B vitamins are the largest group of micronutrients that your body needs for proper functioning.
Biotin (vitamin B7 or vitamin H) is a lesser-known representative of this ‘family’; it is crucial for collagen synthesis and therefore is beneficial for your skin, nails, and hair.
Also, some scientists consider that biotin plays an important role in metabolic health and helps combat certain chronic disorders.
If you want to know more about biotin properties, learn about its proven health benefits and find the best biotin supplement among the variety of brands on the market, then continue reading this guide.
- 1 7 Best Biotin Supplements to Buy
- 2 Who Should Take Biotin Supplements?
- 3 Recommended Dosage of Biotin
- 4 FAQ For Biotin Buyers
- 5 Wrapping Up
7 Best Biotin Supplements to Buy
Natrol Biotin Caps
Claimed to be one of the most popular biotin supplements on the market, Natrol offers you 10,000 mcg of biotin with calcium for helping your nails, hair, and skin. However, if you want more flexible dosing, you may want to choose a 5,000mcg variation with the same ingredients from the same brand.
Natrol cares for its customers and makes all of its supplements on a separate equipment line, so they are devoid of the most common allergens. Plus, it’s vegetarian-friendly.
One serving is equal to 1 capsule per day, which makes the whole package suitable for more than three months of use. If you’re buying this product on Amazon, it comes as a 2-pack offer for you to save some money.
Sports Research Biotin Softgels
Sports Research packs 120 biotin softgels in one jar, which makes it the best biotin supplement for people who need to take long-term courses (e.g. pregnant women). Along with that, the softgel form provides faster absorption that results in lower extraction of the vitamin from your body.
This product is suitable for vegans, as Sports Research uses plant-based softgel shells. However, you still may want to store a jar in a cooler place, because the shells might melt, similarly to animal-based ones.
Overall, if you’re looking high-potency biotin from a manufacturer with a solid reputation, then Sports Research is your go-to choice.
Nature’s Bounty Biotin Softgels
The Nature’s Bounty biotin supplement comes in the form of softgels, which contain 10,000 mcg of high-potency biotin.
This supplement doesn’t use any additives that can compete with biotin for absorption, so you may notice positive effects during the first two or three weeks.
The only downside of this supplement lies in the use of beeswax and gelatine to form softgel shells. Thus, Nature’s Bounty won’t work for vegans or vegetarians.
One jar of Nature’s Bounty will last you for 4 months, as it contains 120 softgels. If you need a longer course of supplementation, there’s also a 2-pack option available on Amazon.
Zhou Nutrition HAIRFLUENCE Biotin Caps
As the name implies, HAIRFLUENCE is probably the best biotin supplement for treating skin and hair-related issues.
In fact, it’s not biotin-only supplement, because it contains the whole B vitamins complex along with keratin, collagen, and MSM. The collagen and MSM combo has proven benefits in boosting the production of your own collagen, which may result in reduced wrinkles, better skin density, and a healthy glow.
One capsule contains 5,000 mcg of biotin with the daily intake being equal of two caps. The supplement is vegan-friendly and suitable for people with allergies. However, there are only 60 capsules, meaning this bottle will only last for about a month.
Pure Research Biotin Drops
If you’re struggling with swallowing large capsules, you may try the Pure Research biotin, as it comes in the form of drops. The bottle has a nice dropper and contains approximately 60 servings of liquid biotin with high potency and juicy grape flavor.
One serving measures about ½ of the dropper or 0.5 ml and packs 10,000 mcg of biotin, which is considered the highest safe dosage for the long-term use.
Now, although this supplement is vegan-friendly and tested to meet the lab standards, the label states that it contains alcohol. You obviously won’t get drunk from its amounts, but it makes Pure Research not suitable for people with certain health conditions.
Eu Natural Biotin Caps
Eu Natural can be the best biotin supplement for people who haven’t determined the dosage they need yet. That’s because one capsule contains 5,000 mcg of biotin and leaves some room for flexibility.
The manufacturer uses cellulose and gluten-free rice flour for making shells, meaning this supplement is suitable for vegans. Along with that, Eu Naturals stands for purity and quality and excludes artificial flavors, allergens and food dyes from the production process.
The high potency of this biotin product can actually become a drawback in people with sensitive gut since it can cause nausea. In this case, you may want to take 1 capsule every other day instead of daily supplementation.
Nutricost Biotin Caps
The Nutricost biotin is great if you’re searching for the product with the best price per serving, as it packs 240 capsules for less than 13 bucks. Despite this fact, the manufacturer provides you with the high potency formula that meets the latest supplement standards in the USA.
Another feature of the Nutricost biotin is that the capsules are of a convenient size and easy to swallow, compared with what other manufacturers offer. It’s also vegan-friendly and hypoallergenic, which means that you can use it in the long-term perspective without any harm.
Who Should Take Biotin Supplements?
Like all B vitamins, biotin is water-soluble, meaning your body can’t store it in the deposits. That’s why you should maintain a balanced diet that will allow you to consume naturally occurring biotin every day.
Severe biotin deficiency is a rare case. However, you might experience the lack of this substance if you have the following health conditions:
- Malabsorption. Gastrointestinal issues, such as the leaky gut, lead to poor absorption of many compounds you need to get with food, which results in nutrient depletion.
- Chronic diseases. Long-term diseases and inflammation weaken your immune system and can cause biotin deficiency.
- Alcoholism. Drinking too much alcohol impairs the absorption of all B vitamins, including biotin.
Pregnant women also need to take increased amounts of biotin, since this vitamin plays an important part in fetal development.
“There is also an inherited metabolic disorder called biotinidase deficiency (BTD). People with BTD have a gene mutation that doesn’t allow them to absorb biotin, which leads to chronic depletion.”
Main Signs of Biotin Depletion
Developing severe vitamin B7 deficiency takes much time because this nutrient is widely presented in food. Although according to a 2013 study conducted on mice, a ketogenic and low-carb diet might be a risk factor for this.
Yet, you should pay attention to early biotin deficiency symptoms:
- dry and scaly skin;
- red rashes, especially on the face;
- dull and dry hair;
- thinning nails;
- appetite loss;
- upset stomach;
- depression and fatigue;
- tingling and burning sensations in hands and feet.
Obviously, these symptoms aren’t specific to biotin depletion only. Thus, if you want to know whether you need some additional supplementation or the reason behind your issues lies in other disorders, it’s recommended to consult your healthcare specialist.
Biotin Release Forms and Their Differences
Biotin supplements come in many forms: capsules, drops, gummies, powders, and softgels. Each of them has its pros and cons, which are explained below:
- Biotin pills. This is the most common form of supplement release. Capsules allow getting biotin in properly measured amounts and can be stored for a long period. However, some manufacturers produce large pills that are hard to swallow, or use the same equipment line that they do for other products, thereby making tablets potentially allergenic.
- Biotin gummies. If you want to go fancy, you may try this chewable and fast-dissolving form of biotin. A candy-like look and a pleasant taste are especially appealing for children, which might be a plus if your little one needs supplementation. The only downside is the cost, as gummies are usually on the more expensive side.
- Biotin softgels. Softgels are basically gelatine or cellulose capsules that are filled with biotin solution along with some additives working in synergy. They are absorbed faster than pills. The only drawback is that some manufacturers might use animal-based gelatin, thus making the product unsuitable for vegans.
- Biotin powder. The powder is a bit unusual yet common form of biotin. You can add it to your drinks or meals to enrich them. However, powder forms often contain anti-lumping additives that might cause allergies and have a pronounced taste.
- Biotin drops. These usually come in a glass bottle with a dropper. Similarly to gummies, biotin fluids can be an excellent way of supplementation for people who struggle with swallowing pills. However, the dropper measurements are not precise, as the size of drops may vary. Also, biotin drops often contain alcohol as a preservative.
“When it comes to bioavailability, all the biotin forms show the same results. Just choose the one that appeals to you the most and is more suitable for your diet.”
Scientifically Proven Biotin Benefits for Health
Scientists did a lot of work by researching and evaluating how you can benefit from biotin, and they came to the conclusion that this molecule is vital for many physiological processes in your body. Here’s what this vitamin does.
Strengthens Nails and Hair
The use of biotin supplements for hair is the reason they’ve been commonly referred to as ‘beauty pills’. However, the research about the impact of biotin on hair growth is rather controversial, as many studies agree that in order to have a significant improvement, you need to have the actual biotin deficiency, whether it’s inherited or caused by a poor diet.
However, a 3-month study reported that women who took an oral marine protein complex which included biotin experienced less shedding and thinning of hair. But it’s important to note that this study was conducted by a company that sells these marine protein supplements.
When it comes to nails health, the results are way more promising. For example, a Journal of the American Dermatology study showed that taking biotin increased nail thickness by 25%, compared with the placebo group.
“If you’re using biotin for nails, try to find complex pills with calcium. This mineral is essential for nail growth and strength.”
Improves Skin Quality
Biotin deficiency may be manifested in the form of red scaly rashes on your face and body and may sometimes cause skin disorders, such as seborrheic dermatitis.
Some studies suggest that the role of biotin for skin health can be related to its impact of lipid metabolism since biotin plays a role in releasing ferments that are crucial for this process. Thus, by getting enough biotin, you support healthy fat levels that can provide a lipid barrier for your skin.
Supports Nutrient Metabolism
Nutrient metabolism is one of the key roles of biotin in your body. For absorbing fats, carbs, and proteins and turning them into energy, your body needs specific enzymes. Carboxylase is one of them. Research shows the dependency of proper carboxylase synthesis on biotin levels in the blood.
Besides that, vitamin B7 assists in the following metaboliс processes:
- gluconeogenesis — the ability to produce glucose from sources other than carbs, such as fats and amino acids;
- amino acids breakdown — biotin helps absorb some essential aminos, such as leucine;
- fatty acids synthesis — carboxylase serves as the main molecule that activates the process of fatty acids production in the liver.
Lowers LDL (Or ‘Bad’ Cholesterol)
High cholesterol levels are one of the main causes of thrombosis and stroke. Some researchers report that taking biotin along with chromium may help you maintain good cholesterol levels and reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in blood serum.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
The same pairing of biotin with chromium picolinate has shown a decrease in blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, biotin also contributes to improving diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which is a common condition among people with diabetes.
Has Neuroprotective Properties
Neuroprotective properties of biotin aren’t limited to just diabetic people; this vitamin can boost the production of myelin — a protein that serves as a protective shield for your nerves.
Myelin shells may become thinner with age or as a result of certain health conditions, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune pathology during which your immune system attacks and breaks down the myelin cover of your nerves. This results in periods of acute pain, seizures and eventually muscle paralysis.
A pilot study with a sample of 23 people with progressive multiple sclerosis revealed that taking high doses of biotin improved their condition and reduced pain intensity.
Supports the Immune System
People with a weakened immune system can also benefit from taking biotin. This supplement has a great impact on the following factors:
- White blood cells production. White blood cells, such as lymphocytes, are crucial to maintain a healthy immune response and fight viruses and bacteria. Research published in the Journal of Nutrition revealed that biotin can help develop new lymphocytes and increase their concentration in the blood.
- Cytokines release. Cytokines are proteins that launch the inflammation process and help your immune system focus its power exactly where it’s located. There are many types of cytokines, but for combating viruses, fungi and bacteria you mainly need Interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and Interleukin-1β (IL-1β). A 2003 study found that the production of IL-1β and IFN-γ may increase by 4-5 times when taking biotin supplements.
- Combating fungal infections. Researchers believe that biotinidase deficiency may be linked to chronic vaginal candidiasis in women, which means that biotin supplementation may treat this condition.
Recommended Dosage of Biotin
Choosing the right biotin daily dose depends mainly on your age and special needs, e.g. severe deficiency or pregnancy.
The University of Rochester Medical Center suggests the following dosage of biotin for different groups of people:
- 0-12 months — 5-6 mcg;
- 1-3 years — 8 mcg;
- 4-8 years — 12 mcg;
- 9-13 years — 20 mcg;
- 14-18 years — 25 mcg;
- 19+ years — 30 mcg;
For pregnant and breastfeeding women, the daily dosage can be increased up to 35 mcg per day.
As you see, this is a lot more than what biotin supplements typically offer — which is 10,000 mcg and is considered the highest possible dosage that is safe for consumption. The reason behind this might be that your body’s actual biological need for biotin has not been defined properly yet.
Anyway, getting a biotin overdose seems like an impossible thing. The excessive amounts will simply be excreted with your urine during the day. This supplement is totally safe to consume in doses that significantly exceed the recommended intake, without experiencing biotin supplement side effects.
However, there’s still one thing you need to know:
Taking biotin before blood tests for thyroid hormones and cardiac health markers may warp the results. You should stop taking biotin at least three days before tests and always inform your healthcare specialist that you’re taking biotin supplements.
FAQ For Biotin Buyers
What are the natural sources of biotin?
Biotin is naturally occurring in many foods, but the main biotin sources are whole grains (primarily rice and wheat), beans, nuts, and bananas. Animal-based biotin foods include egg yolk and organ meats, such as liver and kidneys. As you can see, by maintaining a balanced daily ration you can get the needed biotin dosage easily.
Is biotin safe for taking long-term?
Since it’s a water-soluble vitamin that cannot be deposited in your body, the answer is yes. Most of the studies report the absence of overdose symptoms during long-term supplementation (up to 6-8 weeks).
Is 10,000 mcg of biotin the best dosage for supplementation?
10.000 mcg is the highest biotin supplement dosage that you can ingest without any unpleasant effects for your body, according to research. It’s far more than the average daily intake consumed with food. However, if you feel that your stomach goes against this dosage, switch to supplements with 5,000 mcg or lower.
How much biotin to take is considered safe when you’re taking other drugs?
There isn’t enough data about how biotin may change the effectiveness of other drugs; however, it’s still recommended to visit a doctor to know about your particular case.
What Is the best biotin for hair loss?
Biotin is a stable molecule, so in fact, it doesn’t matter which way you will supplement yourself, whether it’s from food or capsules. However, the use of biotin for hair loss has shown controversial results, as some users experienced the effects and others didn’t.
Biotin is an important molecule that is crucial for your body metabolism, as well as for nails, hair, and skin.
The naturally bound biotin can be found in a vast range of foods, but in such conditions as pregnancy or gastrointestinal issues, additional supplementation is required.
The average daily dosage for adults is 30 mcg of biotin but you can ingest higher amounts up to 10,000 mcg per day without experiencing any overdose symptoms.