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Does Biotin Work for Hair Loss?

Biotin is a commonly recommended vitamin for hair loss sufferers. It has been popularized as “wonder vitamin” vital for hair growth and healthy hair. Biotin is a B7 vitamin important in many important human metabolic pathways. Common foods containing biotin include egg yolks, milk, nuts, grains, supplementation, and synthesis by intestinal bacteria.

Recent reports have demonstrated little scientific evidence (1, 2) about the efficacy of biotin for treatment of hair loss, except in limited cases (3, 4). Much of the data supporting the use of biotin in hair loss stems from the use of the vitamin in animal models and humans with deficiencies. Biotin deficiencies results in hair loss, skin inflammation and brittle nails. Replacement of B7 in these people improves symptoms including reversing hair alopecia.. However, it is important to note that the standard American diet contains adequate biotin, thus deficiencies are rare. Moreover, “biotin has not been shown to be beneficial for normal, healthy hair” (2). The FDA also warns individuals taking high levels of biotin may dangerously interfere with important lab values that use biotin technology (5).

Some vitamins and minerals are important in hair cycling. It is best to consult with a physician to assess your specific needs.