Is it Safe to Take Biotin for Hair While Pregnant?
Biotin is a water soluble vitamin of the vitamin B class. In addition to preventing baldness and favoring hair growth, biotin has been noted to be of significance during fetal development. Biotin deficiency is common in pregnant women. There is substantial research whose findings show that approximately 50% of expectant women suffer from biotin depletion. Occurrence of biotin deficiency might occur due to insufficient consumption of food product rich in biotin, interactions between vitamins and drugs and lastly biotin catabolism.
Biotin catabolism is mostly common in pregnant women and smokers. This occurs when women excrete 3-HIA via their urine. An area of keen interest is in the birth defects that can be caused by biotin deficiency since the expectant mothers show minimal symptoms of biotin deficiency.
Biotin intake in pregnant women
Pregnant women are recommended to seek the assistance of a doctor or a nutritionist before adding biotin supplements to their diet. Even though there is no scientific basis suggesting that excess biotin is harmful, it is necessary to seek a professional’s advice since a lot of consumed products can be absorbed by the fetus via the placenta. This also helps in identification of the best biotin supplements alternatives that will help in prevention of a potential interaction.
A fetus relies solely on its mother for nutrition. Mothers are hence required to make sure that their nutrient level is adequate since they cater for the needs of two (themselves and the unborn baby). Pregnant women are required to consume a minimum of 30 mcg on a daily basis. Intake of such amounts is good to support the health of both the mother and her baby. Deficiency of biotin in the body is observed by manifestation of symptoms such as hair thinning, loss of hair, depression and hallucinations. Requirement for biotin increases during the various stages of embryonic development. This suggests that biotin is essential in maintaining normal reproductive performance during the late stage of gestation.
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Prenatal vitamins are prescribed by physicians to expectant women as supplement to their nutritional requirements. Vitamins are essential for the growth of the fetus hence can be prescribed as supplements as an additionally to the normal dietary intake. It is however important to note that various brands of vitamin supplements contain varying doses of vitamins hence the need to be vigil when taking supplements.
There has been rising popularity on the essential of biotin intake. However, there has been concerns on the required biotin intake that is safe and healthy for the body. There is no documented findings on any additional benefits on excessive consumption of biotin doses. Additionally there is also no outlined side effects on increased biotin consumption. Information on the correct dosage is necessary. Pregnant women are however advised to stick to doctor’s recommendation on biotin intake and hence excessive consumption of biotin supplements not suggested.
Effects of biotin deficiency
Several studies on effects of biotin deficiency have been done on various species of animals but there does not exist such research on human subjects. A study published on Journal of Nutrition suggest that lack of biotin in mice can lead to cleft lip, cleft palate and skeletal deformities. Cleft lip is an opening on the upper lip and extends to the nose while cleft palate is a condition whereby an opening on the mouth’s roof top exists. It is important to note that these deformities occur in human beings but are caused by other factors such as genetic disorders. Though human studies on similar effects do not exist, it is equally important for pregnant women to ensure that they take foods adequate in biotin.
Some of the excellent food sources that expectant women can take to increase their biotin intake include:
Cooked eggs (boiled/omelet) is highly advised. This is because raw eggs might contain contaminants that might cause severe birth defects on the unborn child.
2. Meat and Animal Products
Liver, kidney and beef are jam packed with Biotin and other essential nutrients for the baby such as folic acid, proteins, iron and vitamin A. Consumption of these food products ensures that the mother receives various nutrients with one serving.
3. Green vegetables
This include spinach, broccoli. Veggies should be cooked in either medium heat or steamed to ensure that they are not overcooked and retain their crunchy state.