Also known as vitamin B7, coenzyme R, W Factor, and vitamin H

Biotin is Important for Healthy Hair

Biotin is an essential nutrient for healthy hair.

In 2000, Harvard University researchers suggested that biotin may be essential to hair health. Biotin is one of the B-complex vitamins that help nourish hair follicles, and animal studies show that biotin deficiency can reduce the proliferation of the cells that form hair follicles.16-17

Research indicates that one of factors that make biotin important to healthy hair is its role in metabolizing fatty acids. Biotin deficiencies lead to abnormal metabolism of fatty acids, which likely leads to hair loss. In addition, biotin is a sulfur-bearing molecule, and the sulfur-based amino acid cystine is a major component of hair.18-19

Alopecia, or hair loss, can have a devastating effect on a person's mental well-being. Although androgenetic alopecia (a common type of hair loss) is often referred to as male pattern hair loss, it frequently affects women. The main difference between male and female androgenetic alopecia appears to be in the pattern and severity of the condition.20

Genetics plays a major role in the development of androgenetic alopecia, but it is not the only cause. Hormonal imbalances, side effects from medications, and a number of other underlying medical conditions can cause androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium, or diffuse hair thinning. Telogen effluvium can be either temporary or chronic, and an acute episode can sometimes trigger androgenetic alopecia. Nutritional deficiencies, including insufficient biotin, protein, and/or calories, can also cause both types of hair loss.20

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