Being deficient in biotin can cause problems for your hair, nails and skin, and taking tablets of this vitamin can help to ensure that these and other parts of your body stay healthy. Furthermore, biotin may be able to improve hair, skin and nail texture and strength, even if you are not deficient in it. This vitamin is not known to cause adverse side effects, but you should still talk to your doctor before taking it.
Good Effects of Biotin
Biotin is one of the B vitamins, and it is also known as vitamin H. It works with the other B vitamins to metabolize the food you eat, and this in turn nourishes your hair, nails and skin, as well as other areas. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, this vitamin is often recommended for people who have weak, brittle or splitting hair and finger or toenails. Getting enough biotin helps to prevent hair loss, dry or scaling skin and other symptoms associated with a deficiency of this vitamin.
Dosing and Precautions
The RDA for biotin is 30 mcg for adults over 19. If you are able, the best way to get this vitamin and keep your hair, nails and skin healthy is to eat a balanced diet that includes foods like legumes, milk, cereal and chocolate. Up to 600 mcg of biotin a day is considered a safe dosage, but if you develop a biotin deficiency, your doctor may suggest you take up to 1,000 mcg. If you want or need to take a biotin tablet, talk to your doctor before doing so. While this vitamin is not known to cause any adverse side effects, supplements have the potential to interact with other supplements, as well as medications. Tell your doctor if you have any allergies or take any other medications before consuming biotin.
Biotin and Medications
Certain medications may lower the amount of biotin in your body, resulting in your need to take higher doses of this vitamin than normal. For example, if you use antibiotics for a long amount of time, it can destroy the bacteria in your digestive system that produce biotin, which may lead to a deficiency. Additionally, anticonvulsant medications can lower your biotin levels, as well. If you take these medications, ask your doctor about increasing your dosage of biotin tablets to avoid becoming deficient and developing hair, nail and skin problems.
Biotin is water-soluble and considered to be non-toxic. But if you develop any adverse side effects while taking biotin tablets, seek medical attention. You may need to lower your dosage. If your hair, nails and skin show signs of a biotin deficiency, talk to your doctor about this, and ask how much biotin you should take to increase your body's levels of the vitamin and avoid becoming deficient in the future.