Health

Best supplements for hair: The B-vitamin that could help with hair growth

What you put into your body can have an affect on your overall appearance. One B-vitamin, in particular, is reported to have beneficial consequences on hair growth.

Researchers from the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, have identified a link between a B-vitamin and hair growth.

They’ve found that a biotin deficiency is associated with hair loss.

What’s biotin?

Medical News Today states biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it’s absorbed from the diet as the body doesn’t store it.

Biotin is otherwise referred to as vitamin B-7 or vitamin H, and it can “boost the health of the hair”.

The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends adults to consume 30mcg (micrograms) of biotin every day.

Those who “drink high amounts of alcohol may develop mild deficiencies” of biotin.

In addition, people who regularly consume raw eggs (as part of a protein diet) can suffer from a biotin deficiency.

This is because – as pointed out by Medical News Today – raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin.

Avidin binds to biotin, preventing the body from absorbing it. Cooked eggs deactivate avidin.

Foods rich in biotin include organ meats, such as liver and kidney, yeast, egg yolks, cheese, soybeans and peanuts.

Additional sources of biotin can be sourced from leafy greens, cauliflower, mushrooms, nuts and nut butters.

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Biotin is very safe to consume, as any excess amounts – from food or supplements – will be excreted from the body.

The Ablon Skin Institute Research Center, in California, looked into the effects of biotin on hair growth.

Sixty participants took part in the experiment who reported “self-perceived thinning hair”.

The participants were randomly assigned to receive an oral marine protein supplement, containing biotin, or a placebo pill twice a day.

The trial went on for 90 days, with digital images of people’s hair taken at the beginning and end of the study.

In addition, each participant’s hair was washed and any shed hairs were counted at the start and end of the 90-day trial.

There were 30 individuals randomly assigned to each group, and all filled out another questionnaire at the end of the experiment.

The data revealed that those who had taken biotin “achieved a significant increase in the number of hairs”.

This increase in hair quantity was “significantly greater than placebo”.

Moreover, at the end of the trial, those who had taken biotin had less hair fall out after getting their hair washed.

The self-assessment questionnaires also aligned with those taking biotin reporting better hair satisfaction.

“There were no reported adverse events,” added the researchers, concluding that biotin “promotes hair growth and decreases hair loss”.

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