Educating consumers about a better biotin ingredient? Nutrition21 discusses at 2022 SupplySide West show.

The company’s Lustriva nutricosmetic ingredient, which just gained Generally Recognized as Safe status, has been shown to be 40 times more bioavailable than the biotin ingredients typically on the market, the firm says.

Biotin is a leading skin health and beauty ingredient. Data from market researcher SPINS (Chicago) for the 52 weeks ending October 31, 2021, showed biotin as the top-selling hair, skin, and nail ingredient in the U.S. mainstream supplements market, clocking in at $147 million in channel sales and growing 4.6% that year. But while more companies are formulating with biotin, and more consumers are buying it, not everyone knows that biotin ingredients are not all built alike. This past October, Nutrition21 (Saddle Brook, NJ) announced that its recently launched Lustriva beauty-from-within ingredient gained Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status, authorizing its use in food and drink. The ingredient combines bonded arginine silicate and magnesium biotinate, and according to the company, studies show that it is 40 times more bioavailable than D-biotin, which is the more common form of biotin currently on the beauty market.

Katie Emerson, MS, RD, LDL, manager of scientific affairs for Nutrition21, said that D-biotin “just doesn’t really compare” with the bioavailability that Lustriva offers. Part of what makes Lustriva more bioavailable is the combination of magnesium biotinate and bonded arginine silicate, which together “help stimulate blood flow and help with nutrient absorption,” added Matthew Ruggiero, assistant marketing manager, Nutrition21, at SupplySide West.

But educating the market so steeped in D-biotin will take some time, the company admits. “It takes a little more education just because I feel like everyone knows biotin is phenomenal for hair and skin,” said Emerson. “It’s in all the products. But what people don’t realize is that you’re not getting the benefits you want because you’re not absorbing it as well as you think you are. So, when you tell people, ‘Oh, I have something that’s a more superior form of biotin,’ they’re like, ‘Wait, what’s wrong with biotin?’”

To that end, Nutrition21 is showing its customers and potential new beauty clients the data backing the enhanced-bioavailability claims it has on Lustriva. “We show them the studies and the graphs, and they start to understand,” Emerson said. “It really speaks volumes to how the hair and skin improve so quickly over time, in as early as two to three works. It keeps working for up to 12 weeks, and I think that’s because the biotin’s actually working because it’s in the bloodstream. It’s doing its job, whereas D-biotin just doesn’t.”