In recent years, beards have returned with a vengeance. They are now donned by what seems like practically every male TV personality to artsy hipsters in Williamsburg sipping beer. However, not everyone has been able to join in on the trend.
some men just cannot grow a beard even if their lives depended on it! They have what I have aptly named, “baby-face syndrome.” This, of course, is not a real medical condition but is something that many men, including myself, suffer from. I am always being teased about my “baby face” and my inability to naturally grow facial hair.
Not wanting to be left out, I began my search for a cure to “baby-face syndrome”. I noticed that many articles suggested taking a vitamin known as B7 or Biotin. I investigated this vitamin more thoroughly and discovered that it was more than just a potential remedy for my lack of facial hair.
Biotin is a vitamin that is needed for a healthy nervous, digestive, and cardiovascular system. It also keeps you looking young and attractive, by helping to maintain healthy hair, nails, and skin. Now, the real reason that Biotin caught my attention was not only its potential benefits for growing my beard, but it’s surprising role (combined with chromium) in lowering blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Biotin’s affect on lowering blood sugar levels is due to how it interacts with insulin, which is an essential hormone that regulates our blood sugar levels, keeping us in a balanced state. A functioning insulin response reduces the risk of blood sugar levels that are too high which can lead to pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and other medical issues.
As if Biotin’s ability to improve blood sugar levels and maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails, was not enough, there is even more to this miracle vitamin.
- According to Dr. Peters from the University of Oxford, “Biotin benefits the health of the nervous system. Because of the role of B vitamins in synthesizing hormones that are related to mood regulations, B vitamins like Biotin can help boost energy and increase concentration.”
- Dr. Peters also notes that, “Biotin is needed for a healthy thyroid and adrenal gland. These ‘master’ glands are responsible for multiple body states, including hunger, sleep, pain, perception, mood and energy.”
- Dr. Peters once more asserts that vitamin B7 helps in the growth and maintenance of body tissues, including the building and repairing of muscles. Biotin can also reduce muscle and joint pain. The vitamin even plays a significant role in pregnancy and is highly recommended for expecting mothers.
- According to Dr. Axe, “Biotin plays a vital role in the health of our cardiovascular system. Together with Chromium, it can help improve cholesterol levels.”
Thankfully the potential for a Biotin deficiency is very rare. Most of our foods contain Biotin, and the body efficiently recycles much of the vitamin when it is ingested. It can be found in meats, eggs (exclusively in the yolk), avocado, cauliflower, berries, fish, legumes, whole grain bread, salmon, yeast, liver, and mushrooms.
Biotin levels, however, can be affected by long-term use of oral antibiotics, intestinal malabsorption, and consumption of raw egg whites among other things. Symptoms of a B7 deficiency include muscle aches, cramps, mood changes, dry irritated skin, brittle hair, hair loss, chronic fatigue and digestive issues.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Biotin does not solely exist to cure my beardlessness. It has a lot of benefits, from helping clear acne to improving cholesterol levels. According to some studies, the vitamin is safe and well tolerated.
However, before starting any new medication, supplement, or vitamin, it is always advisable to consult a doctor. As for my “baby-face syndrome,” I’ve started taking Biotin supplements to see if they will make a difference. Hopefully in a couple of months you’ll see me at a bar in Williamsburg, sipping beer, and stroking my very full beard.