Biotin, also called vitamin B7, is a hair friendly member of the B complex group. Responsible for a role in the production of keratin, a protein found in hair and nails, it is an important nutrient for preventing hair loss.
Biotin Deficiency and Hair Loss
Severe hair loss is a symptom of biotin deficiency. Doctors recommend high doses of the supplement, between 2 and10 mg, to correct the shortage and stop the progression of hair loss.
Egg yolks, liver, brewer's yeast and cauliflower are the best sources of the nutrient. Biotin is also naturally produced by intestinal bacteria in the body.
Purported as an effective topical, biotin is found in several hair loss treatment products. While evidence that it works for hair loss is sketchy, shampoos and conditioners containing biotin can give a fuller appearance to thinning hair.
A diet that is deficient in essential nutrients can have a detrimental effect on hair health. Vitamins and minerals such as iron, silica and zinc, along with biotin may improve the condition of thinning hair.
Dr. Emily Kane, a practicing naturopath and former editor of the Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, recommends a daily dose of 8 to 10 mg for a period of six to eight weeks to halt hair loss.
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