Facebook Pixel

Vitamin B7 or Biotin—a Friend of Healthy Hair, Skin and Fingernails

Rate This

Most of us are familiar with the numbered B-vitamins like vitamin B1, B2, B6 and B12. And many of us have probably heard of biotin. But did you know that biotin is technically a member of the large B-vitamin family, and its other name is vitamin B7? I’m not sure why this particular nutrient has dropped its numerical name for the other but maybe it wanted to set itself apart from its relatives. At any rate, like its B-vitamin cousins, biotin is water soluble and must be consumed on a regular basis through the diet or supplements like a multivitamin or B-complex tablet.

Biotin has many roles in the body. For example, it helps in the production of fatty acids and like most other B-vitamins, it assists with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It also helps the other B-vitamins do their jobs properly and ensures they are utilizes by our systems.

Biotin is probably best known for its role in promoting healthy hair, skin and nails. Some men have found that taking 100 mg a day of biotin may prevent hair loss. Conversely, being deficient in biotin may cause your hair to thin. Some studies have found promising evidence that taking biotin in a combo with the mineral zinc and a topical medication called Olux or Temovate may help children who have lost their hair through an auto-immune condition called alopecia areata, but researchers admit more study is needed.

And because it helps keep our sweat glands working properly and encourages proper fat production, it has been linked to healthy skin. Infants who are deficient in biotin may develop seborrheic dermatitis, or cradle cap, a condition that causes the scalp to become dry and scaly.

Low amounts of biotin may also cause our fingernails to become weak and break really easily. And, just like the case above, supplementing with biotin may help make our nails stronger. A review of vitamins and minerals that may help with fingernail health and diseases found that 2,500 micrograms of biotin a day may improve brittle nail syndrome.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Hello, I am a breast cancer survivor (stage 2) who is currently almost done with her reconstruction. I endured 18 weeks of chemo and, thankfully, no radiation. I started tamoxifin May 12th and started to notice some hair loss around my ears. I told my oncologist that i would like to take a break from this drug and just let my body start to heal. In the meantime, I have been loading up on biotin, probiotic cd, gelatin, b12, a, d and wheat grass. I am trying not to stress about it but I also have a daughter who has full blown alopecia and wondering if I too could now be enduring this condition after all of my treatments and drugs that my body has enjested this past year. I am seeing a dermatologist tomorrow and have also scheduled an appt with a naturalpathic in the next week or so. Please help!

June 12, 2011 - 9:29pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm going to buy some of this today!

January 22, 2011 - 2:04pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.