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Biotin – Is it safe to take?

Biotin, also known as B7 or H, has been highly commercialized within the past decade due to media attention promoting its use in hair and nail growth (mostly unsubstantiated). The daily value of recommended biotin was set by the FDA in 2016 of 30 mcg. A typical Western diet includes more than sufficient amounts of biotin. Most hair, nail, and skin supplements contain 5000 to 10,000 mcg of biotin, while multivitamins range from 30 to over 300 mcg.

Did you know?

  • Supplementing with biotin beyond recommended intake can cause clinically significant falsely high or falsely low laboratory test results.
  • In November 2017, the FDA issued a statement cautioning the public on the harmful effects of high-dose biotin on laboratory testing. There have been erroneous endocrine (Thyroid-stimulating hormone, TSH), human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), and cardiac (troponin, T) testing. There has been at least 1 reported death as a consequence of biotin interference, in which falsely low troponin levels in a patient delayed care.
  • Given the lack of randomized controlled trials showing efficacy in nail and hair and current reports of significant laboratory interference, I would NOT recommend taking biotin supplements. At the bare minimum, you should stop taking biotin at least 8 hours prior to scheduled laboratory tests.

Posted in: Nutrition

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