Biotin – As Powerful As You Think?

Steph Wagner

April 11, 2016

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Weight Loss Surgery - Hair Loss - Biotin

You’ve heard about Biotin – it’s the vitamin that’s supposed to help with your hair!

I often have patients tell me they’re taking biotin with hopes it will help slow down or prevent hair loss. This past week I had a patient tell me she heard it causes weight GAIN? What?

With all the claims for, and against biotin…I’d like to go back to the basics on hair loss and on the vitamins.

Hair loss is a very personal thing for myself, even as I type this. After a pregnancy and a c-section birth (my baby turn into an acrobat and flipped breech at 40 weeks!) I’ve been having hair fall out by the handful. If I were to run my hand through my hair right now, several strands would come out. It’s in the shower, my hair brush, on the vanity sink. I’m certain that my husband loves it :)

The reason for hair loss after my pregnancy and surgery is the same reason for your hair loss after weight-loss surgery. It’s from physical stress on the body. There’s a long scientific answer for what happens at the follicle…yadda yadda. It is what it is and my hair will stop falling out and come back in. And so will yours.

So what’s the deal with vitamins? Can they help?

Vitamins are soooo important. And being LOW in a vitamin is a powerful danger.

However, if you aren’t low in a vitamin…you may not notice any benefit to taking extra vitamins.

Biotin is also called Vitamin B7 and is important in activating protein/amino acid metabolism in the hair roots and fingernail cells. So yes- it does have a role in our hair health. However, a deficiency in Biotin is not common and is likely not the cause your hair loss. Studies do not show a significant improvement in hair loss with biotin.

It also does not cause weight gain.

While vitamins can be very powerful…we have to be careful not to give them more credit than they deserve. Taking your vitamins as prescribed is VERY important for your long-term health and to prevent deficiencies. However, just like medications…you want to consult a dietitian or doctor before adding in excess vitamins.

Many bariatric vitamins will contain biotin, which means excess biotin isn’t necessary for you.

I know the hair loss is stressful. And it’s sad with every handful that comes out. And that thick ponytail is getting thinner by the day. It’s really awful and I’m frowning just as I think about it :( BUT this time will pass. For all of us! Find a cute new hairstyle or buy yourself some fun lipstick to distract you from the hair. It won’t be long and you’ll be thinner AND have all your hair back :)

 

All my best in health,

Steph