If you’ve walked down the health and beauty aisle of your local grocery store recently, you’ve probably seen the words “collagen” and “biotin” all over many of the products lining the shelves. Some supplements may even contain both of them.
Biotin and collagen are two very popular supplements in the health and beauty world and play integral roles in our general health and wellness. Though they are often linked to ideas of long luscious hair and smooth, perfect skin, there are also many other benefits that these two supplements provide to our bodies.
In this article we’ll break down some of the many benefits of each supplement, the differences between them, and provide some reasons that one may be better for you than the other.
Keep reading to find out more about:
- What is biotin?
- Biotin benefits
- What is collagen?
- Collagen benefits
- How to choose which is better, biotin or collagen, and which one is best for you!
What is biotin?
Biotin is a water soluble vitamin that aids in the metabolization of proteins and fatty acids.
Biotin is a B7 vitamin, also called vitamin H, that plays a large part in many bodily functions. It aids in the body’s metabolization of proteins and fatty acids, helps with cell growth, and is essential to skin and hair health.
As a water-soluble vitamin, the body does not store biotin and so it is important to make sure you are eating foods that are high in biotin or taking a biotin supplement.
Some foods that are high in biotin include:
- Eggs (in particular egg yolks)
- Nuts and nut butters
What are the benefits of biotin?
Biotin has many benefits, primarily for hair and skin health
While more research is needed to solidify the benefits of biotin, the small amount of research on the topic suggests that biotin supplements can be beneficial for skin care and hair growth.
It appears to be especially helpful for the regrowth of hair for people who are dealing with hair loss. It can also be helpful in strengthening weak or brittle nails, which can be caused by extensive use of acrylic and gel nail art.
Finally, research suggests that biotin aids in the development of skin-supportive fatty acids, aiding in the moisturization of skin.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a fibrous protein that makes up many structures in the body including bones and tendons.
Collagen is a fibrous protein that is foundational in the structure of our bones, cartilage, skin, tendons, and connective tissues. There are many different kinds of collagen in the body but the most common ones used in supplements are as follows:
- Collagen type one:
- Serves as the building block of bones, connective tissues, cartilage, skin, teeth, organs, and tendons
- Collagen type two:
- Cushions the joints and is made up by softer fibers
- Collagen type three:
- Maintains the health of arteries and organs
- Collagen type four:
- Acts as a filter and is found in the layers of skin
While the body makes its own collagen, it is also necessary to get collagen from supplements, whether that be through supplements that you buy in stores or through the food that you eat. Some foods that are high in collagen include:
- Bone broth
- Chicken and fish
- Citrus fruits
- Eggs (mainly egg whites)
What are the benefits of collagen?
Collagen is especially beneficial for the support of joints, bones, and nails.
As collagen is such an integral protein in so many parts of the body it has many benefits for your body. Aside from aiding in hair, nail, and skin health, collagen is also great for the protection of joints and the maintenance of bone density.
In fact, collagen supplements are often used by both conventional and integrative health physicians to relieve patients' joint pain and provide support to weakening bones and joints.
So, which is better?
Biotin and collagen are beneficial for many things and some may be more useful to you than others.
In truth, both biotin and collagen are essential in the body’s function and play necessary roles in the growth of hair and nails and the health of your skin. Depending on what your beauty or health goals are, biotin may be better or collagen may be better.
Typically, experts suggest that if your goal is the protection or maintenance of healthy joints and bones that you should take collagen. And, when it comes to using either of them as a dietary supplement, there is more evidence to suggest collagen does more for you than biotin does. However, that may be due to the fact that the research on biotin benefits in regard to human subjects is still very limited.
There is also evidence to suggest that a deficiency in biotin, though extremely rare, can cause skin rashes and excessive hair loss so it is important to make sure you are getting an adequate amount of biotin into your diet.
Whether you decide to take a biotin supplement or a collagen or a supplement that contains a combination of the two, it is important to keep in mind that it will likely take time to see results. For individuals without a biotin deficiency who were taking a biotin supplement, it took approximately six months to see significant change in their hair or nails.
It is also extremely important to discuss supplement use and changes to any medication with your primary care physician or a trusted healthcare provider. Biotin supplements can cause changes to lab results and it is important for your doctor to be aware of these changes ahead of time so as to avoid misdiagnosis.