Now that fall is in full swing, we’re feeling the wind beginning to blow hard and cold. These changes in the weather will affect the outer layer of your skin. This outer layer, or epidermis, contained 3 types of cells, one of which is keratin. Keratin is a type of protein that is a basic component of skin, hair, and nails. As three are fast growing structures, that need adequate and consistent amounts of nutrients.
Sadly, skin, hair, and nails are also the first structures to show signs of deficiencies or imbalances in the body. The following are some examples of changes in hair, skin, and mails that may indicate a deficiency in 1 or more of the following nutrients:
- Scaly skin including lips: Biotin lacking including fatty acids.
- Dandruff: Biotin, Vitamin B2, B6, Zinc, Magnesium.
- Graying Hair: Biotin, Folic acid, Vitamin B5.
- Brittle and dry hair: Zinc, Vitamin A.
- Hair Loss: Biotin, Zinc, Vitamin B6, Sulfur, Selenium.
- Brittle nails: Biotin, Vitamin A, C, Calcium.
Many of these nutrient deficiencies I’m assuming are familiar to you, however Biotin is one that is often common to many of the conditions listed above. Biotin is, among many, a water-soluble B vitamin, often refereed to as Vitamin B7 or sometimes as Vitamin H. Its used for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and proteins as well as repairing DNA, the regulation of glucose metabolism and immune function. Biotin is widely available in foods such as:
- Egg yolks;
- Peanuts and almonds;
- Wheat bran;
- Low-fat cheese and cow’s milk.
Deficiency in biotin usually occurs in people that are depleted in this enzyme, or in people that consume a large amount of egg whites. As well, pregnant women, and those not consuming a well-balanced diet and have inflammatory bowel disease need biotin too. The recommended daily amount of biotin is somewhat in dispute but an intake of 30 mg. of biotin for adult men and women is a start. Taking more appears to be safe even at higher levels.