What does biotin do?

Biotin is a group B vitamin, it is also known as vitamin H, vitamin B7 or coenzyme R. It acts as a coenzyme in many metabolic processes, greatly influences diabetes and generally improves the condition of nails and hair.

It can be found under other names such as:

  • Biotin
  • Biotin-D
  • Coenzyme R
  • Vitamin B7
  • Vitamin H
  • W factor

It is very commonly recommended when there is a health problem in the hair, since when the hair is fine, it is very likely that there is usually a lack of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Biotin is taken in oral formulas to improve hair growth, but also in shampoo and serum. According to the laboratories, it protects the hair from dryness and also stimulates its elasticity.

How does biotin work?

Biotin is part of enzymes that are involved in different metabolic cycles such as fats and carbohydrates, in the transfer of carbon dioxide. It is produced in the intestines, but can be found in many foods just the same.


The diet in general, if it is balanced, usually already has a good contribution of Biotin without the need to take an extra contribution. For a person’s normal metabolism and that is why there are usually not many people deficient in biotin, perhaps sometimes during pregnancy or lactation.

Beans, bread, cauliflower, raw egg yolk, fish, liver, legumes, kidneys, meat, dairy, nuts, barley, oysters, peanuts, poultry, and whole grains, wheat germ, whole grains, salmon, and bananas. It is found in many other foods in small amounts.

Together with other vitamins such as folic acid, zinc or vitamins A, C, D and Biotin, it stimulates hair growth and prevents breakage. If we want to have long hair, it is important that it does not break and is strong, so the biotin supplement is important. It improves the thickness but not the speed of hair growth.


Improves the health of the skin, nerves, digestive tract, metabolism and cells. Biotin can treat some nervous pathology resulting from kidney failure or diabetes. In people with type II diabetes, combining it with chromium can improve blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance and the nerve problems associated with this disease. Improves nail strength, hair loss.

When there is a more significant loss of hair, an extra contribution is useful: the continued use of biotin helps to improve the strength and health of the roots and follicles, thus improving the strength and fullness of the hair. In children suffering from Alopecia Areata, when they have been supplemented with biotin and zinc, this improves especially when creams with clobetasol propionate are added. And hair loss is reduced in this childhood ailment.


It is difficult to detect a biotin deficiency with a blood test, so this deficiency can generally be suspected by the appearance of different symptoms. It can be a sign of biotin deficiency:

  • Thinner hair, redness and skin eczema, especially around the eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Depression, exhaustion, hallucinations and tingling in arms and legs.
  • During pregnancy, there may be a small biotin deficit, which is why it is quite common for biotin supplements to be prescribed.
  • People with intubated feeding, malnutrition or rapid weight loss.
  • During diabetes this deficiency can also be common.
  • Many times it is also used in hair loss, weak nails. Skin irritation in children such as seborrheic dermatitis, diabetes and depression.
  • There is some evidence that smoking can cause you to lose some biotin.
  • Biotin deficiency is quite rare, sometimes in people who consume a lot of alcohol, or a lot of raw egg white, which contains a protein that blocks biotin absorption.


The real effectiveness of biotin for hair: on faster hair growth: it does not make it grow faster but stronger and healthier. Just like nails improve. So it is useful in alopecia. But if it is a very important alopecia, perhaps it is not powerful enough.

About biotin shampoos

The manufacturers say that it improves the thickness of the hair, improves the quantity and shine, but there are no scientific studies that support these benefits. Some time ago there was talk of horse shampoo for hair growth, it was a shampoo rich in biotin, although people’s hair is very different from that of horses and they can wash, but also dry the hair too much, which is often it spoiled too much and the effectiveness in growth was nil.

About hair loss

For hair loss, it must be combined with zinc and a topical component such as minoxidil or epidermal growth factor.

In diabetes

Some people use biotin to regulate blood sugar levels, but there is not enough evidence that it has this action, however it must be combined with chromium. On cholesterol levels, there is also not enough evidence that it helps lower LDL levels.

If Biotin is taken alone, it does not seem to affect blood sugar levels, in people with type II diabetes, however, if it is combined with chromium, it is observed that it helps reduce these sugar levels. Some studies study that this combination is also effective in reducing LDL cholesterol levels compared to HDL (good). It also seems to reduce nerve pain in diabetes.

Weakness of the nails in the hands and feet

It can help strengthen nails when they are weak.