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Vitamin H for Healthy Hair, Strong Nails, and Glowing Skin:
Does It Work?

Vitamin H for Healthy Hair, Strong Nails, and Glowing Skin:
Does It Work?

Have you ever heard of vitamin H? It boosts the health of your nails and hair, converts the food you eat into energy, and it also plays a lot of other roles in your metabolism.

 

There claims that getting more of Vitamin H can help promote healthy hair and nails, have healthier babies, and maybe regulate blood sugar a lot better. This guide will go through these claims and which foods you should be eating to get enough biotin or vitamin H.

There claims that getting more of Vitamin H can help promote healthy hair and nails, have healthier babies, and maybe regulate blood sugar a lot better. This guide will go through these claims and which foods you should be eating to get enough biotin or vitamin H.

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Table of Contents

What are Vitamin H?

What are Vitamin H?

Vitamin H is not some kind of new vitamin that medical experts have recently discovered. You may already have been taking some of it without knowing.

 

It is actually known as biotin and is sometimes referred to as either vitamin B7 or B8. Yes, it’s one of those B complex vitamins.

 

It’s called by some other name in countries where vitamin B7 is used to refer to inositol, the carbocyclic sugar that can be found in the brain.

 

It is also known as coenzyme R.

 

Why do health experts add the “H”? The H stands for the German Haar und Haut, which literally translates to hair and skin, which benefits directly from this type of vitamin.

 

It is an important vitamin for the growth and development of infants in their embryonic stage. That is why it is a crucial vitamin for pregnant mothers.

 

A lot of people get their vitamin H by just eating a healthy diet. But there might be times when you will need to supplement with it.

 

There claims that getting more of this vitamin can help promote healthy hair and nails, have healthier babies, and maybe regulate blood sugar a lot better. This guide will go through these claims and which foods you should be eating to get enough biotin or vitamin H.

 

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Biotin Deficiency

Biotin Deficiency

One of the biggest reasons why you should get more vitamin H is when you have a biotin deficiency or vitamin H deficiency. However, it should be pointed out that this type of deficiency is rare at best.

 

Health experts even point out that there isn’t enough data to support the idea of supplementing with biotin.

 

However, just to give you a heads up, here are the symptoms of biotin deficiency:

 

  • Drop in urinary biotin
  • Developmental delay in infants
  • Lethargy
  • Hypotonia
  • Neurological signs such as hallucinations and depression
  • Brittle nails
  • Skin infections
  • Aciduria or abnormally high acid content in urine
  • Ketolactic acidosis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Red scaly rash around body openings
  • Loss of bodily hair

 

Note that these signs and symptoms usually appear gradually. It’s not like you see one or two of the symptoms above and you can already tell that you have biotin deficiency.

 

However, if you do suspect that you may be vitamin H deficient then please consult with your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.

 

Who is At Risk for Biotin Deficiency?

Who is At Risk for Biotin Deficiency?

There are people who have a higher risk of a deficiency in biotin. Please note the following conditions:

 

• Those with an In-Born Biotinidase Deficiency

• Those with an In-Born Biotinidase Deficiency

Some children are born with a condition where their bodies aren’t able to release biotin naturally in their body.

 

If this condition is left untreated it will produce the symptoms on the skin mentioned above. It can also cause neurological disorders mentioned earlier.

 

When this deficiency is prolonged it may even lead to a coma or worse, death.

 

Note that all newborn children in the United States and many countries around the world have screening programs that include biotin deficiency.

 

• Pregnant Women and Those Who Are Already Breastfeeding

Pregnant Women and Those Who Are Already Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding and pregnant women are also at risk for developing a deficiency in vitamin H. Health experts have noted that lactating women may experience a drop in biotin levels, which is why some doctors may recommend supplements.

 

• Those Who Have Chronic Alcohol Intake

Those Who Have Chronic Alcohol Intake

People with chronic alcoholism are also at risk for lowered vitamin H levels. Too much alcohol reduces biotin absorption in the body.

 

Experts note that people with chronic alcoholism have very low plasma biotin concentrations.

 

Vitamin H and Healthy Hair

Vitamin H and Healthy Hair

One particular interest in biotin or vitamin H is in the fact that it may help to promote healthy hair. There are people who take supplements to increase their intake in the hopes of beating hair loss and a receding hairline.

 

The reason behind this is in the fact that the hair is made up of keratin (and also the nails and skin as well). When you have sufficient biotin in your diet, your keratin levels tend to improve.

 

To date, there are only a few medical studies done on the effects of biotin on the hair. But the results from these studies are positive and more research is needed.

 

According to a study back in 2012, women were given vitamin H supplements. After 90 and 180 days, it was observed that study participants experienced better quality and improved hair growth.

 

In a study a few years later in 2015, women who also experienced varying levels of hair thinning were also given biotin supplements. Another group was given a placebo.

 

They were given two doses and the study lasted for 90 days. Researchers noted that the participants who took the actual biotin supplements had improved hair growth in the areas of their head were there was hair thinning.

 

They also noted that these women also shed less hair every time they showered. Of course, more studies are required to confirm these results but they are definitely very promising.

 

Vitamin H and Nail Care

Vitamin H and Nail Care

One of the benefits of biotin or vitamin H is that it promotes the metabolism of amino acids that are used in protein building. This is an essential characteristic for nail growth.

 

People who have brittle fingernails may benefit from taking more foods that are rich in biotin.

 

According to another study, patients experienced an increase in nail plate thickness by as much as 25% after taking vitamin H supplements over a period of 6 months.

 

Studies also show that within a 6 or 7 month treatment, brittle fingernail symptoms may improve as much as 63%. Study participants were given 2.5 mg doses of vitamin H supplements.

 

Now, despite the doses mentioned in these studies, it should be noted that there is currently no recommended dietary allowance for this vitamin. What we have is an AI or a recommended adequate intake for adults, which is about 30 mcg each day.

 

Vitamin H and Healthy Skin

Vitamin H and Healthy Skin

One of the symptoms of biotin deficiency is scaly red rash on the skin. This is one of the signs of the benefits of biotin—without it you may develop certain skin conditions.

 

Very few studies have been performed on the skin benefits of vitamin H. Nevertheless, what we can infer from the research is that it has an essential function in fat metabolism.

 

Better lipid or fat metabolism is essential to maintaining healthy skin.

 

Other Health Benefits

Other Health Benefits

Apart from the skin, nail, and hair benefits, vitamin H also have other benefits as well. Here are some of those potential benefits:

 

1. Potential MS Treatment

1. Potential MS Treatment

MS or multiple sclerosis is classified as an autoimmune disease. This condition damages the myelin, the protective covering of the nerves in the eyes, spinal cord, and nerve fibers found in the brain.

 

According to one study, supplementing with biotin may help to reverse the progression of MS. In the long run, it is seen by researchers as a potential treatment that may help prevent chronic disability in MS patients.

 

In the aforementioned study, participants were given 300 mg of vitamin H.

 

2. Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

2. Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

Another potential benefit of this soluble B complex vitamin is that it may help reduce blood sugar levels for diabetic patients.

 

Remember that diabetes is a condition where one has impaired insulin function and elevated blood sugar levels.

 

Research suggests that supplementing with vitamin H may help bring down blood sugar levels. It may help regulate blood glucose in these patients.

 

In other studies, researchers used a combination of biotin and chromium picolinate to bring down blood sugar levels.

 

Several small studies suggest that supplementing with this vitamin may help people better regulate blood sugar levels. Study participants were given 9 mg to 15 mg per day for up to a month.

 

These studies show that biotin may help to reduce fasting blood sugar levels down by 45%.

 

3. Support for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

3. Support for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

Researchers estimate that around 50% of women in the US may have experienced some form of biotin deficiency when they got pregnant.

 

Note that this drop in biotin levels can impact a woman’s health but still won’t show any noticeable symptoms.

 

Researchers believe that this drop in vitamin H levels is due to the fact that the body tends to breakdown biotin faster in the lactation process, so that these women can produce more breast milk.

 

This is why doctors may prescribe biotin supplements to pregnant and nursing mothers.

 

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Note that modern food processing techniques can reduce the efficacy of biotin. That is why it is recommended that you get your vitamin H from natural food sources instead.

Note that modern food processing techniques can reduce the efficacy of biotin. That is why it is recommended that you get your vitamin H from natural food sources instead.

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WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?

Best Sources of Vitamin H

Best Sources of Vitamin H

Note that modern food processing techniques can reduce the efficacy of biotin. That is why it is recommended that you get your vitamin H from natural food sources instead.

 

Some of the best sources of this vitamin include the following:

 

  • Mushrooms
  • Egg yolks
  • Bananas
  • Kidneys, livers, and other organ meats
  • Cauliflower
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Nut butters
  • Legumes and soybeans

 

Vitamin H are essential for normal body function. Your best sources are those from a balanced diet but when prescribed by a doctor, it may be necessary to take biotin supplements as a treatment for certain conditions.

 

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition.

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