New Delhi: Although India is seeing a decline in Covid-19 cases, the disease has left several after-effects on the body. Uncontrolled hair fall is one of them — many people who have recovered from the disease complain of hair fall. Scientists are yet to determine the reason for such a phenomenon — whether its the virus making it happen or the stress of living in a pandemic or any deficiency caused by the disease.
However, in the recovery period and even after that, it is important we keep a tab of meeting our nutrient needs and overall health to control incidents like hair loss. There are many nutrients that promote hair growth and prevent hair loss — biotin is one of them.
What is biotin and how does it work? Biotin is one of the B vitamins; it is also known as vitamin B7. It is soluble in water and is the catalyst that converts some nutrients into energy. Biotin stimulates keratin production in hair and can increase the rate of follicle growth, and hence has a role to play in the health of hair and nails — lack of adequate biotin in your body may cause hair loss or brittle nails. Biotin requirement in adults is around 30 mcg/day, while women who are breastfeeding should take 35 mcg/day after consultation with a physician. While most of the requirements can be sourced from the food we eat, in people with biotin deficiency, taking over-the-counter supplements may help prevent hair loss after recovering from Covid.
Food sources of biotin The common sources of biotin in food items include egg yolk, organ meats such as liver or kidney, whole grains and cereals, nuts like almonds, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts, and nut butter, vegetables such as cauliflower and mushroom, soybeans and other legumes, and fruits such as bananas and raspberries.
Reduce stress to promote hair growth According to dermatologists, there are three phases in the hair follicle cycle: growth, resting and shedding; it is normal for most people to shed between 50 and 100 hairs every day. However, there is generally a two- to three-month gap between a stressful event and the onset of hair loss that can last for up to six to nine months. The pandemic-related stresses, including anxiety about contracting the virus, financial stress, concern for ill family members, social isolation and changes related to working and schooling from home, impact us significantly. It is important to calm the mind before starting any treatment for manifestations like hair loss.
Other uses of biotin Biotin converts carbohydrates into energy and helps amino acids to carry out normal bodily functions. It is also considered helpful in reducing inflammation, improving cognitive function, reducing blood sugar in people with diabetes, and increasing HDL or good cholesterol and decreasing LDL or bad cholesterol in our body.
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