And there’s quite a variety, so if you don’t like some of these foods, or if you have dietary restrictions (like allergies, or if you’re a vegetarian), you’ve still got lots of options.
If you know that you don’t get a well-balanced diet that incorporates these foods, or all of the necessary food groups, then you can always opt for a dietary supplement.
Biotin for Hair: Biotin Supplements
If you’re fine with your diet, but you want to add a supplement to try and boost biotin, just be sure to talk to your doctor first. In fact, this is true any time you want to add a new vitamin or supplement to your diet. It is especially important if you have noticed any changes in your hair’s growth, condition, or health. Your doctor will know what questions to ask and what signs to look for in the case of some other underlying condition.
Once you get the okay to take a biotin supplement, you will find that your options are virtually limitless. Research has shown that biotin supplementation may potentially help with the following issues:
- Preventing hair loss
- Preventing thinning hair
- Boosting hair growth
- Boosting hair thickness6
Biotin for Hair: Your Secret Weapon for Beauty
As you can now see, biotin isn’t just great for hair health. It can also help boost skin health, as well as nail health and growth. While you’re likely getting enough biotin in your daily diet, if you feel you need more, you can always add a supplement. Just make sure that you talk with your doctor first.
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