Biotin, also known as the complex nutrient Vitamin 7, is one of the nutrients that are vital in pregnancy. It is commonly found on different foods and supplements. Since it is water-soluble, the body doesn’t need to store it but it has a lot of benefits in the body. Another beneficial aspect of biotin is that its nutritional value does not degrade even in cooking or high temperature.
There is not much research about the other benefits that it causes to the human body like other nutrients do but one thing experts assure, pregnant women as well as the fetus it carries benefits from biotin that is why it is important to also give importance to it. In this article, we’ll discuss why it is essential for pregnancy and where do we get it.
Why is biotin needed to pregnancy
Like other nutrients needed by the body during pregnancy, biotin also plays a major role in maintaining the health of the mother as well as the baby. It has properties that are able to support the health of the overall nerve functioning, digestive tract, cells regeneration, and metabolism. It usually specializes in some health problems common to pregnancy such as diabetes, kidney failure, and pain in the extremities. It also helps in breaking down carbohydrates and fats so as not to cause any bodyweight problems during pregnancy that may lead to obesity. Not only that biotin is essential to pregnancy but babies who are lactating can also benefit from it.
How much biotin a pregnant woman needs?
Biotin is gained through different kinds of food naturally. Since it is not retained in the body, you don’t have to worry because there is no chance for you to overdose. Pregnant women who have low biotin levels would usually consume supplements but this is just rare conditions. If you would use biotin supplements, the dosage per day would be at least 30-35 mcg (micrograms) for both a pregnant woman and lactating moms,
Biotin Deficiency is uncommon because it is easy to gain it from different kinds of food. There is no actual test that can be done to check the level of biotin in the body but there are signs to tell if you have a biotin deficiency. If you have a red and scaly rash around the different parts of your face such as the eyes, mouth, and nose and if you are experiencing thinning and loss of hair color, there is a possibility that your biotin level in your body is not sufficient. Some symptoms also include tingling of the arms and legs, feelings of tiredness, hallucinations, and depression.
Treating biotin deficiency is easy because just by eating foods that contain biotin, it would already be enough to supply your daily needs for this vitamin. It is found that pregnant women are more prone to mild forms of biotin deficiency, these happen when a pregnant woman is quite sensitive about the things she eats because of allergic reactions. Before deciding to take biotin deficiency, it is important to consult it with the doctor first so that they could guide you on how to use it properly.
What are the sources of biotin?
These are the foods that are natural sources of biotin that is safe for pregnancy and lactation: avocado, chicken, egg yolk, broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, almonds, mushrooms, spinach, potatoes, milk, nuts, liver, pork, and soy. As you can see, these are the foods that you usually eat that is why biotin deficiency is not common. Aside from these foods, biotin is also naturally found in the human body being produced in the digestive functioning of the intestines. There is no chance of overdosage because the body does not retain it like fats. For those who need to take extra medications for biotin, there are supplements in liquid and in capsule form.
Benefits of biotin
1. Macronutrient metabolism
Biotin is involved in some of the metabolic functions such as the breaking down of fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Since the food is broken down faster and is converted immediately to energy, it would lead to weight loss.
2. Hair health
If you are pregnant, you are more prone to hair loss. If your biotin level is sufficient, it may support the health and growth of your hair throughout the pregnancy stages. You would know that you have a biotin deficiency if you are prone to hair loss.
3. Neutralizes blood sugar of people with diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is prone to pregnant woman, it is characterized by impaired insulin function and high blood sugar levels. There are studies conducted that show that people with diabetes have low biotin levels. If the biotin level is increased, the blood sugar level will decrease.
4. Treats multiple sclerosis
Biotin is known to enhance the functioning of the central nervous system, which includes its protection. Multiple sclerosis is characterized by damage in the protective layer of the spinal cord, brain, and eyes. This protective layer is myelin. Biotin plays a major role in this condition because myelin won’t be produced without biotin. When the patient is suffering from multiple sclerosis, they are usually given high doses of biotin.
5. Skin’s health
Weight gain is due to stored fats that let the skin stretch out. With the help of biotin, the fats are broken down easier so that it will no longer be stored may be a reason for weight gain and obesity. One of the signs that you have biotin deficiency is having red and scaly skin that sometimes become itchy.
Facts about the use of biotin during pregnancy
- The need for biotin requirements during pregnancy may go up to 50% that is why biotin deficiency is more prevalent during pregnancy.
- It is important not to drink any type of alcohol because the use of alcohol hinders the absorption of biotin in the body.
- You cannot be allergic to biotin but you can get allergies from its sources that is why before eating food with high amounts of biotin do some allergy tests first or consult your doctor.
- The use of biotin is safe and non-toxic, it does not impose harm to your health even in high amounts.