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Side effects of taking biotin: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and Interactions


Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and Interactions

Biotin is a B vitamin often recommended for hair health. Since biotin deficiency can lead to thinning of the hair, some people claim that taking biotin supplements can thicken hair and stimulate growth.

Biotin is available in pill or tablet form, and there are also with biotin-enriched hair products. These products can be expensive and some brands aren’t as reputable as others. But the good news is that many foods are also rich with biotin—many of which are listed below.

This article discusses the possible benefits of biotin for your hair and health. It also covers the potential side effects that may come with biotin supplements.

Health Benefits

Biotin is an essential vitamin—meaning that your body needs this micronutrient to function properly. The biotin you consume in foods helps your body turn the food you eat (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) into energy.

Verywell / JR Bee

Taking a biotin supplement is likely effective for treating biotin deficiency. However, some biotin supplements claim to have additional health benefits that are not supported by scientific evidence.

Hair Growth

Manufacturers claim that shampoo, conditioner, hair oils, masks, and creams containing biotin can thicken hair, increase fullness, and add shine.

A handful of research studies have shown that biotin supplementation may help stimulate hair regrowth in people who have a clinical biotin deficiency or alopecia (hair loss).

That said, researchers also note that hair regrowth is often caused by many factors and may not be due to biotin supplementation at all.Furthermore, there is no evidence that biotin supplementation is beneficial for people who do not have an underlying condition causing their hair to thin.


Haircare products containing biotin may claim to treat brittle, thinning, or flat hair, but these claims are not supported by science.

Other Benefits

Other possible benefits of biotin include the treatment of:

Note: There is insufficient scientific evidence to know for sure if biotin can treat any of these conditions.

Possible Side Effects

Biotin supplements can cause problems if you take too much. Side effects can include skin rashes, digestive upset, problems with insulin release, and kidney problems.

According to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, biotin treatment was said to interfere with laboratory tests and mimic Graves’ disease—a condition that causes the thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormone.

As with any supplement, the safety of long-term or high-dose use isn’t known. 

Dosage, Preparation, and Safety

The FDA has not established a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for biotin. According to the National Institutes of Health, 30 micrograms (mcg) is the adequate daily intake for adults 19 years of age and older. People can usually get this amount through their diet.

Still, people who support its use often recommend taking 2 to 5 milligrams (mg) of biotin in supplement form daily in order to strengthen hair and achieve results.

Although biotin is a water-soluble vitamin (the excess is excreted in urine and feces), the safety of using any amount of biotin in supplement form is unknown.

As with many other supplements, biotin hasn’t been tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications.

Biotin Deficiency

Biotin deficiency can occur in people who consume a lot of raw egg whites. That’s because uncooked eggs contain avidin—a protein that blocks the absorption of biotin.

Since biotin is produced in the intestines, people with inflammatory bowel disease or other conditions that disrupt the balance of intestinal bacteria may not be able to produce enough biotin.

Excessive alcohol use, cirrhosis, and congenital biotin deficiency (biotinidase deficiency) may increase your need for biotin. A number of medications can lead to biotin deficiency as well. Among those are beta blockers, blood thinners, anticonvulsants, and retinoids.

If you notice any symptoms of biotin deficiency, consult your healthcare provider. Symptoms include:

  • Thinning of the hair
  • Brittle nails
  • Dry skin
  • A red, scaly rash (especially around the eyes, nose, and mouth) 
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Hallucinations
  • Numbness and tingling of the arms and legs

Taking biotin supplements without being properly assessed by a physician poses the risk that diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause of your symptoms will be delayed.

What to Look For

Biotin deficiency is believed to be uncommon.Bacteria in the intestines usually provides more than the body’s daily requirements, and many foods contain biotin as well.

Biotin-Rich Foods

Food sources of biotin (in micrograms per 100 grams) include:

  • Cooked egg yolks (53)
  • Oats (27.0)
  • Wheat germ (17.0)
  • White mushrooms (16)
  • Spinach (6. 9)
  • Cheese, brie (6.2)
  • Milk (3.5)
  • Pork (5.0)
  • Carrot (5.0)
  • Apple (4.5)
  • Tomato (4.0)
  • Beef (3.0)
  • Chicken (2.0)
  • Lettuce (1.9)


There are many reasons why your hair may be thinning or losing its volume, including infection, emotional or physical trauma, alopecia, and certain medications. There is not enough evidence to prove that biotin supplements are safe or effective. In most cases, the best way to prevent hair loss is to treat the underlying condition causing it.

A Word From Verywell

Unfortunately, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on a product’s packaging. While biotin has certainly become glamorized as a cure-all for hair health, manufacturers who shill biotin to promote their product aren’t making factual claims.

Nevertheless, it is true that your hair can provide insight into your overall health and nutrition. If you are concerned about your hair health for any reason, talk to your doctor. You may have an underlying condition, or perhaps, your diet simply needs a makeover.

Can Diabetes Cause Hair Loss?

There are many reasons you may experience hair loss, including stress, vitamin or mineral deficiency, hormones, or medications. Diabetes is among these possible causes.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the average human sheds about 50-100 hairs per day, which is considered normal. Losing hair is part of the hair lifecycle. As one hair is lost, another is replaced.

Excessive hair shedding can occur during times of stress or after pregnancy. It is important to note, however, that this is not the same as hair loss. Hair loss, referred to as alopecia, occurs when something stops the hair from growing. Hair loss can occur in patches and may not return until the trigger is fixed.

Diabetes can cause hair loss when blood sugars are out of range. Diabetes can also be associated with an immune system disorder called alopecia areata, which can cause hair loss.

Hair loss can be distressing, especially if you do not know the cause or how to treat it. Find out how diabetes and hair loss are related and what treatment options are available.

Chalisa Thammapatanakul / EyeEm / Getty Images


Hair loss in diabetes may be hereditary and related to other immune system disorders, such as thyroid disease or alopecia areata. Other causes of hair loss in diabetes can be related to poor circulation, medication side effects, inadequate blood sugar control, and nutrient deficiencies. For the best treatment options, it is important to determine the cause.

Immune System Disorder

People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing other immune system disorders. Sometimes people with diabetes can also have thyroid disorders. An issue with the thyroid can cause hair loss because disruptions in the thyroid hormone can affect the hair cycle and lead to hair thinning or hair loss.

If you have diabetes and suspect you have a thyroid issue due to weight loss, weight gain, fatigue, or nervousness, your physician should evaluate you.

Another type of autoimmune disease that is associated with diabetes is called alopecia areata. This occurs when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, leading to patches of hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body. An accumulation of infiltrating immune cells typically characterizes it.

The amount of hair loss will depend on how many hair follicles are attacked. While the disease can cause an attack on the hair follicles, it rarely destroys them; therefore, hair can grow back, especially if you have not lost much hair.

Some people may be genetically predisposed to hair loss. This appears to be more common in those with other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, hay fever, atopic dermatitis, thyroid disease, vitiligo, or Down syndrome.

Poor Circulation

Insulin resistance, vascular impairment, and poor circulation are symptoms that can be a result of chronically high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. Chronic hyperglycemia can decrease the oxygen and nutrient supply, resulting in vascular impairment.

This can cause hair thinning, hair fragility, spareness of hair, or decreased hair growth speed. Insulin resistance could produce microvascular impairment, thus playing a role in the pathophysiology of androgenic alopecia.

Researchers found that type 2 diabetes was associated with an increased risk of severe central scalp hair loss in Black women. Researchers concluded that people with type 2 diabetes should be followed closely for central scalp hair loss so that appropriate treatment can be offered.

Medication Side Effects

Certain types of medications can cause hair loss by disrupting the hair cycle. Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause, especially if a person is on multiple medications.

For example, certain types of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation can cause hair loss. Typically, when hair loss occurs due to certain medications, the hair will grow back when medication use stops.

Other types of medications that can cause hair loss include:     

  • Arthritis medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Medications for gout
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications, including certain statins
  • High blood pressure medications (ACE inhibitors)
  • Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
  • Acne treatment medications
  • Antifungals
  • Antiarrhythmias
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Psoriasis medicines
  • Steroids

Elevated Blood Sugar

Hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar) occurs when sugar remains in the blood and cannot be taken into the cells for energy. This can occur because of lack of insulin, insulin resistance, or a combination of both. Over time, damage to the microvascular and macrovascular vessels can occur.

For example, if blood vessels in the legs are damaged, hair follicles below the knees can also be damaged due to a lack of blood flow, which disrupts the flow of oxygen and nutrients and, as a result, affects the hair growth cycle.

This can be a sign of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). People with PAD may also have intermittent claudication, wounds that heal very slowly, or numbness and tingling in the legs or feet.

Elevated blood sugar from hormonal imbalances can also affect hair growth and hair loss. For example, when cortisol (the stress hormone) levels are high, the cells become resistant to insulin. Instead of sugar being taken out of the bloodstream, it remains in the blood.

Over time, excess cortisol can disrupt the hair follicle, leading to hair growth disorders such as androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, and telogen effluvium.


There are many different types of hair loss. How it falls out will depend on why it is falling out. For example, if you have type 1 diabetes and your hair starts to fall out in patches on your scalp or various parts of the body, you may have alopecia areata. This may occur in a single episode, or it may have remission and recurrence.

Other types of hair loss may occur on the scalp or other parts of the body. For a proper diagnosis, it is important to differentiate how quickly the hair is falling out and where, so that you can give your physician an accurate picture.

People with diabetes are also at increased risk of skin-related symptoms, such as dry, itchy skin and other types of skin-related disorders. When blood sugars are elevated, people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing infections. Folliculitis is a type of bacterial skin infection that affects the hair follicles.


Diagnosis is contingent upon several variables, including how your hair loss presents—Is it on your scalp, your legs, or elsewhere? Does it fall out in patches or clumps?

There can often be a sex-specific hair loss trait, which causes hair to fall out in patterns termed male and female.

Other factors may include:

  • Race     
  • Medications      
  • Other health conditions      
  • Pregnancy      
  • Stress level
  • If you have experienced trauma
  • Differentiating between sudden or gradual hair loss

Your physician may do bloodwork to determine if you have any vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A dermatologist may also use a dermascope to diagnose the cause of hair loss. Additionally, they will examine your nails.


If you have diabetes, you are at increased risk to develop other immune system disorders such as thyroid problems or alopecia areata. Some studies suggest that insulin resistance can be a marker for hair loss. Therefore, it could be possible for people with prediabetes to experience hair loss.

Prediabetes, also described as impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose, is considered a precursor of type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes does not typically cause symptoms, but without intervention, it can progress to type 2 diabetes.

Several factors can increase your risk of prediabetes, such as a family history of diabetes, age, excess weight (especially in the abdomen), high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, and sedentary behavior, among others.

If you are experiencing hair loss and have some of these other risk factors, you may want to be examined by your physician to see if you have impaired glucose tolerance. Getting control of your blood sugar promptly can help prevent type 2 diabetes and get your hair loss under control.


It is important to note that not one treatment works for everyone. Treatment options will depend on the reason for hair loss and the type of hair loss you are experiencing. In most instances, hair can grow back once the intervention is started.

Managing Blood Sugar

If you are someone with diabetes and have been experiencing elevated blood sugars, getting your blood sugars within the normal range may help you slow down hair loss and even help with hair regrowth.

Because elevated blood sugar is associated with vascular disruption, poor circulation, and hormonal imbalances, maintaining your blood sugars within your normal range can help keep your hair cycle regular.

Your normal blood sugar range will depend on your age, if you experience hypoglycemia often, how long you have had diabetes. and your life expectancy.

Typically, blood sugars should be 80-130 mg/dL after fasting for eight or more hours and less than 180 mg/dL two hours after a meal. These targets should be individualized with your healthcare professional.

If your blood sugars are at goal and you are reaching your target numbers that you have created with your healthcare team, yet you are still losing your hair, you should contact your medical team. There could be a different medical or nutritional reason as to why you are losing hair.


Certain medications are known to help treat hair loss and help hair regrow. The American Academy of Dermatology lists different types of medicines that can help with hair loss types. The type of
medication prescribed will depend on your age and the risks of side effects:

  • Corticosteroid creams and injections: Injections are typically for adults and not children. Creams can be applied to the patches in both children and adults. Injections seem to be more effective in adults, while creams seem to work better in children.
  • Rogaine (minoxidil): Helps to keep hair growth stimulated and is helpful for the scalp, beard, and eyebrows. This may also be an option for children.
  • Anthralin: Another type of topical medication that is typically used with Minoxidil. This can cause skin irritation.

Lifestyle Modification: Diet, Supplements, Exercise

In individuals with nutrient deficiencies, such as vitamin D or iron deficiency, supplementing or changing dietary patterns to include nutrient-rich foods may help with hair loss. It is important to note that over-supplementing is not the answer.

In fact, supplementing with too much of certain vitamins and minerals can be harmful, especially if you do not have a deficiency. For example, getting too much vitamin A and E have actually been linked to hair loss. Because these vitamins are fat-soluble, they can cause toxicity if taken in excess.

It is always a good idea to use food first to see if there is any effect on hair. If you find that dietary interventions are not helpful, you may want to be tested for nutrient deficiencies.

Nutrient deficiencies may warrant dietary supplementation, but supplementation recommendations should always be guided by a professional, as supplements are not regulated and too much of certain vitamins can be harmful.

Essential vitamins and minerals important in hair health include iron, zinc, biotin, niacin, fatty acids, selenium, vitamin D, and amino acids.

A well-balanced diet that contains ample amounts of fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and a variety of protein sources can usually provide recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals. In instances where there is an actual deficiency, supplementation supervised by a medical professional may be warranted.


Iron deficiency has been correlated to hair loss by mechanisms of action that are not clearly understood. Some studies indicate that those who have low iron levels also have experienced some hair loss.

People with severe iron deficiency need to be evaluated by a doctor for iron replacement. Those who are vegan may need dietary counseling to optimize iron absorption and iron intake to prevent deficiency. Foods rich in iron include animal proteins, seafood, legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy greens like spinach, and whole grains.


Zinc deficiency is uncommon; however, it can cause hair loss in severe cases. Some studies have shown that people with zinc deficiency, when treated, were able to reverse their hair loss. Zinc deficiency may occur due to various reasons, including malabsorption issues, genetic disorders, and certain medications.

Foods naturally rich in zinc include red meat; poultry; shellfish like oysters, crab, and lobster; whole grains; dairy products; and fortified cereals.

Zinc from plant-based foods is not as readily absorbed as animal products. People who follow a vegan or vegetarian meal plan may need to have zinc levels assessed. You should not supplement with zinc without a medical professional. Over-supplementing with zinc can cause a copper deficiency.

Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) must be ingested through the diet as the body cannot make them. Some studies have shown that a deficiency can cause hair loss on the scalp and eyebrows.

Eating a diet rich in fatty acids may be associated with increased hair growth; therefore, it is important to eat enough fat. Foods rich in omega 3 and 6 include fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil.      


Although the research is scarce, many companies market selenium supplementation for hair growth. Most diets are adequate in selenium, and deficiencies are rare. Selenium toxicity is possible, therefore eating foods rich in selenium versus supplementing is recommended.

The amount of selenium a food contains will depend on the soil it is in. One Brazil nut can provide all your selenium needs for the day. Other food sources of selenium include fish, meat, poultry, grains, legumes, and dairy.

Vitamin D

Some studies have shown that people with alopecia areata can have low levels of vitamin D. As vitamin D is largely obtained from sunlight, it is known as the sunshine vitamin.

During the winter months, it can be harder to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D. Because vitamin D is found in a limited number of foods, supplementation may be warranted for low blood levels or deficiency.

Foods rich in vitamin D include salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, fish liver oils, fortified milk and milk alternatives, egg yolks, fortified cereals, and orange juice.


Lack of biotin or a biotin deficiency has been associated with hair loss, brittle nails, and dry skin. Deficiency is rare but can be associated with enzyme deficiency, excessive antibiotic use, consuming too many raw egg whites, alcoholism, and antiepileptic use.

It might sound plausible that taking biotin or using biotin-containing products can help with hair loss. However, while supplementation with biotin has been shown to have efficacy in treating brittle nails, there is insufficient research for supplementing biotin for hair loss without a biotin deficiency.

If you do not have a deficiency, you should be able to get enough from food. Foods rich in biotin include spinach, oats, egg yolks, and wheat germ.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and protein is an important component to hair growth and strength. Hair follicles are mostly made of protein; therefore, it makes sense that a lack of protein could cause hair loss.

If you have diabetes and have been told to follow a very low-calorie diet, you may not be eating enough protein. Insufficient calorie intake can reduce your intake of key nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and protein. This can result in hair loss.

It is important to get adequate amounts of protein daily. The average adult needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, so if you weigh 170 pounds that would mean that you need about 62 grams of protein.

Foods that are rich in protein include chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, cheese, yogurt, tofu, edamame, legumes, nuts, seeds, and nut butters, to name a few.


Exercise has so many health benefits including improving insulin sensitivity, which can improve glucose control. It is important for people with diabetes, especially those taking glucose-lowering medications such as insulin, to test blood sugar often to prevent hypoglycemia.


There are many treatment options for hair loss. However, if you have significant hair loss, it may take time to grow back. In this case, your dermatologist may recommend that you purchase a wig for the time being.

Wigs or hair replacement may be an option to consider, especially if your hair loss has impacted your daily life and affected your self-esteem. Some dermatologists may recommend a hair prosthesis, a wig that is custom made to ensure a perfect fit. There are many options to choose from.

If you are experiencing hair loss on other parts of your body, you would benefit from meeting with a board-certified dermatologist to develop a plan. They must see you so that you can understand the best remedy.

For example, if you lose hair in your nose, they may recommend applying an antibiotic ointment to your nose to protect you from foreign particles, such as dust, germs, and small airborne particles.

If your hair loss is related to stress, it is important to figure out how to manage your stress. Consider reaching out to a mental health professional.

You may also participate in mindfulness activities, such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation. Journaling, writing down your feelings, walking, exercising, and listening to music are other types of stress-relieving activities.

Connecting with others who are experiencing the same thing you are is another important way to boost self-esteem and prevent loneliness.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends connecting with someone from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. If this is not the type of hair loss you are experiencing, you can ask your dermatologist for another appropriate foundation. 

A Word From Verywell

Dealing with diabetes requires daily self-management and can get tiring. Adding hair loss to your diagnosis may feel overwhelming, but be assured, there are ways to slow down hair loss, prevent it, and stimulate hair growth.

If you are having trouble managing your diabetes and keeping your blood sugars within the normal range, consider meeting with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes care and education specialist. These professionals can provide you with education and help you overcome barriers.

A few dietary, exercise, and behavior changes, such as moving more, can go a long way to improving blood glucose control and optimizing nutrient needs. People with diabetes who maintain good blood glucose control can protect themselves from diabetes complications and can live a full, healthy, and energized life.

Certain nutrients may help with hair loss and hair regrowth. If you have an actual deficiency in one of these nutrients, supplementing may be necessary. However, most of the time, simply adding more foods rich in these nutrients can be beneficial, possibly for hair, but also for overall health.

If you feel like your hair loss has happened suddenly or excessively and you are not sure why, you may need to meet with a dermatologist specializing in hair loss. Once they figure out the reason for the hair loss, they can tailor a treatment plan to suit your needs.

Most of the time, there are remedies. It may just take some time to figure out. Remember that you are not alone.

Biotin (Oral Route) Description and Brand Names

Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Appearex
  2. Genadur
  3. Meribin
  4. Nail-ex


Biotin supplements are used to prevent or treat biotin deficiency.

Vitamins are compounds that you must have for growth and health. They are needed in only small amounts and are usually available in the foods that you eat. Biotin is necessary for formation of fatty acids and glucose, which are used as fuels by the body. It is also important for the metabolism of amino acids and carbohydrates.

A lack of biotin is rare. However, if it occurs it may lead to skin rash, loss of hair, high blood levels of cholesterol, and heart problems.

Some conditions may increase your need for biotin. These include:

  • Genetic disorder of biotin deficiency

  • Seborrheic dermatitis in infants

  • Surgical removal of the stomach

Increased need for biotin should be determined by your health care professional.

Claims that biotin supplements are effective in the treatment of acne, eczema (a type of skin disorder), or hair loss have not been proven.

Biotin supplements are available without a prescription.

Importance of Diet

For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.

Biotin is found in various foods, including liver, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, soy flour, cereals, and yeast. Biotin content of food is reduced by cooking and preserving.

Vitamins alone will not take the place of a good diet and will not provide energy. Your body needs other substances found in food, such as protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fat. Vitamins themselves cannot work without the presence of other foods.

The daily amount of biotin needed is defined in several different ways.

For U.S.—

  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person’s age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).

  • Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DVs replace the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
For Canada—

  • Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.

Because lack of biotin is rare, there is no RDA or RNI for it. Normal daily recommended intakes for biotin are generally defined as follows:

  • Infants and children—

    • Birth to 3 years of age: 10 to 20 micrograms (mcg).

    • 4 to 6 years of age: 25 mcg.

    • 7 to 10 years of age: 30 mcg.

  • Adolescents and adults—

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Capsule, Liquid Filled
  • Tablet
  • Capsule
  • Tablet, Disintegrating

Portions of this document last updated: July 01, 2021

Copyright © 2021 IBM Watson Health. All rights reserved. Information is for End User’s use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.


How It Works, Dosage, and Side Effects

  • Biotin does help with hair growth as long as you have a biotin deficiency.  
  • Signs of a biotin deficiency include fatigue, loss of hair, and brittle nails. 
  • Chat with your doctor about the right dosage, which is typically around 5 mg per day.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Biotin is a popular vitamin supplement often marketed for its ability to grow healthy hair, skin, and nails. However, there is limited research on the relationship between biotin and hair. And, of the limited studies, most indicate biotin only thickens and lengthens hair if you have a biotin deficiency. 

Here is what you need to know about biotin, its relationship to healthy hair, and possible side effects.

What is biotin? 

Biotin, aka B7 or vitamin H, is an essential vitamin B nutrient that can be found naturally in some foods or taken as a dietary supplement. Biotin is important for several reasons, including: 

  • Converts nutrients, such as carbohydrates, protein, and fats, into energy.
  • Aids in the production of keratin, which helps keep your skin, hair, and nails healthy.

Here are some dietary sources of biotin:

You can also take biotin as an over-the-counter supplement. Your recommended daily intake varies depending on your age and gender, but for an adult male or female it is 30 mcg.

It’s important to consult your doctor before taking a biotin supplement to determine what dosage is best for you. 

Biotin for Hair Growth


The best vitamins to help your hair’s growth, thickness, and overall health

Biotin helps in the production of keratin, a protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails. Because of this, many companies tout biotin for its ability to help with hair growth, but there is very little research on the relationship between the two. 

“What we usually do in clinical practice is recommend biotin for people with dry, breaking hair, or brittle nails,” says Olga Bunimovich, MD, a dermatologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 

What the research says: Only one 2012 study found that women with thinning hair significantly benefited from taking a supplement containing biotin compared to women taking a placebo. Another 2017 review of biotin for hair loss found that the vitamin may benefit those with a biotin deficiency, but there was little evidence to support whether taking biotin aided in hair growth in healthy individuals. 

People may be deficient for various reasons, such as:

  • Pregnancy
  • Alcoholism
  • Biotinidase deficiency (BTD), a rare genetic disorder that prevents your body from recycling its biotin. It is incredibly uncommon in the United States with only 1 in 75,000 babies born with BTD. 

Symptoms of a biotin deficiency progress gradually over time and can include: 

General advice: When biotin is prescribed, the typical dosage is around 5 mg a day and it can take a minimum of three to six months for hair thickening and growth, says Bunimovich. This is about 166% of your daily needs. 

If you are experiencing hair loss or hair shedding, it may be due to another nutritional issue, like an iron deficiency, or an underlying health condition, such as a thyroid disorder. Taking biotin would not be effective for either of these conditions. 

Biotin side effects


The different types of water-soluble vitamins — and how to get enough of them

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning any excess is flushed out through your urine and not stored in your body.

Therefore, you cannot overdose on biotin, but some people may experience an upset stomach or diarrhea when taking biotin supplements. Additionally, biotin is not harmful to your kidneys if taken within the appropriate dosage amounts.

Studies found no adverse effects in 10 to 50 mg/day to as much as 200 mg/day. But, it’s important to keep dosage below 5 mg a day, says Elizabeth Damstetter, MD, a dermatologist and assistant professor at Rush Medical Center. That’s because biotin absorbed in your bloodstream may interfere with test results for hours or days after the fact, such as thyroid hormone tests or a troponin test, which helps diagnose heart attacks.

It’s important to let your doctor know you are on biotin in these cases. 

Biotin can also have an interaction with other medications, such as anticonvulsants, which can decrease the levels of biotin in your body. Long-term antibiotic use may also negatively impact the biotin levels in your gut.

If you are on any of these medications, speak with your healthcare provider before taking biotin.  

Insider’s Takeaway 

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that helps produce the protein keratin, which is essential for healthy hair, nails, and skin. While there is limited research on the effect biotin has on hair growth, people with a biotin deficiency may see healthier hair if they start supplementing. 

There are minimal side effects to biotin, but taking more than 5 mg could interfere with certain medical tests or interact with some medications. If considering biotin for your hair, consult your doctor to determine if it’s right for you.

The Truth About Biotin – Health Benefits and Side Effects of Biotin

Maybe it’s stress making your hair a little wispy, or hard-to-remove gel manicures shredding your nails. Or perhaps it’s that pizzatarian diet — too many late nights at work means you’re not eating your best. Whatever the reason, your nails are weak and peely, and your hair is looking like the before picture in a conditioner ad.

And there, calling out to you from the packed shelves of the drug store, is a supplement containing biotin, a B vitamin that, according to the bottle, “Supports Healthy Hair, Skin & Nails!” Perfect, you think. Until you read the label’s disclaimer: the FDA hasn’t evaluated that statement and that these pills don’t purport to treat any particular illness.

So should you plunk down your dollars in hopes that biotin will get you the glossy, voluminous hair and long, strong nails you’re hoping for? The answer is a resounding… maybe.

What is biotin, anyway?

Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, is a water-soluble nutrient found in foods. You can get your biggest hit of biotin in beef liver (not exactly a family favorite). But it can also be found in lesser amounts in egg yolks, sunflower seeds, nuts, and veggies like avocado, says Jason Ewoldt, RDN, LD, wellness dietician at the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program.

“Biotin is critical for the metabolism of fatty acids and carbs, but that’s not what people are using it for. They’re using it to strengthen brittle nails and for thinning hair,” he says.


why are people taking biotin for hair and nail growth?

The thinking goes a little something like this: Because people who are deficient in biotin have certain symptoms — including facial rashes, pink eye, and yes, thinning hair and brittle nails — upping your biotin intake may help.

But this logic isn’t super solid. There are tons of reasons you may have thinning hair, most of which have zero to do with a biotin deficiency. And true biotin deficiency is rare, says Ewoldt — pregnant or breastfeeding women are prone, as are people who abuse alcohol (vegans may also run low). Still, says Ewoldt, supplementing with biotin is a relatively easy, inexpensive thing to do, so people think, hey, why not?

And there is anecdotal evidence that it can help. “Many people have trouble getting enough biotin via diet and should supplement, especially those with thinning hair or brittle nails,” says Arielle Levitan, M. D., an internal medicine physician in Highland Park, IL, and co-founder of Vous Vitamin, a company that creates personalized multivitamins. “There is no reliable blood test [for biotin deficiency] so sometimes it is helpful to supplement.” Dr. Levitan also explains that how much biotin you need depends on the individual.

What does the science say?

Not a whole lot. “For hair health, there is really no evidence at all that it strengthens hair and promotes it to grow,” says Ewoldt.

For healthy nails, there’s a bit more evidence, he says. “In those studies, they supplement with a small amount of biotin per day, and there was a small improvement in nail thickness.” But these weren’t large studies, and as in all nutrition research (where people aren’t only eating giant bricks of biotin), “it’s hard to pin the effects down to this one nutrient,” says Ewoldt.

How much biotin should you take?

There is no recommended daily allowance, but an adequate amount of biotin is thought to be 30 mcg a day. The National Institutes of Health has not established how much is too much, but it doesn’t seem to be toxic even in oral doses as high as 200,000 mcg a day.

Are there any side effects to taking biotin?

“Taking too much biotin can have negative effects,” says Dr. Levitan. It can skew the results of certain blood tests, for one, leading to misdiagnoses. “It can also interfere with the absorption of other B vitamins which are essential to other important aspects of health,” she adds. That’s why she recommends those with thinning hair don’t supplement with more than 2500 mcgs a day.

So, should you try it?

The greatest risk to taking biotin supplements seems to be that you’ll pee out what your body can’t use and your hair and nails will look the same. But if you want give it a go, make sure you get a brand that, well, at least contains biotin. Various studies have found that vitamins and herbal supplements don’t contain the amounts of key ingredients that they claim to (gummies were found to be especially lacking). “This is a largely unregulated industry,” says Dr. Levitan.

So look for brands that use third-party testing — the label usually says NSFor USP on it, indicating that independent labs have verified that the product contains what it says it does. “That way, even if it does nothing, at least you’re buying what you’re expecting,” says Ewoldt. Meanwhile, the retail chain CVS announced in May that they’re only selling supplements that have been third-party tested.

Even better, talk to your doctor about why your hair and nails may be weak; it could be an underlying medical condition, and other nutrients, such as iron, Vitamin D3 and vitamin C, which helps you absorb iron, can affect your hair and nails, says Dr. Levitan. “I would look at someone’s diet as a whole,” says Ewoldt. If they’re not getting enough of any essential nutrient, “that’s where supplementing can be a benefit,” he says.

Stephanie Dolgoff
Deputy director, Health Newsroom, Hearst Lifestyle Group
Stephanie, an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author, has written and edited about health, fitness, and wellness for such publications as Good Housekeeping, Self, Glamour, Real Simple, Parenting, Cosmo and more.

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What are the Side Effects of Taking Biotin Pills?

The vitamin B family has 8 members; one of them is biotin. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that also known as vitamin H. It is widely used as a supplement for people who have hair problems like hair loss and hair thinning.

It has many functions in the body such as conversion of the macro-nutrients into energy, keeping healthy skin and nails, and lowering blood sugar level.

Taking biotin has two different ways; biotin foods or biotin supplements. Biotin foods are better than biotin supplements because their biotin is better absorbed and used by the body. This article will tell you more about biotin-rich foods.

Everyone wants to get the best hair growth serum without experiencing any possible side effects. Well, the side effects are rare but some unusual effects appear sometimes. Check what Mayo Clinic says about the side effects of biotin from here.

So what are the possible side effects that may affect some people while taking biotin pills?

1. Acne
Taking large doses of biotin over a long period of time may cause facial acne. The production of sebum increases by the usage of biotin which will subsequently lead to accumulation of dirt and ruptures. When you stop using biotin, the acne disappears gradually after a few weeks. Take less than 2500 mcg per day of biotin supplements and drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of acne.

2. Allergic Reactions
Some allergic reactions may happen due to the usage of biotin supplements. Allergies due to the usage of biotin are rare but some cases were reported. The cases reported were nausea, throat and face swelling, rashes, tightness, and chest pain. Consult your doctor if you suffered from any kind of symptoms during taking biotin supplements.

3. During Pregnancy
Biotin effects during pregnancy are extremely dangerous. High doses of biotin may lead to miscarriage. There are no studies that prove that but if you are pregnant and you want to take biotin supplements to avoid hair loss problems that happen during pregnancy and help your fetus to develop, it is better to consult a doctor first. Don’t take more than the dose that you doctor will recommend.

4. Urination and Sweating
High doses of biotin are associated with increase the frequency of urination above normal. The body tends to get rid of high amount of its water with the consumption of high doses of biotin; that is why there may be high amount of sweating too.

5. GIT Problems
Some people reported that they suffer from some stomach problems such as stomach ache, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and gases when they take biotin supplements. If you suffered from such symptoms, stop taking biotin supplements and consult your doctor immediately.

6. Nausea
Some people said that they had mild nausea when they started taking biotin supplements but after a while, this nausea disappears.

7. Increasing Blood Glucose Level
At a certain level of biotin dosage, the blood glucose level decreases but when the level of biotin increases significantly, it enhances the production of glucose and fatty acids which subsequently leads to increase the blood glucose level. Consult your doctor before taking biotin especially if you have diabetes to avoid exceeding the limit of biotin intake.

8. Drug Interactions
Biotin should not be taken with anti-seizure and cholesterol-lowering medicines as it decrease their effects.

9. Pericardial Effusion
A case of severe pericardial effusion was reported of a woman taking biotin pills. Pleural effusion means air and blood in the pleural cavity around the lung compressing it which is life-threatening.

10. Respiratory Problems
Some people suffered from acute respiratory problems. Stop taking biotin immediately if you noticed any symptom of respiratory distress and consult your doctor.
Read more about biotin and its side effects from here.

So what are the precautions that should be taken while taking biotin?

1. Drink water regularly to get rid of any extra amounts of biotin in your body.
2. Alcohol and smoking dehydrate the body so you will lose many essential elements including biotin.
3. Don’t start taking biotin with a high dose; start with a low dose then increase your intake gradually.
4. Take biotin after meals only. Don’t take it on an empty stomach.
5. Eat biotin-rich foods along with the supplements.
6. Don’t depend on multivitamins supplements to provide you with biotin; it is better to take biotin supplements.
7. If you suffered from any kind of unusual effects, consult your doctor immediately!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links. ’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.


How much biotin is too much?

Biotin products have popped up everywhere! You can find a number of biotin supplements in low doses designed for things like better hair and nails. You can also find newer products such as Myetin® which deliver higher doses of D-biotin with the goal of supporting better nerve health.

So how much biotin is too much per day? The answer depends on what you’re taking it for.

First, What is Biotin?

Biotin is one of the B complex vitamins which helps the body convert food into energy.

Biotin is one of the B complex vitamins which helps the body convert food into energy.

In fact, the word “biotin” comes from a Greek word meaning “sustenance,” or “life.”

Most people associate B vitamins, and biotin in particular, with healthy skin and hair.

But biotin has many other important functions including supporting the liver and the eyes, as well as boosting overall nerve health.

Biotin forms fatty acids and glucose, helping metabolize amino acids and carbohydrates in the body delivering what we call “cellular level nutrition”.

One of the reasons people with neurodegenerative conditions are taking biotin is it supports the development of the myelin sheath which helps reduce nerve pain and inflammation.

How Does Biotin Deficiency Occur?

Biotin deficiency is rare. However, it can occur in individuals with biotinidase deficiency. This is a rare autosomal recessive disorder that prevents the body from releasing free biotin.

Biotin deficiency can also occur in smokers or individuals who drink alcohol excessively. It is also found in individuals who consume a large number of raw egg whites.

Some genetic disorders have also been shown to cause biotin deficiency. Low levels of biotin are also found in individuals undergoing renal dialysis.

Biotin is produced in the intestines. As such, Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease are at an increased risk for developing biotin deficiency.

What is the “Recommended” Dosage of Biotin?

There is no official “recommended” dosage of biotin in large part because of the variety of reasons people take it. Regardless of why you’re taking it, it’s important to remember that biotin is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that any excess biotin will, theoretically, pass through the body in the urine.

However, the FDA has suggested that an adequate dose of Biotin for adults and adolescents over the age of 14 is between 30mcg and 35mcg.

Note – a microgram is just that – a portion of a gram. That means every 1000 mcg equals 1 mg.
It’s important to understand the labeling and dosage of each product!

It is important to know that biotin supplemental hasn’t been tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, and in children.

Biotin Dosage for Hair

According to the National Institutes of Health, there isn’t enough evidence to effectively rate how well biotin could treat hair loss. However, biotin deficiency does result in hair loss in many people.

Individuals with a biotin deficiency who suffer from thinning hair or hair loss may actually benefit from taking biotin supplementation.

The FDA has not established a recommended dietary allowance for biotin. However, if you are just looking for better skin and nails, the suggested dosage of biotin for adolescents and adults ranges from 30 to 100 micrograms.

Some proponents, however, recommend taking 2000 to 5000 mcg of supplementary biotin in order to strengthen hair shafts and achieve desired results.

This recommendation may be based on a few studies done in children. These studies found that 3-5mg/day of biotin in children with uncombable hair syndrome significantly improved the health of their hair after just 4 months. (1,2)

Biotin Dosage for Neurological Health

While biotin may be able to strengthen hair shafts and improve nails, it can do so much more. Having strong hair doesn’t matter if your nerves aren’t functioning properly.

Biotin is extremely important for nerve health. Biotin activates key enzymes, which stimulate the body to produce myelin. When there is a healthy level of myelin in the body, nerve cells can communicate more effectively.

Producing more myelin may help many individuals who are suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.

Several studies found that high doses of biotin, up to 10,000 times the daily adequate intake, could reduce symptoms in individuals suffering from nerve diseases. 3

Some individuals taking high doses of biotin reported less pain, improved energy levels, and reduced inflammation as noted in a recent pilot patient study.

You Can Get Some Biotin from Food!

Biotin is found naturally in foods such as organ meats, egg yolks, cauliflower, milk, carrots, nuts and nut butters, mushrooms, bananas, soybeans and other legumes and whole grains.

However, cooking biotin-containing foods can render biotin ineffective.

Because of this, those who want to receive the most active amount of biotin from food sources should consume their food raw or less processed as possible, or consider a biotin supplement.

Selected Food Sources of Biotin

Food mcg per serving
Beef liver, cooked, 3 ounces 30.8
Egg, whole, cooked 10.0
Salmon, pink, canned in water, 3 ounces 5.0
Pork chop, cooked, 3 ounces 3.8
Hamburger patty, cooked, 3 ounces 3.8
Sunflower seeds, roasted, ¼ cup 2.6
Sweet potato, cooked, ½ cup 2.4
Almonds, roasted, ¼ cup 1.5
Tuna, canned in water, 3 ounces 0.6
Spinach, boiled, ½ cup 0.5
Broccoli, fresh, ½ cup 0.4
Cheddar cheese, mild, 1 ounce 0.4
Milk, 2%, 1 cup 0.3
Plain yogurt, 1 cup 0.2
Oatmeal, 1 cup 0.2
Banana, ½ cup 0.2

Foods Aren’t Enough to Get the Biotin You Need

While most healthy individuals can obtain the biotin they need from the foods they eat, individuals suffering from disease or illness or a biotin deficiency can not.

The most well-known signs of biotin deficiency include hair loss and a scaly red rash. The rash typically shows up around the genitals, the nose, the mouth, and the eyes.

Adults with a serious biotin deficiency may experience lethargy, numbness, and tingling of the extremities, hallucinations, seizures, and depression. Some may also experience impaired immune system function and increased susceptibility to fungal infections and bacterial infections.

Other people particularly interested in higher doses of D-biotin are suffering from some form of nerve condition where inflammation and pain are a daily struggle. In these cases, biotin has been shown to deliver additional nutrition supporting regeneration of the myelin sheath and helping reduce nerve inflammation when taken over time.

Myetin® offers 150 mg of D-Biotin in each dose and the suggested use is twice daily. So people taking Myetin® get 300 mg of high dose biotin each day!

Can You Take Too Much Biotin?

Since biotin is water soluble, it is difficult to take too much biotin. Most of the evidence in the medical community suggests no side effects from taking higher doses of biotin daily. Although there is no evidence that biotin interacts with any medication, biotin can result in a false or abnormal result in thyroid levels. Be sure to inform your healthcare provider that you are taking high dose biotin prior to having lab tests performed.

And while it is highly unlikely that you could “overdose” on biotin, before making any major changes to your health regimen, it is a good idea to speak to your doctor to find out what’s best for you.

However, most biotin products such as Myetin® are available without a prescription.


90,000 side effects of biotin

Biotin (vitamin B7 or vitamin H) plays an important role in metabolism, helps maintain the health and beauty of hair, skin and nails , participates in many enzymatic reactions of the body.

Biotin is found in oats, dried fruits, eggs, cabbage, goat milk, cauliflower, raspberries, yeast. With low-calorie diets, the amount of biotin in the body drops sharply, which can lead to negative consequences.

The daily requirement for biotin for adults up to 300 mcg, for children up to 120 mcg per day (with the exception of taking biotin with a doctor’s prescription for certain diseases, for example, with a rare disease, biotinidase deficiency or diseases of the nervous system).

Biotin side effects


Too large dosages of biotin increase the risk of chin and jaw acne. The occurrence of this reaction of the body is unknown, but it has been established that acne disappears a few days after the cessation of the intake of biotin in the body. If you are experiencing such a reaction, it is recommended to take biotin with a dosage of no more than 2.5 mg per day and be sure to drink plenty of clean water per day.You will have to experiment until you find the dosage of biotin that works best for you.

Allergic reactions

Allergic reactions to biotin have not been identified, but are included in the category of an individual reaction of the body. People who are allergic to vitamin B12 or cobalt can usually experience an allergic reaction from biotin. An allergic reaction is manifested by nausea, itching, swelling of the throat and face. After the onset of such symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.


It is not recommended to take large doses of biotin during pregnancy. Always check with your healthcare professional before taking any dose of Biotin during pregnancy or lactation.

Negative interaction with some drugs

Biotin interacts negatively with anticonvulsants and drugs that lower blood cholesterol levels. While biotin helps regulate blood sugar and helps regulate metabolism, it can also have a pronounced effect on glucose levels throughout the body.If you are on these drugs or have diabetes, high doses of biotin can affect your symptoms. However, there are no life-threatening cases of taking biotin, the only recorded case is the appearance of pleurocardial murmurs when taking high doses of vitamins B5 and B7, but at the moment it is not known whether this was a consequence of taking vitamins or their combination.

The benefits of biotin

Biotin is the most important nutrient of the B vitamins and participates in the body’s metabolism, namely converting proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy, thereby making the metabolism more intense.Biotin helps maintain healthy hair, skin and nails by preventing hair loss, breakage and other problems. Biotin also lowers blood sugar levels, has a positive effect on the nervous system, helping to overcome depressive conditions.

Doses of biotin

Some medical procedures require high doses of biotin, for example 500 mg of biotin per day is required for Candidia Albicans. Some experts use high doses of biotin to treat diabetes, as this vitamin helps increase the body’s natural insulin sensitivity while increasing the amount of enzymes that help metabolize sugar.

For people suffering from biotinidase deficiency, doctors often prescribe the following dosages of biotin:

1. Children under 3 years old up to 20 mg of biotin per day

2. Children from 4 to 6 years old about 25 mg per day

3. Children from 7 to 10 years old about 30 mg per day

4. Over 10 years of age 30-100 mg of biotin per day.

This disease must be controlled by a doctor, the dosage of biotin can also be selected only by a doctor.

composition, indications, dosage, side effects

The drug Biotin belongs to the B vitamins, it is a vital component of cell growth and development, plays an important role in their life, as well as in the development of skin, hair and nails. Biotin helps to effectively eliminate splitting and brittle nails, fine wrinkles of the facial skin, seborrhea of ​​the scalp, restore the structure of nails, prevent skin flaking, premature appearance of gray hair, brittleness and hair loss.The drug normalizes blood glucose levels.

Release form, composition

Biotin is produced in tablet form, in the form of coated tablets.

1 tablet contains the active ingredient: biotin 5 mg.

In a cardboard box 3 blister packs of 10 tablets each.

Indications for use

The drug Biotin is used and prescribed for the prevention and treatment of diseases that are caused by a deficiency of biotin, these are diseases of the nails, skin, hair (dermatitis, disturbances in the processes of keratinization of the skin, disorders, the function of the sebaceous glands of the skin, impaired growth and hair structure, dandruff, alopecia, gray hair, impaired growth and structure of the nail plate).Also therapy of functional diseases or the digestive system, malabsorption syndrome, disorders of the psychoemotional sphere, hereditary metabolic diseases with biotinidase deficiency.


The drug Biotin, as a rule, is well tolerated, but nevertheless, the use is contraindicated in persons with individual immunity of the components of the drug. For children, the drug is used only after 12 years.

The period of pregnancy and breastfeeding

Biotin can be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding only if the expected benefit for the mother is higher than the expected risk for the fetus or child.

Directions for use

Biotin should be taken before meals with a sufficient amount of liquid. The tablets should be swallowed without chewing whole.

For the treatment of diseases of hair, nails, skin with a deficiency of biotin, the recommended dose is 5 mg (1 tablet) per day.

Therapy for malabsorption syndrome includes taking 10 mg (2 tablets) once.

Therapy of hereditary metabolic diseases with biotinidase deficiency includes taking 5-10 mg (1-2 tablets) once.

In case of multiple deficiency of carboxylases, it is allowed to use the drug in a dose of up to 20 mg per day.

Maximum daily dose up to 20 mg of biotin.

Duration of therapy is one month of continuous course.


No cases of intoxication with Biotin were observed.

If the recommended daily doses are observed, there can be no drug overdose.

Adverse reactions

Side effects when using Biotin can manifest themselves in the form of chest pains and allergic reactions, including urticaria, skin rashes, especially for people who are prone to allergies.

If any adverse reactions occur during the use of the drug, therapy should be discontinued and a doctor should be consulted.

Storage conditions

Store Biotin at a temperature not exceeding +25 ° C and in a place that children have no access to.

The expiration date of the drug is indicated on the packaging from the manufacturer.

OTC leave.

90,000 Side effects of taking biotin supplements

Biotin (Vitamin B 7) is vital for your skin, hair, nails and general health.Consuming organ meats, eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, and some vegetables helps maintain biotin levels. If that fails, you can always rely on biotin supplements.

Although they are all considered safe, overdose of these supplements can negatively affect your liver, skin, and homeostasis. However, there is insufficient evidence to support these effects. Scroll down and find out why it matters.

Side effects of biotin supplements

Technically, neither biotin nor its supplements are harmful to your body. It is only when you take an overdose of biotin that certain organ systems are affected. This is why you should only use them with medical consent and at the prescribed dosage.

The correct question is, what are the side effects of excessive biotin intake?

There are two main questions:

Interferes with laboratory research

Excessive biotin supplementation interferes with specific diagnostic tests. Tests that are used to quantify hormone and vitamin levels (such as thyroid and vitamin D tests) are common targets.

These tests are carried out on the biophysical principle of the affinity between biotin and its complement molecule. In this case, we are talking about a hormone. The biotin-hormone interaction is quantified and interpreted as a result of the test.

In other words, the amount of biotin in your body has a direct impact on the level of the hormone you register. Therefore, large amounts of biotin can give false positive or false negative results in such quantitative tests.

If artificially supplied biotin in your body exceeds the recommended intake limit, it can trigger a chain of misdiagnoses that can become life-threatening.

May cause drug interactions

Biotin may interact with certain medications such as anticonvulsants (anticonvulsants). Anticonvulsant treatment is prescribed for people with epilepsy and seizures. These medicines can also stimulate the breakdown of biotin.This leads to a decrease in biotin status and inhibits intestinal absorption of biotin.

If you are taking anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine (Tegretol®, Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Ekvetro®), primidone (Maysolin®), phenytoin (Dilantin®, Fenitek®), phenobarbital (Luminal®, Solfoton®), or a combination of these medications, consult your doctor.

Discuss with them whether biotin supplementation is recommended in addition to the diet.

Remember: Low biotin levels send false signals of a biotin deficiency when in fact your body is capable of absorbing biotin well. This is mainly prevented by anticonvulsants.

A fatal case of “eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion” has been reported. An elderly woman took a combination of 10 mg / day of biotin and 300 mg / day of pantothenic acid (vitamin B 5) for two months.

Her fatal condition could be due to the interaction of vitamins B5 and B 7. Since there is almost no supporting literature, such cases remain closed.

These side effects can be alarming.Hence, stick to dosage limits. Find out what is the recommended dosage for biotin in the next section.

How much biotin is recommended per day?

Insufficient data are available to estimate the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for biotin. However, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has established guidelines for adequate intake of this vitamin.

The average healthy adult typically takes about 40-60 mcg of biotin per day.During pregnancy, your body needs more biotin. So when it comes to supplements, there is no upper limit yet.

Taking a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement providing at least 30 mcg of biotin per day should be ideal.

However, biotin supplementation up to 100-600 mg per day showed no toxicity. This high dose continued for two months.

Biotin is essential for your body and it is good to consume it in sufficient quantity.But some people end up overdosing. High biotin levels can interfere with laboratory tests and specific medications.

The best way out is to consult your doctor. Take only the recommended amount of biotin supplements, even if you are pregnant. Always choose natural food sources of biotin over synthetic supplements (unless you have a congenital condition).

Vitamin B7 – biotin (vitamin H, Vitamin B7, Biotin, Vitamin H)

Study material
Blood plasma (EDTA)

Method of determination
HPLC-MS / MS (high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry).

Test for assessing the status of vitamin B7 (biotin) in the body.

Biotin – also known as vitamin B7 and vitamin H – a water-soluble B vitamin, is a cofactor of five important carboxylases involved in the synthesis and catabolism of fatty acids, amino acid metabolism, gluconeogenesis. The attachment of biotin to these carboxylases is catalyzed by the Holocarboxylase synthetase (HLCS) enzyme, and the biotinidase enzyme releases biotin from the decay products of carboxylases, making it available for a new cycle.

Good food sources of biotin are offal (liver, kidneys), eggs, yeast, milk. Cereals, fruits, most vegetables and meats contain less of it. Substantial amounts of biotin can be synthesized by the human intestinal microflora. Diet-related lack of vitamin intake and genetic defects in enzymes involved in its metabolism (biotinidases, less commonly HLCS) can lead to biotin deficiency.

Deficiency of this vitamin is not common.Documented clinical cases have been described with long-term consumption of raw egg whites (which contain the biotin-binding protein avidin) or with almost exclusively parenteral nutrition without biotin supplementation, as well as in individuals with congenital disorders of its metabolism. Nutritional vitamin deficiency can be aggravated by the state of the microflora that produces biotin, for example, against the background of the use of antibiotics. A significant decrease in circulating biotin is noted in chronic alcoholism, in patients with achlorhydria, in old age, in people taking anticonvulsants.Mutations in the biotinidase gene disrupt the recycling (reuse) of biotin and lead to its increased losses in the urine (in the form complexed with peptides). Rarely are HLCS gene mutations with a decrease in the activity of this enzyme and metabolic disorders due to a deficiency of carboxylases with characteristic acidemias. Clinical manifestations of overt biotin deficiency include anorexia, nausea, vomiting; glossitis; dermatitis; conjunctivitis; alopecia; ataxia; hypotension; ketolactic acidosis / organic aciduria; convulsions; skin infections; thinning hair; rashes on the skin around the eyes, nose and mouth; impaired immune function; developmental delays in children.

Biotin is used in clinical practice to treat its deficiency in genetic disorders, high-dose supplements of this vitamin can be used in progressive multiple sclerosis (the mechanisms of its beneficial action in this pathology are still being established). Side effects of high doses of biotin (as observed in patients with biotinidase deficiency) have not been described. Biotin is gaining popularity and is widely advertised for its reported effects on hair and nail growth.Although beneficial effects of this vitamin on hair and nails have indeed been established for individuals with acquired or congenital deficiencies of this vitamin, there is insufficient data on its benefits for healthy people with normal biotin status in the body. Persons using biotin preparations should take into account that pharmacological doses of biotin can interfere and distort the results of various laboratory immunochemical studies (for example, in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay – ELISA) using the biotin-streptavidin system in reagents (can be used to determine hormones, markers of various diseases ).

Plasma biotin concentration can fluctuate during the day and is not always a reliable marker of vitamin status.


  1. Tietz Clinical Guidelines for Laboratory Tests. 3rd ed. (ed. Alan G.B. Wu). – M .: Ed. Unimed Press. 2003: 942.
  2. Kuroishi T. Regulation of immunological and inflammatory functions by biotin. Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology. 2015; 93 (12): 1091-1096.
  3. Mock D.M. Biotin: From Nutrition to Therapeutics. Journal of Nutrition. 2017; 147: 1487-1492.
  4. Patel D.P. et al. A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss. Skin appendage disorders. 2017; 3: 166-169.
  5. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemictry and Molecular Diagnostics (Ed. Burtis C. A., Ashwood E. R., Bruns D. E.), 5th ed., Elseivier. 2012: 2238.
  6. Zempleni J., Kuroishi T. Biotin.Advances in nutrition. 2012; 3 (2): 213-214.

Vitamin B7 – biotin (vitamin H, Vitamin B7, Biotin, Vitamin H)

Method of determination
HPLC-MS / MS (high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry).

Study material
Blood plasma (EDTA)

Synonyms : Coenzyme R; Coenzyme R.

B7; Coenzyme R.

Brief characteristics of the analyte Vitamin B7 – biotin

Biotin – also known as vitamin B7 and vitamin H – a water-soluble B vitamin, is a cofactor of five important carboxylases involved in the synthesis and catabolism of fatty acids, amino acid metabolism, gluconeogenesis. The attachment of biotin to these carboxylases is catalyzed by the Holocarboxylase synthetase (HLCS) enzyme, and the biotinidase enzyme releases biotin from the decay products of carboxylases, making it available for a new cycle.

Good food sources of biotin are offal (liver, kidneys), eggs, yeast, milk. Cereals, fruits, most vegetables and meats contain less of it. Substantial amounts of biotin can be synthesized by the human intestinal microflora.

Under what conditions can vitamin B7 deficiency develop in the body

Lack of intake of vitamin B7 associated with diet, and genetic defects in enzymes involved in its metabolism (biotinidases, less often – HLCS) can lead to a deficiency of biotin in the body. Lack of this vitamin in the body is not common.

Documented clinical cases have been described with prolonged consumption of raw egg whites (which contain biotin-binding protein avidin) or with almost exclusively parenteral nutrition without biotin supplementation, as well as in persons with congenital disorders of its metabolism. Nutritional vitamin deficiency can be aggravated by the state of the microflora that produces biotin, for example, against the background of the use of antibiotics. A significant decrease in circulating biotin is noted in chronic alcoholism, in patients with achlorhydria, in old age, in people taking anticonvulsants.Mutations in the biotinidase gene disrupt the recycling (reuse) of biotin and lead to its increased losses in the urine (in the form complexed with peptides). Rarely are HLCS gene mutations with a decrease in the activity of this enzyme and metabolic disorders due to a deficiency of carboxylases with characteristic acidemias.

How vitamin B7 deficiency can manifest itself in the body

Clinical manifestations of overt biotin deficiency include anorexia, nausea, vomiting; glossitis; dermatitis; conjunctivitis; alopecia; ataxia; hypotension; ketolactic acidosis / organic aciduria; convulsions; skin infections; thinning hair; rashes on the skin around the eyes, nose and mouth; impaired immune function; developmental delays in children.

When are vitamin B7 preparations used

Biotin is used in clinical practice to treat its deficiency in genetic disorders, high-dose supplements of this vitamin can be used in progressive multiple sclerosis (the mechanisms of its beneficial action in this pathology are still being established). Side effects of high doses of biotin (as observed in patients with biotinidase deficiency) have not been described.

Biotin is gaining popularity and is widely advertised for its reported effects on hair and nail growth.Although beneficial effects of this vitamin on hair and nails have indeed been established for individuals with acquired or congenital deficiencies of this vitamin, there is insufficient data on its benefits for healthy people with normal biotin status in the body. Persons using biotin preparations should take into account that pharmacological doses of biotin can interfere and distort the results of various laboratory immunochemical studies (for example, in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay – ELISA) using the biotin-streptavidin system in reagents (can be used to determine hormones, markers of various diseases ).

For what purpose is the level of vitamin B7 in blood serum determined?

The test is used to assess the status of vitamin B7 (biotin) in the body.

What can affect the result of the “Vitamin B7” test

Plasma biotin concentration can fluctuate during the day and is not always a reliable marker of vitamin status.


Main literature:

  1. Tietz Clinical Guidelines for Laboratory Tests.3rd ed. (ed. Alan G.B. Wu). – M .: Ed. Unimed Press. 2003: 942.
  2. Kuroishi T. Regulation of immunological and inflammatory functions by biotin. Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology. 2015; 93 (12): 1091-1096.
  3. Mock D.M. Biotin: From Nutrition to Therapeutics. Journal of Nutrition. 2017; 147: 1487-1492.
  4. Patel D.P. et al. A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss. Skin appendage disorders. 2017; 3: 166-169.
  5. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemictry and Molecular Diagnostics (Ed. Burtis C. A., Ashwood E. R., Bruns D. E.), 5th ed., Elseivier. 2012: 2238.
  6. Zempleni J., Kuroishi T. Biotin. Advances in nutrition. 2012; 3 (2): 213-214.

90,000 role for the human body, how to properly take

Useful properties of vitamin B7

Vitamin B7 is involved in the metabolism of fatty acids leucine, keratin, as well as in the formation of glucose, therefore, the use of biotin has a positive effect on almost all processes in the body.There are 5 areas that the vitamin affects the most:

1. Stabilization of metabolism.

In this case, you need to pay attention to the biological effect of biotin: it is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Metabolic disorders that affect the activity of the whole organism may be associated precisely with a lack of vitamin B7.

2. Healthy hair and nails.

The most common use of biotin is for hair and nails.The strengthening and revitalizing effect is achieved by the fact that vitamin B7 promotes the synthesis of keratin – a protein that forms the basis of hair and nails.

3. Support for the nervous system.

For the full functioning of the brain and the entire nervous system, the body needs glucose. Its deficiency negatively affects both the psychoemotional and the physical condition of a person. To prevent this, people with diabetes or low glucose levels take vitamin B7, as it promotes gluconeogenesis – the natural production of glucose from non-carbohydrate compounds.

4. Tissue restoration.

Regeneration of any tissue in the human body, be it muscle fibers or skin, also depends on metabolism. With a biotin deficiency, both simple skin lesions and muscles damaged during exercise or exertion will take a long time to heal.

5. Child development.

When a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, biotin is needed not only for herself, but also for her baby.Often, pregnant women develop hypovitaminosis, which leads to health problems for both the mother and the baby. But all supplements for pregnant women need to be treated with extreme caution. More information about the use of biotin during pregnancy can be found in the section “Contraindications and side effects”.

Important! Biotin will not affect healthy metabolism, accelerate hair growth in someone with normal keratin levels, or increase glucose production if the body has enough glucose. It works exactly in the area where the person has problems.

Who Should Take?

Based on the described mechanism of action of biotin, we can list the situations in which it is worth considering purchasing this supplement:

  • with problems with metabolism;

  • with brittle or split ends, hair loss, baldness, gray hair;

  • if nails are exfoliated or often break;

  • before upcoming stressful situations, for example, exams;

  • with intense physical exertion;

  • during strict diets when dietary biotin intake is reduced.

Pregnancy, long-term use of hormonal drugs or antibiotics, as well as alcohol and smoking can lead to a decrease in the production of vitamin B7, and, therefore, its deficiency.

What is biotin for women for?

The supplement is most popular among the female sex, sometimes it is even called the “beauty vitamin”. Girls use biotin to strengthen hair and nails, as it increases keratin production.Vitamin B7 also affects skin health: it eliminates irritation, reduces the effects of acne, dermatitis, eczema and other skin diseases.

To understand how biotin affects hair, you need to know the structure of the hair itself. Keratin cells make up more than 50% of their composition, therefore, this protein primarily affects the health of the hairline. Keratin can also be taken as a standalone supplement, but this protein is insoluble in water, which increases the chance of overdose and side effects.Biotin, on the other hand, is a water-soluble vitamin that promotes the body’s natural production of keratin. The excess of this drug is excreted in the urine or sweat and does not harm the body.

Why do athletes need biotin?

Vitamin B7 is essential for athletes for 2 reasons:

1. Control of energy exchange and metabolism.

Muscle growth is built on a healthy metabolism, which requires adequate levels of biotin.Its deficiency will become an insurmountable obstacle to gaining muscle mass, and all other biological supplements will not have the desired effect until the level of biotin returns to normal.

2. Maintaining blood glucose levels.

During exercise, blood glucose levels drop and the body begins to synthesize it by breaking down glycogen stored in muscles and liver. But even this stock may not be enough. With a decrease in glucose levels, the athlete will begin to feel malaise, loss of performance, and heaviness in the muscles.Biotin, which accelerates the gluconeogenesis process, will allow you to increase your glucose supply even with grueling exercise.

Why does the body need biotin in diabetes?

People with diabetes have higher blood glucose levels than normal, but they also have an indication for biotin. At first glance, this may seem contradictory, but in fact there is a logical rationale why biotin is needed for diabetics.

The main problem of diabetes is not an increase in blood sugar, but a decrease in insulin, which stimulates the processing of glucose.Biotin not only increases the level of glucose in the body, but promotes gluconeogenesis – the conversion of glucose into glycogen. The action of biotin in any case leads to the stabilization of glucose levels.

Forms of issue and dosage

Vitamin B7 can be purchased in 3 forms:

Supplements come in the form of tablets or capsules – there is little difference between these uses. In severe hypovitaminosis, biotin can be injected.The second option for using the solution is local application of the vitamin: biotin is applied to problem areas of the skin or hair. It should be noted that in this way the side effects of biotin are completely absent, but its effectiveness is much worse.

The dosage of biotin per day depends on age and the presence of vitamin problems in the body. A healthy adult needs at least 30-50 mcg per day. This amount is easy to get from regular food. The upper limit of the dosage of biotin has not been established, since it is a water-soluble vitamin, the excess of which is rapidly excreted from the body.The therapeutic doses of the drug are dozens of times higher than the minimum, for example, the daily dosage of biotin for hair loss is 2-3 mg, with hereditary problems with the absorption of the vitamin, you will have to take tablets of 5-10 mg. Only a doctor can say exactly what dosage of biotin is required in an individual case.

Rules for the use of the drug and its features

The standard course of supplementation is 1 month. You need to take the vitamin before or during meals, drinking plenty of clean water.The best time to take biotin depends on the dose you need. If the doctor prescribed a biotin dosage of 10 mg per day, and the tablets contain 5 mg each, then it is better to take them with breakfast and with meals in the afternoon. There are no contraindications for this vitamin for use at any time of the day, but manufacturers can include other elements in the supplement, so before taking biotin, read the instructions for use.

Another important question: what to take biotin with for better absorption.The drug is well compatible with all additives; it is worth distinguishing between the reception only with zinc and pantothenic acid. Magnesium, on the other hand, will complement it well.

Important! When taking the vitamin, limit your alcohol intake. It impairs the absorption of all nutrients.

Which manufacturer should you choose?

There is a lot of competition in the nutritional supplement market, so you need to know which biotin to choose. The main question: to take pure biotin or a vitamin complex containing B7.The answer to it depends on the daily requirement for the vitamin, as well as its amount consumed with food and other sports nutrition.

Among pure biotin supplements, 2 manufacturers are in the lead: Solgar and Now. Solgar Biotin is available in 300 mcg tablets and 10 mg capsules for those with more severe vitamin deficiencies. Now Biotin is also available in 10 mg capsules. There are no significant differences between the two manufacturers.

Among the vitamin-mineral complexes containing vitamin B7, Optimum Nutrition products are considered the best: Opti-men for men (100 mcg of biotin per 1 tablet) and Opti-women for women (125 mcg per 1 capsule).You can also pay attention to Maxler VitaMen, this complex also contains 100 mcg of vitamin B7 per tablet, which fully meets the needs of a healthy person.

Contraindications and side effects

Before drinking biotin, read the contraindications and side effects. A complete list is contained in the instructions for use for vitamins biotin, but the difference between manufacturers is small. Contraindications are only age up to 12 years and intolerance to the components of the supplement.Without a doctor’s prescription, biotin should not be used by pregnant women. The negative effects of biotin on a child’s body have not been confirmed, but unnecessary supplementation is best avoided.

The list of side effects usually includes allergies, excessive sweating, nausea, and swelling. In practice, the probability of these effects occurring is practically zero, since the body does not absorb excess biotin, but excretes it along with urine and sweat.

UNICUM premium vitamins for dogs with biotin for healthy coat and skin P

About the product Vitamins UNICUM premium for dogs with biotin for healthy coat and skin P

UNICUM premium vitamins for dogs with biotin for healthy coat and skin.The water-soluble vitamin biotin belongs to the “B” group. It needs to be bought to improve the coat of a pet. Otherwise, its active loss will begin, regardless of the molting period, which may be accompanied by painful skin inflammations. What problems do vitamins with biotin solve? ● Itching. ● Lack of gloss. ● Slow wound healing. ● Permanent molt. ● Skin ulcers. ● Dandruff. ● Brittleness of the coat. Veterinarians recommend choosing complexes that include sulfur in addition to biotin.The price of such vitamins is no different from supplements where this component is absent. The combination of H with S makes the coat beautiful, healthy, bright and fluffy, and also prevents it from shedding. The skin becomes smooth, becomes more resistant to harmful microorganisms and parasites. Positive effects of taking vitamins with biotin: ● Normalization of metabolic processes. ● Acceleration of tissue regeneration. ● Prevention of skin diseases. ● Improving the appearance of the coat.● Reducing the percentage of dead embryos in dogs. UNICUM vitamins with biotin for dogs are especially important during the show preparation period to enhance the natural beauty of the coat. Veterinarians recommend them for the treatment of various diseases, as well as for strengthening the immune system. Regular intake of the vitamin complex stabilizes metabolic processes in the body, due to which the animal’s weight returns to normal. These vitamins for dogs that have been castrated can help maintain mobility and protect against obesity.Crude protein% 28 Crude fat% 0.7-1.0 Moisture% 6-7 Calcium% 18 Phosphorus% 9 Zinc mg 170 Magnesium mg 101 Vitamin A ME 65000 Vitamin B1 μg 140 Vitamin B2 μg 680 Vitamin B3 μg 500 Vitamin B6 μg 1700 Vitamin B12 mcg 4500 Biotin mcg 12000 Vitamin C mg 800 Vitamin D3 IU 1800 Vitamin E mg 55 Methionine mg 370 Linoleic acid mg 780 How to use The drug is given daily or used for course feeding at a certain period, for example, in preparation for an exhibition. The recommended dosage is 1 tablet for every 5 kilograms of weight.During pregnancy, lactation, as well as older cats, vitamins should be given at the rate of 2 tablets per 5 kg. You need to store the drug in a dark and dry place at a temperature of no more than 25 degrees Celsius above zero. The animal should eat the daily rate at one time. Contraindications and side effects There were no side effects and complications when using the drug according to the instructions. Its use for animals up to 10 weeks is possible only after consultation with a veterinarian. In a jar of 100 tablets 1 g each Take care of the prevention of biotin deficiency, a beautiful appearance of the coat and healthy skin – start giving your pet vitamins against hair loss!