Biotin: Benefits, Foods, Dosage & Precautions

Clinical review: Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
April 2022
  1. Health benefits
  2. Food sources
  3. Supplement dosage
  4. Precautions

Biotin, also known as vitamin H or vitamin B7, is a water soluble vitamin that is essential for the body. It is required for the production of glycogen and proteins, and helps to keep your skin and hair healthy.

This vitamin can be found naturally in foods such as almonds, hazelnuts and whole grains. However, if you are not getting enough biotin through your diet, your doctor or registered dietitian can also prescribe it as a supplement.

Learn how you can use biotin for hair growth.

Main health benefits

Biotin is an essential vitamin that has many benefits, such as:

  • Being an energy source for cells, since it's essential for the production of glycogen, which also helps regulate glucose levels;
  • Stimulating the production of proteins, as it aids in the formation of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins;
  • Strengthening hair and nails, since it contributes to the production of proteins that are essential for healthy nails and hair;
  • Promoting skin health, because it ensures the body produces collagen and keratin, which are essential proteins to guarantee skin elasticity and resistance;
  • Increasing the reabsorption of vitamins B12, B5 and folic acid, which help to maintain optimal body functioning;
  • Helping form blood cells, especially lymphocytes and antibodies.

In addition, biotin can also help keep the nervous system healthy, help in the treatment of acne and hair loss, and regulate cholesterol levels.

Best food sources for biotin 

Biotin can be found in foods such as peanuts, almonds, chestnuts, wheat, boiled eggs, mushrooms, whole grains and hazelnuts. Biotin is also produced by natural bacteria in the intestines, therefore you should consume plenty of fiber and drink at least 6 cups (1.5 L) of water a day, to help keep the bowels healthy and encourage biotin production. See which foods are high in fiber.

The following table shows the amount of biotin found in 100 g of each food:

FoodAmount of Biotin in 100 g
Peanuts101.4 µg
Almonds43.6 µg
Cashews13.7 µg
Wheat bran44.4 µg
Boiled egg16.5 µg
Hazelnuts75 µg
Mushrooms8.5 µg
Cooked salmon5 µg
Avocado3,6 µg

In addition to being found naturally in some foods, biotin can also be bought as a supplement in capsule form. Biotin supplements are usually prescribed if you're not getting enough biotin through your diet, or if you have signs of biotin deficiency such as hair loss, weak nails, loss of appetite, and fatigue.

Biotin supplement dosage

There is no specific recommendation for biotin dosing. Dosing usually depends on the reason it is being prescribed..

Therefore you should take biotin as recommended by your doctor or dietitian.

Precautions while taking biotin supplements

Biotin supplements should not be used by people who are hypersensitive to any of the component present in its formula. Biotin supplements should also be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women, unless recommended by a doctor. 

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em April de 2022. Clinical review por Tatiana Zanin - Registered Dietitian, em April de 2022.

References

  • COZZOLINO Silvia. Biodisponibilidade de nutrientes. 4º. Brasil: Manole Ltda, 2012. 527-540.
  • IBEROQUÍMICA. Biotina. 2017. Available on: <https://www.iberoquimica.com.br/Arquivos/Insumo/arquivo-115609.pdf>. Access in 18 Apr 2019
Show more references
  • ANVISA. UNTRAL (biotina). 2016. Available on: <http://www.anvisa.gov.br/datavisa/fila_bula/frmVisualizarBula.asp?pNuTransacao=27246612016&pIdAnexo=4180868>. Access in 18 Apr 2019
Clinical review:
Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
Graduated in Clinical Nutrition in 2001 and has a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Licensed to practice under the CRN-3 in Brazil and the ON in Portugal