Biotin and collagen are both things that you will often see touted as being great for hair growth. In looking at these two nutrients, however, you may feel that they offer the exact same advantages.
So, is biotin or is collage the better choice if both of them are the same? More importantly, how similar are biotin and collagen, and what are the differences between them? Considering those and a lot of other questions are important, a closer look at both biotin and collagen is necessary.
Biotin may not necessarily be the most common or well-known vitamin. However, biotin is certainly one of the more vital ones for your body. Biotin has an array of different names it can be called by. Vitamin B7, Vitamin H, as well as a few other names are all still biotin.
In your body, this B vitamin plays many different roles. For starters, it gives energy just like the other Bs. Biotin also plays a huge role in helping your nerves function the way they are supposed to.
Also, biotin breaks things down in your body. Namely, this is the stuff you want broken down, like fats ad proteins, etc. Large enough amounts of biotin can supposedly help increase your metabolism for that reason.
Perhaps the most well-known biotin benefit is what it does for hair, skin, and nails. For hair, biotin goes into making keratin, which is what your hair follicle uses to make the strands of your hair. Keratin is also used for your nails. As for your skin, biotin helps fight skin conditions by keeping your skin healthy.
Biotin is also an amino acid, and it assists other amino acids in keeping you healthy. That said, a biotin deficiency can cause all sorts of health problems. Brittle nails, brittle or thinning hair, skin that is prone to rashes, and a variety of other things can be signs of a biotin deficiency.
Because of the part biotin plays with your nerves, seizures are also possible when you lack biotin. Unfortunately, biotin is water-soluble, meaning biotin is not one of the vitamins your body can store.
Considering the importance of biotin, this makes it extra important that you get biotin in your system on a regular basis. Biotin can do so much more than even all of that.
The Forms Of Biotin
Biotin is so useful that it should be no surprise that it comes in many different forms. First, there is biotin supplements that come in pill form. These biotin pills are simply swallowed, usually once a day before breakfast.
Then, biotin also comes in tablet form. Biotin tablets are what you place under your tongue for twenty seconds or so and let dissolve. The tablets don’t always taste the best, and they have added ingredients for flavor, but they allow you to absorb the biotin supplement better.
Next, biotin gummies are simply gummy bears full of biotin that you can eat – pretty self-explanatory. Finally, biotin also comes in liquid form. Liquid biotin is more concentrated, quick to absorb, and often comes with one or two other ingredients to help with thinning hair.
While those are all the forms biotin can come in for internal use, biotin has a couple of others. Namely, biotin oil is not exactly meant to be taken internally. Instead, biotin oil is meant to be used topically. Put biotin oil on your scalp for hair growth.
Though biotin oil does not get into your system as well as taking it internally does, some of it can still get absorbed if you apply enough of it topically. Then, if the purpose of biotin for you is helping with hair health, nail strength, or skin health, using biotin oil is far more direct.
Finally, biotin is found naturally in many different foods you doubtless already eat. Eggs, dairy products, peanuts, liver, mushrooms, and a miscellaneous assortment of other things all have biotin in them. Of course, eating these foods is the best way to get your biotin.
Unfortunately, certain things lower biotin intake levels or make it harder to absorb biotin. In these cases, biotin supplementation is necessary.
Collagen, though an essential nutrient, is not exactly a vitamin. Instead, collagen is a protein that our bodies need in our bones, muscles, tendons, and skin. This is why collagen is found in meats, and why vegans of various types struggle to get the collagen they need.
Fortunately, your body can make some of the collagen you need. You can also store some extra collagen if you happen to intake more than what you need. Unfortunately, the amount of collagen production your body does tends to decrease with age, meaning that it is harder for you to get the amount you need.
Collagen has a lot of functions in your body. It is the collagen in your body that gives strength to your cells and supports them structurally. For example, collagen is one of the things that prevents your skin from sagging and stretching too much. Then, collagen also helps with preventing wrinkles as well.
Because almost all of your tissues use collagen, this nutrient is also vital to healing from injuries of all types. It is collagen that is used to help form your blood vessels, your vertebra, parts of your teeth, and other things.
Your joints, specifically, have a large amount of collagen in them as well. Joint pains and joint problems of various types are sometimes a result of a collagen deficiency. As for your hair, collagen may not make up a large part of the strands themselves, but it does make up around 70% of the dermal layer that holds your hair follicles.
Collagen makes up around 90% of some of your cells, with it being closer to 30% of the cells throughout your whole body. This is likely why the name ‘collagen’ is related to the Greek word for glue, because collagen holds everything together.
The Forms Of Collagen
Collagen can be found in almost any type of form you could wish to use it as. It comes in liquid supplement form, as a pill you can take, as powder you can add to smoothies or sprinkle on soups or other foods, etc.
The powder and one or two other forms of the collagen supplement can be put on your hair directly. Some hair masks and face masks even have collagen as a main ingredient. However, the collagen powder or liquid can both be added to any other hair, skin, or face mask that you might already have.
Finally, the foods richest in collagen are skin, bones, connective tissue and tendons of beef, pork, poultry, and fish. Basically, the parts most people don’t eat. This is why bone broth and similar things that use these parts are the richest in collagen. Organ meats also have collagen in fair amounts.
The Types And Sources
The collagen forms are more often divided into the collagen types. Of the around two dozen types of collagen – a number that is growing the more we learn about the human body – there are five that are the most common.
Collagen Type I is the one that goes mostly into your bones, cartilage, ligaments, organs, skin, teeth, and tendons. Collagen Type II is the main one that goes into your joints and cartilage. Collagen Type III takes care of your arteries, organs, and muscles.
And Collagen Type IV is the one that focuses on your skin. However, it is Type V that goes into your hair and forms a protective layer over your skin. Out of all these collagen types, Type I and type III are the most common in your body.
Along with the types, there is where these are sourced from. The three main collagen sources are bovine, marine, and chicken. There are a few other collagen sources, but there are rarer and harder to get.
Bovine collagen comes from cattle hides, which is very high in the two types you need the most. In fact, bovine collagen has almost double the amount of Type I and Type III collagens as marine sourced collagen does.
Marine collagen comes from fish skins and thins like that. It has very little Type III, but it does have a fair amount of Type I collagen. However, marine collagen also doesn’t taste very good even when compared to the other sources of collagen.
Finally, chicken collagen is made mostly from the sternum cartilages and other parts. This source is highest in Type II collagen and the others. As mentioned, collagen can come from other sources, but those are not as good as the main three.
Biotin Vs. Collagen
While both biotin and collagen clearly help with hair growth, they have other differences and similarities. For starters, biotin and collagen come from two different sources. Biotin comes mostly from plants, while collagen comes more from meats.
Next, while your body cannot make its own biotin – which is why you have to eat some every day – your body can make some of the collagen you need. True, it can’t make all the collagen you need, but even making a little helps.
The fact that biotin cannot be stored by your body while collagen can is another difference. This does make collagen slightly more concerning in that you are more likely to take too much of it and get a negative reaction such as toxicity or something else.
Both biotin and collagen help with your skin’s elasticity, hair strength, and nail strength.
As for the downsides, neither biotin nor collagen have much to complain about in this area. However, each one comes with its own concern. For collagen, since you can store it up, there is the chance you can get too much of it in your system, causing a variety of problems.
Since your body doesn’t store up the biotin you take, biotin doesn’t have that concern. Unfortunately, it has its own in the way it can interfere with lab tests. Blood work can give inaccurate results if you are taking biotin.
Depending on what the test is for, incorrect laboratory tests can lead to misdiagnosis, which can cause even more problems. Getting misdiagnosed for a thyroid condition you don’t actually have, as one example that is possible when taking biotin, is a very serious thing.
Which One You Should Be Taking
Both biotin and collagen can help with your skin. Both have other functions besides those, however, and are good for your overall health. Trying to say which one is better than the other is essentially the same as trying to decide if Vitamin E or Vitamin C is better for you.
The answer is that they are both great in slightly different ways. However, when it comes to hair growth, biotin comes out ahead. If you’re after a supplement that is also good for your joints, collagen is the better option.
Those with bone problems of almost any kind should also lean more towards collagen. Bone and joint problems of almost any type can be helped by an increase of collagen intake.
Collagen is also the best option if you have a medical condition that requires you to have blood work regularly. Remember that biotin can interfere with those tests, so it is best to avoid it in that case.
On the other hand, biotin helps more with skin conditions and nerves. So, anything involving either of those should make you lean more towards taking biotin.
Finally, keep in mind that collagen is far from being vegan. There are such things as vegan collagen alternatives, but these do not do as good of a job and are often much more expensive. Then again, picking a good collagen is also more difficult.
Keep in mind that collagen protein is made from animals. So, if said animals are full of antibiotics, pesticides from their food, or have parasites, you really don’t want to have collagen from them. All of the above can make its way into the collagen if the animal had enough of it in their system. Also, even the best collagen supplements don’t always have a pleasant taste.
Biotin and collagen are both supplements that are primarily used for hair, skin, and nails, even though both do have other uses. Considering how well these two nutrients work together, there are many products that have both collagen and biotin in them.
This way, you don’t have to choose between these nutrients for your hair. That is the sort of product I think is best, and products like these come both as supplements but as other things like shampoo or hair masks as well.
Instead of trying out either one or the other – or both of them separately and trying to remember which one you have taken – using both biotin and collagen is best.