Biotin (also known as B7 or vitamin H and sometimes even referred to as coenzyme R) is one of the water-soluble B-vitamins within B-complexes and sometimes multivitamins. It’s found in a variety of food sources including egg yolks, salmon, mushrooms, and spinach but also produced in our bodies. It’s not an essential vitamin, but because it’s water-soluble, our bodies cannot hold large amounts of biotin internally, and it can’t stay in the body long, so it’s best to supplement it daily.
“Biotin increases the strength of hair strands, as it simulates keratin production, which can increase the rate of hair follicle growth,” explains Lana Butner, a naturopathic doctor serving NYC and the surrounding areas. “B7 increases the strength of nail matrices, decreasing the occurrence of brittle nails and frequency of your fingernails splitting.” To see a major impact on the hair and nails, Butner recommends supplementing for at least four to six months (5000 micrograms per day). It’s also helpful for individuals with diabetic symptoms, such as neuropathic pain.