Vitamin B7 goes by a few other names, such as biotin and vitamin H.
This vitamin is famous for what it can do for your hair and skin, which is why so many cosmetics and beauty products contain this ingredient.
As you will read in this article, though, biotin must be consumed daily to be effective, it cannot be manufactured by the body, and it also can’t be absorbed through the hair or skin.
Last time in this series, we talked about vitamin B6. Now, let’s talk about Vitamin B7.
What Is Vitamin B7
Vitamin B7 is a coenzyme that helps your body to process glucose as well as metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Your body requires vitamin B7 to convert these macronutrients, and to use them to keep your body and brain working optimally.
Vitamin B7 Deficiency
Vitamin B7 is one of those vitamins that the human body can’t make itself – so you must get your daily recommended dose through the food you consume.
Your body also cannot store reserves of vitamin B7, due to its water-solubility; despite this fact, biotin deficiency is not a common occurrence.
However, drug interactions could cause deficiency; common symptoms include seizures, ataxia, dermatitis and hair loss.
As well, risk factors for a vitamin B7 deficiency include:
• Excessive alcohol use
• Large amounts of raw egg whites
• Disorders such as Crohn’s disease, celiac or leaky gut syndrome
Benefits Of Vitamin B7
There are many benefits associated with vitamin B7, five of which we’ll cover below.
Other than these, the most famous benefit of vitamin B7 is how good it is for your skin – helping protect against acne, rashes, severe dryness, cracking, and even fungal infections.
1. Plays A Role In Managing Diabetes
Vitamin B7 helps create insulin, an important hormone needed to balance blood sugar levels.
When combined with chromium, vitamin B7 has been shown to help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
By better controlling the insulin response, it reduces the fluctuations which can lead to pre-diabetes, type-2 diabetes, weight gain, and other forms of metabolic syndrome.
2. Nail And Hair Strength
If you find your nails are brittle and frequently crack, it could be a sign of a vitamin B7 deficiency.
However, a very high dose over time will treat brittle nails and make them stronger and even shinier.
Some people swear by their biotin in helping their hair grow faster and more luxuriously, but vitamin B7 must be ingested through your diet to be truly helpful in helping improve issues such as weak hair.
3. Supports Endocrine Function
The endocrine system produces and secretes hormones that help regulate the body’s growth, metabolism and sexual functions.
Vitamin B7 has a role in this because it is critical in the process that converts food to the energy your body uses – in other words, your metabolism.
As well, it helps defend your thyroid against adrenal fatigue – master glands that are responsible for helping you protect against overall fatigue, weight gain, sleeping issues, and mood imbalances.
4. Aids Brain Function
B vitamins in general are known to help memory and help protect against age-related cognitive impairment, and B7 is no different.
Specifically, vitamin B7 improves neurotransmitter activity and nerve signaling.
Another benefit of B vitamins is that they can improve your mood and increase concentration because they help synthesize hormones that assist in mood regulation
5. Helps Rebuild Tissue
Vitamin B7, along with other B vitamins, is a key part of the process that can repair and help rebuild strength in tissue or muscle that has broken down.
One of the reasons it’s important for pregnant women to ensure their levels are adequate is because vitamin B7 deficiency in fetuses or infants can lead to stunted growth or improper development.
Common Sources Of Vitamin B7
Luckily, vitamin B7 is found in quite a wide variety of food, so if you eat a varied diet, you’ll likely never worry about a deficiency.
To try to increase your intake, focus on foods such as
• Organ meats
Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic
Sometimes we discover that an unexpected combination of issues can stem from one single vitamin deficiency, rather than from different sources.
If you’ve read this article and realized that your complaints all fall in the list above, then perhaps you should consider having your vitamin B7 levels checked.
Call now and book a consultation with The Mindful Healing Clinic and we’ll help you get and keep your vitamin levels optimal, whether through diet or supplements.
Until next time,
Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago and became a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga.