Dr. Hockley and I are asked about Biotin constantly in clinic. There is a great deal of information on this vitamin (also known as B7), and you can get more details in the link at the bottom of this article, but here is pretty much the relevant stuff that we think non physicians should know:
Benefits of Biotin
- Promotes healthy hair: You don’t need a fancy shampoo that costs a fortune. Just add biotin to your diet, and your hair will thank you for it. Who needs a hair stylist when you have biotin, right?
- Strengthens nails: With biotin, you’ll have nails so strong that you can use them to open a can of soda. Don’t try it at home, though.
- Improves skin health: Biotin can help improve the appearance of your skin, so you can finally post that #nofilter selfie on Instagram. Say goodbye to skin irritations and hello to flawless skin.
- Promotes wound healing: With biotin, your wounds will heal faster than a superhero’s. So, if you’re ever in a battle with a villain, make sure to load up on biotin beforehand.
Risks of Biotin
While biotin is generally safe, getting too little or too much is NOT safe. Yikes!
Too much biotin can:
- Interference with lab tests: If you’re taking biotin supplements, your lab results might be off the charts, and not in a good way. So, if you want to avoid a call from your doctor asking if you’re secretly a superhero, you might want to lay off the biotin before your next lab appointment. Even a 10 mg dose of biotin has altered the way a patients thyroid test results.
Too little biotin can:
- Give you an eye problem called “conjuncitvitis” and “blepharitis”. (Hey, at least you will have a hard time seeing how bad you look without biotin)
- Make your hair fall out in a process called “alopecia”. I guess if you want to look like Mr. Clean you can just avoid biotin like the plague.
- Give you seizures and make you lethargic. I can’t think of any scenario in which you would want seizures.
In conclusion, biotin can be a great addition to your diet, as long as you don’t go overboard. Remember, moderation is key, and if you’re not sure about how much biotin you should take, we often think somewhere between 2.5mg – 5 mg per day is pretty safe for adults. And always remember to stay fabulous, because with biotin, you’ll be looking and feeling your best! (Actually I wish it was that easy, but biotin will help)
Biotin Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/