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Vitamin B7, or as many people know it, biotin, is an incredibly important B vitamin to get enough of. Often it is found in health supplements meant to aid in growing strong hair and nails and keeping skin glowing year-round. But what many people may not realize is biotin is essential for everyone, at every stage of life. Unfortunately, we have to get biotin through our food sources, and many people end up lacking the vitamins and minerals they need to live their best lives. Here are four benefits of biotin beyond hair, skin, and nails that might surprise you.
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and we as a society still have a way to go in normalizing differences. However, if you are concerned about your weight’s impact on your physical health, one such factor to be aware of is making sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals.
This is because biotin, among other essential vitamins, supports thyroid regulation, and your thyroid, in turn, affects hormone balance and function, weight, and metabolism. Several enzymes in your body that process and metabolize fat, carbs, and proteins are supported by biotin. We can all celebrate our unique selves while still getting all the nutrition our body needs to function properly, biotin included.
While it is rare to have a complete lack of biotin in one’s nutrition these days, always consult with a medical professional to make sure, especially if you’re expecting. Biotin is critical for many enzymatic reactions involved in growth and metabolism. Pregnant women particularly can become B7 deficient, and deficiency has been correlated with skeletal abnormalities in mammals and preterm infants. An increase in the amount of biotin consumed is often needed to support fetal growth for both parent and child.
Biotin is being studied in relation to supporting healthy blood sugar levels. Scientists believe that biotin may be connected to the body’s ability to regulate and synthesize glucose once it enters the bloodstream. If there is a history of glucose intolerance in your family or you are feeling especially fatigued and can’t pinpoint the issue, talk to your medical provider about the possibility of blood sugar abnormalities and if changing or supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals like B7 will support a healthier lifestyle.
Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for men and women across the board, so it’s incredibly important to maintain cardiovascular health and find ways to support your heart. Proper nutrition and exercise are both very important for optimal heart health. Biotin has been correlated in some studies with lower levels of fat storage in the heart, and excess fat is known to be a risk factor in heart disease.
While it is also important not to take too much biotin, as some studies suggest it can skew lab tests, B7 is a vital component of organ health. Making sure to get adequate amounts of biotin in external sources, such as supplements and food, is a great way to support a healthy, active lifestyle.
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Written by Annie-Eliza Stevens