When it comes to hair growth, protein and biotin are one of the most publicized and commercialized nutrients for a healthy crown. But how and what role do protein and biotin have to play and to what extent do they affect hair health? Let’s find out.
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What is Biotin?
Biotin (B7) is a Vitamin that helps facilitate the breakdown and absorption of other important nutrients. It can help to treat and prevent deficiencies caused by diseases, weight loss, pregnancy etc. It works in conjunction with protein to create keratin- the hair protein. Therefore, a lack in either protein or biotin can be one of the causes for hair loss. Although, there is very little chance that you may fall short of biotin through diet since we get it through most of the foods.
Here are a few common sources of Biotin:
- Wheat germ (whole wheat)
- Fatty fish like salmon
- Soya flour
Hair and Protein:
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The hair follicle structure is made out of protein. Out of 20 amino acids, 8 are essential aminos that the body does not produce and therefore need to be taken externally, as a part of the diet through complete protein sources, preferably (eggs, poultry, dairy products, lean meat, etc.) L-cysteine and L-methionine are the sulfur amino acids that help synthesize Keratin.
As per studies, it has been shown that supplementing L-cysteine may be helpful in the preventing hairfall. While it is necessary to meet the requirement of essential amino acids through diet, for those who are strapped for time or cannot opt for all kind of complete protein, good quality protein powders can bridge this gap.
Benefits of Biotin & Protein for hair:
We have always known protein to be an important and valued nutrient as a part of our diet for its role in tissue repair and construction. Protein is a primary substance used to replace the dead cells in the body. Our muscles, hair and nails, skin and eyes are all made of protein and to maintain these as well as basic body functions, protein is essential to body. Lack of protein is one of the main reasons for ageing faster. The RDA recommends a standard 0.8-1.0 gm. of protein per kg of body weight/ day for adults.
As far as Biotin is concerned, many people opt for supplementation and taking biotin for hair can be promising as well. It helps in nutrient breakdown and cell increase and ultimately, reacts with cell enzymes to produce amino acids. This further helps in the makeup of hair structure and hair growth. The dosage recommendation for Biotin for adults is between 30-100 mcg/ day.
Although biotin and protein are essential to hair growth, it is extremely important to look for the real cause of hair loss prior to supplementing. It may be possible that the hair loss is happening as a result of an underlying condition like hormonal imbalance or a particular nutrient deficiency. In that case, it is more ideal to treat the root cause than settle for supplementation immediately.
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