For those hoping to grow their hair longer, faster, biotin has served as a vitamin supplement used in the quest for maximized hair growth. Biotin is a B-complex vitamin that can be found in both supplement and food form. Biotin deficiencies are associated with hair loss. Food sources with the most significant amounts of biotin include nuts (especially peanuts and almonds), egg yolks, soybeans and fish. Other sources include whole-wheat bread, cheddar cheese, pork, avocado, raspberries and cauliflower. These foods also are associated with other beneficial vitamins for hair growth, including vitamins A and B6.
Biotin is vital to cell proliferation, which is why it is a valuable tool in hair growth. When ingested, biotin reacts with cell enzymes and plays a vital part in producing amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Hair itself consists of keratin, which is a form of protein. Therefore, consuming foods that contain biotin helps to contribute to hair growth.
Suggested Daily Intake
The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board makes the following recommendations for daily biotin intake: males and females older than 19, 30 mcg per day, with the exception of nursing females, who should consume 35 mcg. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there are no adverse affects associated with overconsumption of biotin itself (for example, if one was to take excess amounts of biotin supplements). According to Oregon State University research, biotin has been tolerated without side effects in consumption of up to 300,000 mcg per day.
However, it is important to note that the amount of biotin you take or consume is not commensurate with the amount of hair growth that will occur. Instead, biotin is more often used to supplement those who have a biotin deficiency. For these people, consuming increased amounts of biotin or taking a biotin supplement is associated with faster hair growth.
What Is Needed for Growth
When people ingest the right foods containing the right vitamins, experience low levels of stress and receive proper hair care, hair grows at its best rate. However, many people are missing one or even all of these lifestyle factors that make hair grow at its best rate. Because biotin helps hair reach its full potential in terms of growth, taking a supplement to meet the daily recommended dosage helps a person maximize her hair's fastest growth potential.