2. What Do Biotin Supplements Do?
Both biotin and pantothenic acid are involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and protein from foods and in the production of enzymes. Biotin plays a special role in helping the body use glucose, its basic fuel and it promotes healthy nails and hair. The body needs pantothenic acid to maintain proper communication between the brain and nervous system and to produce certain stress hormones.
Biotin may improve the quality of weak and brittle fingernails and may help slow hair loss if you have biotin deficiency. It is often found in hair and skin-care products. Research suggests that the overproduction of stress hormones during long periods of emotional upset, depression or anxiety increases the need for pantothenic acid, which is used to manufacture these hormones.
According to a study from Switzerland, biotin can increase the thickness of nails by an average of 25 per cent. Six months of taking biotin supplements improved brittle nails in two-thirds of the study’s participants.
Biotin helps keep hair healthy, but—except in rare cases of biotin deficiency—it can’t prevent baldness, as some claim. Nor can pantothenic acid forestall the normal greying of hair that occurs with age.