Choosing the best biotin hair vitamins depends on your individual needs. Biotin supplements can come in standalone form or as part of a vitamin B complex. People who are interested in simple supplementation are likely to benefit from a B complex, and those who need to treat an illness or other health-related issue might prefer the higher dosage that's often found in the standalone biotin supplement.
People who have certain health conditions should carefully read the labels of any biotin hair vitamins before purchasing them. Diabetics should make sure that there are no sugars added. People who are allergic to wheat or dairy products should take care to find a brand of biotin hair vitamins that is allergen-free. Vegetarians should look for biotin hair vitamins that are labeled as vegetarian-friendly.
Biotin is a type of B vitamin and is also known as vitamin H and vitamin B7. It's water-soluble, meaning that it can dissolve in water. There are no known side effects of B7 supplementation even at high doses, so it is considered non-toxic. Clinical trials have tested the safety of daily doses as high as 600 micrograms. Therapeutic doses can be as high as 5,000 micrograms or even more, and they should be recommended and monitored by a medical professional.
It's generally accepted that the minimum daily requirement for adults is 30 micrograms. The minimum dose is the smallest essential amount needed to prevent disease. Vitamin B7 deficiency is very rare. Some of the symptoms of biotin deficiency include dermatitis, fatigue, depression, a tingling or numb feeling in the arms and legs and alopecia, which is the medical term for hair loss. Laypersons shouldn't attempt to self-diagnose, because any of the symptoms of B7 deficiency can be part of, or related to, a separate health problem that needs to be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional.
Vitamin H plays a strong role in maintaining healthy fingernails and toenails as well as healthy hair. For this reason, it's found in many cosmetic products. Biotin isn't readily absorbed through skin and hair, however. Oral supplementation usually is of greater benefit to those seeking healthier hair and nails.
Intestinal bacteria produce vitamin H. It therefore is beneficial to maintain healthy intestinal flora. Vitamin H also can be found in foods such as brewer's yeast, bananas, mushrooms, legumes and egg yolk. Raw egg whites contain the chemical avidin, which binds biotin and makes it unusable. Cooking the egg white neutralizes the avidin but doesn't harm the biotin.