Biotin for Beauty

Biotin is a type of vitamin ( actually vitamin B7) that is found in many different foods including liver, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, and yeast.  Eggs, soy flour, and nuts are especially  high in biotin.

True biotin deficiencies are very rare, occuring  in people with epilepsy, smokers, burn victims,  and elite athletes.  ( no, no, no and definately not me).   However  diabetics  may have an increased need for biotin– and I do have type 2 diabetes. 

However biotin is not easily absorbed  and even if the  daily intake is adequate, your body may not be getting what it needs.  Neither the US  nor Canada have issued nutritional guidelines for biotin.  Accordingly  they have estimated daily requirements at 30-100 micrograms.

I made a field trip to   my neighborhood vitamin store.  When I said I needed  biotin for brittle nails, I was immediate shown  a selection of products that claimed to benefits  both hair and nils.  Most of the products  were kind of a  witches brew of  over 20 different  ingredients– vitamins, minerals and some things I never heard of.   They were all over $25 and contained way too many ingredients  for my comfort zone.  I walked over to the “B” aisle ( all products starting with  letter B) and found a very large selection of plain Biotin that ranged from 300 to 5000 micograms.  Prices were alot better too.  To avoid overdosing with Biotin, I selected  a bottle of 100 tablets of  300mcg.  Since daily needs are at the most  estimated at about 100 mcg,  300mcg, seemed about right to overcome  a nutritional weakness.   Price was a comfortable $8.  I was  a little troubled that when I asked for  advice at a vitamin store, I was immediately shown  a product that was  more than 3X  the cost of a better option.   My takeaway it that you really need to do your research BEFORE  going  to buy supplements.

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