The Benefits and Side Effects of Biotin

The secret to healthy hair, brilliant skin and strong nails lies in a balanced diet that is made up of a variety of fruits and vegetables, protein, and plenty of water.
The highlight of today’s newsletter is a micronutrient called biotin or vitamin B7. Many people swear that biotin has improved their hair, nails, and skin. Let’s take a deeper look.

What is Biotin?

Biotin is also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H (which stands for Haar and Haut, the German words for hair and skin). It is a water-soluble vitamin…meaning, it is carried to your body’s tissues but your body does not store it. 
 

Where Can We Get Biotin?

Various foods are a good source of biotin. You can get them from eggs, fish, meat, dairy products, nuts, and seeds. And your gut microbes also produce biotin.

What Is the Role of Biotin in the Body?

Biotin is an essential vitamin. We can’t live without it. It is involved in many metabolic processes such as converting glucose, fats, and proteins into nutrients and energy. Biotin also supports cardiovascular health as well as the proper functioning of your brain and nerves.

Biotin also plays an essential role in maintaining healthy skin because enzymes that nourish the skin rely on biotin. 

In addition, studies show that biotin helps decrease blood sugar levels among insulin-dependent diabetic patients.

What Are the Symptoms of Biotin Deficiency? 

While biotin deficiency is rare in the U.S., symptoms of deficiency include brittle nails, hair loss, and red, scaly skin rashes.

Those same symptoms can also be caused by iron deficiency or a thyroid issue.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 30 micrograms (mcg) is the adequate daily intake for adults (19 years of age and older), and this amount is easily achieved through the diet.

So what happens if you take supplemental biotin without having a deficiency?
 

What Happens When You Take Too Much Biotin?

Since biotin is water-soluble, it is easily eliminated from the body through urine and the chance of vitamin toxicity is pretty low. And as I mentioned, it is pretty easy to get biotin from your diet. 

Taking a lot of extra biotin may interfere with some lab results such as thyroid hormone tests, so before any blood work is done, it is important to let your practitioner know about any medications or supplements you are taking.

Other negative side effects of excessive biotin intake are: 

  • Acne breakouts and changes in skin tone and texture – Too much biotin can hinder the absorption of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) which is essential in fighting acne.
  • Signs of allergic reaction such as skin rashes, watery eyes, and congestion – These happen when you are allergic to an ingredient or additive in some biotin supplements.
  • Nausea, cramping, diarrhea, or indigestion – They usually occur when biotin is taken on an empty stomach. So if you are taking biotin, make sure that you eat first.
  • Interactions with medications like anticonvulsants.
  • Blood sugar level alterations – Mentioned earlier, biotin can decrease glucose levels in the blood. Consequently, this can also result to abnormally low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) among insulin-dependent diabetic patients.

How to Take Biotin Safely?

As I mentioned, if you eat an unprocessed diet with plenty of protein, you are likely meeting your biotin needs. Different age groups have different RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowance):

  • 5 mcg daily for infants
  • 6–8 mcg daily for infants ages 7 months to 3 years old
  • 12–20 mcg daily for children ages 4–13 years old
  • 25 mcg for adolescents
  • 30 mcg for male and female adults over 19 years old
  • 30 mcg for pregnant women

For hair loss, the amount of biotin recommended is a lot higher: 2,500-3,000 mcg. It’s best to start slowly and work your way up.
If you are pregnant, drink a lot of alcohol, a smoker, or have a kidney disease, have undergone stomach surgery, have been taking antibiotics or anti-seizure drugs, or have digestive disorders, please discuss with your healthcare provider before supplementing.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Cauliflower “Fried” Rice

I’m excited to share this yummy and healthy recipe with you today! First, a reminder that I have 2 events coming up and you’re invited. The first is this upcoming Saturday, Sept 24th in person at Park Avenue Fitness’s Health Fair! Come see me and some other top notch practitioners (details here). Second, I’ll be teaching a masterclass on weight release Oct 4th (details here). I would love to see you at one or both of these events!

So back to today’s recipe. I modified this from skinnytaste (their original recipe here).


Ingredients:

  • Two 1-lb bags organic fresh or frozen riced cauliflower (or you can make your own pulsing cauli florets in a food processor…I’d guess 2 heads worth). If using frozen, defrost an hour before cooking
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen organic peas
  • 1 cup diced organic carrots
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T ghee
  • 3 T tamari
  • 2 eggs (scrambled)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: top with sesame seeds

How to:

  • Add ghee to large wok or pan, medium heat
  • Once pan is warm and ghee melted, add onions
  • Stir and cook onions until almost translucent and then add carrots and garlic
  • Cook for several minutes and then add cauliflower, stir well.
  • Mix in the sesame oil, tamari, peas, salt and pepper then cover with a lid for about 5 mins
  • While cooking, scramble up the eggs.
  • Uncover, add eggs, stir well and check cauli and carrots for texture (I prefer al dente but if you like it more well cooked, cook until desired texture–leave uncovered so the cauliflower doesn’t become mushy.
  • Enjoy!


We absolutely love this recipe at our house. I hope you do too! Pro tip: if you or other family members prefer less spice or flavor, you can leave out the sesame oil and/or tamari and let them add it as desired to their own serving.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Tips for Staying Hydrated and Cool

With many of us feeling the heat this week, I wanted to share some tips to help you stay healthy and hydrated.

What temp

I know it can feel SO good to drink something cold when you feel hot…and that is totally okay to do. However, room temperature liquids actually allow your body to hydrate (use the water) faster. So consider that if you haven’t been drinking much water or if you are sweating a lot to take in room temperature liquid first and then maybe follow up with something colder. The important part is to regularly drink liquids throughout the day (we aren’t camels!). Your body needs about half your body weight in ounces of water daily…and its best when you drink throughout the day. If you struggle to stay hydrated and you have a very strong preference for drinking cold drinks, that’s okay–just know that your body needs to bring the liquid up to body temperature before it can be used.

What to drink

Hands down, the best thing to drink to hydrate you and build your health is clean, filtered water. However, there are lots of perfectly good ways to make hydrating more appealing.
Adding in small amounts of mint, cucumber, citrus, ice cubes with something fun frozen inside (like mint, citrus, or berries) can make drinking water more interesting. Fizzy water can also be a good option (check out this link to see which brands have the least “forever chemicals“)
Iced herbal teas are another great option to help you stay hydrated. Caffeine leads to water and mineral/electrolyte loss so go for non-caffeinated herbal teas.

Electrolytes?

If you are sweating a lot, exercising for longer than an hour, or on a keto diet, you may want to add some electrolytes to your water. These are minerals that are lost through metabolism and sweating that your diet often supplies but if you are losing a lot of water, your food and water may not be able to replenish your optimal mineral levels fast enough (you’ll feel tired, crabby, maybe dizzy, have more muscle cramps, etc). When choosing electrolytes, there are many good options out there–check the ingredients! They should be simple ingredients like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and a healthy sweetener like stevia (avoid food coloring and artificial sweeteners). Some brands I think are decent are Key Nutrients Recovery Plus, Seeking Health’s optimal electrolyte powder, Activation Products trace minerals, Nuun, LMNT, Natural Calm that you add sea salt and No Salt potassium salt to.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca