Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin found in small amounts in numerous foods. It is also known as vitamin H or vitamin B7.
Biotin helps to metabolize food (fats, carbohydrates etc…) to glucose. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, bacteria in intestine produce biotin. So, there are very rare cases of biotin deficiency. There are no good laboratory tests to detect biotin deficiency, but deficiency can be confirmed based on symptoms like hair fall, brittle nails, depression and hallucinations.
Can Biotin Improve Nail Growth?
Based on Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database there is no effective treating evidence for hair loss, nail growth or brittle nails and diabetes. Anyway many cosmetic products include biotin as an ingredient. Proponents claim that biotin supplement may treat skin diseases like eczema, acne and skin rashes, though there is no scientific evidence.
In Journal of Drugs in Dermatology report published in 2007, scientists state that taking 2.5mg of biotin can treat brittle nails. (source: About.com)
In another study it’s seen that 37 percent people with brittle nails showed no change when treated with biotin supplement and 63 percent people showed good improvement.
May be, it changes from person to person. If you’ve brittle nails or thin hair, take biotin supplement or foods with biotin.
Foods rich in Biotin
According to WHFoods.org carrots, almonds, sweet potato, oats, tomatoes, walnuts, salmon, peanuts, cucumber, strawberries, milk, banana, cauliflower, eggs, yogurt and grapefruit are rich in biotin.
Biotin is stable to most cooking techniques.
There are not much side-effects of biotin supplement when dosage is taken as prescribed. However possibly you may have allergic reaction like respiratory problem, check pain, hives, and inflamed skin. (source: Livestrong.com)