Biotin supplements support the health of cells, metabolism, the digestive tract, skin and nerves, according to WebMD. Research suggests that biotin may be useful for treating Type 2 diabetes by decreasing insulin resistance and related nerve symptoms. Natural biotin in the body breaks down carbohydrates, fats and other substances.
Biotin treats and prevents biotin deficiency, which may be the result of tube-feeding for a prolonged period, malnutrition, rapid weight loss, or pregnancy, states WebMD. It is taken orally to treat mild depression, brittle nails, skin rashes on babies, and hair loss, but its usefulness in these cases is still being studied. It may also be used for hallucinations and tingling in the arms and legs. Studies suggest that smokers may lack biotin, and taking supplements may counteract that.
Biotin may be used to treat peripheral neuropathy as well as other types of nerve pathologies, notes WebMD. Most people do not require biotin supplements. A true biotin deficiency is very uncommon because most people get enough biotin from foods they consume.
People on kidney dialysis may require additional biotin, but it is important to check with a doctor first, advises WebMD. The benefits and risks of taking biotin supplements are still uncertain, as of 2015. Appropriate dosages vary depending on age, health and other conditions, so a doctor should always be consulted first.
WebMD notes that biotin may balance blood sugar in type 2 diabetics when used in conjunction with chromium. The vitamin can also decrease resistance to insulin and nerve complications from type 2 diabetes. Biotin can treat certain kinds of nerve pathology that can cause diabetes and kidney failure.
FitDay reports that biotin metabolizes fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Biotin also processes glucose for the body, which allows the body to convert food into energy and speed up the metabolism. It also prevents the body from becoming fatigued. Biotin builds muscles by promoting stronger body tissue, and it enhances tissue for the nervous system. The Mayo Clinic mentions that an increase in biotin is necessary for such complications as seborrheic dermatitis and removal of the stomach during surgery.
WebMD adds that biotin can strengthen brittle nails. It can also prevent hair loss and thinning of the hair, which is a sign of a biotin deficiency. A loss of hair color is another sign that the body lacks biotin. Other symptoms include tingling in the limbs, hallucinations and depression. A person may also get scaly rashes around the nose, eyes or mouth. Biotin may also treat hepatitis.