Biotin is a B-vitamin that is touted for its hair, skin, and nail benefits. But, how much is too much? Learn more here.
Biotin is making waves in the beauty world as a go-to supplement to help out hair, skin, and nail health. But, does it really live up to these claims? And, if you do decide to jump on the Biotin train, what is the usual supplementation dosage, and how much is too much?
Below, we will cover the potential effects of taking too much Biotin, which people may benefit from supplementation, and why you should let your doctor know you are taking a Biotin supplement.
Biotin, aka vitamin B7 or vitamin H, is a necessary vitamin for overall health and wellness, and plays a key role in converting some nutrients into energy for your body to use. Most Biotin found in foods is bound to protein, but as it travels through your intestines it is converted into free, usable Biotin.
Most people get plenty of Biotin from a healthy diet, and supplementation may be overkill. But, in certain situations, there may be a Biotin deficiency causing hair thinning (among other health issues), and supplementation or increasing the intake of Biotin-rich foods is warranted.
Signs of a Biotin deficiency include thinning hair, a red scaly rash, pink eye, overly acidic urine, brittle nails, seizures, skin infections, depression, lack of energy, hallucinations, and tingling or loss of sensation in the extremities. People who may be more at risk of a Biotin deficiency include heavy drinkers, smokers, those with a genetic biotin-related enzyme deficiency, people with inflammatory bowel diseases, and people who consume a lot of raw egg whites.
Correcting a Biotin deficiency has been proven to have clear benefits on hair, skin, and nail health, but the connection between cosmetic benefits and supplementing with Biotin in those without a deficiency is less clear.
However, since Biotin is a water-soluble (not a fat-soluble) vitamin, any supplementation that is in excess of what your body needs is likely to be safely excreted in your urine and feces and most people will not have issues from normal supplementation dosages.
Even though most people will not experience negative side effects from taking a Biotin supplement, some people may.
Although rare, some people may experience a rash from taking Biotin, or have gastrointestinal upset including nausea, diarrhea, or cramping.
If you are considering starting on a Biotin supplement, start with the lowest recommended dosage on the package and be aware of any effects it may be having on your skin or gut health.
If you are taking a Biotin supplement, and you seem to be tolerating it just fine, it is still important to mention your supplementation regimen thoroughly to your doctor.
In the case of Biotin, there is a risk of supplementation throwing off certain lab tests, including one measuring the function of your thyroid. For some reason, Biotin supplementation has been shown to cause a blood test to look like you have hyperthyroidism, even if your thyroid is functioning fine. Another test looking into Troponin levels to evaluate cardiac health can also be thrown off with Biotin supplementation.
Medical professionals should be aware of this potential interference when interpreting tests, and it is also important for patients to know why it is necessary to divulge all supplement use with their medical team.
There is currently no recommended daily supplementation strength for Biotin, since most people get adequate amounts from their diet.
That being said, the common strengths seen in supplements claiming to help with hair, skin, and nails and studies on the supplement tend to range from 2mg-5mg (2,000mcg-5,000mcg). Studies have also looked into dosages as high as 10mg-50mg (10,000mcg-50,000mcg) daily and found no adverse effects.
If you are trying to settle on a good Biotin supplement dosage for you, consult with your doctor and the supplement package in order to make your decision.
When getting your daily Biotin intake through food, the adequate intake for men and women over 19 years old is 30mcg (0.03mg) daily. This is normally an easily achievable goal for people eating a healthy and varied diet.
Foods that are high in Biotin to help you hit your levels include: liver, whole eggs, salmon, pork, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, almonds, tuna, spinach, and broccoli (just to cover a few).
If you are delving into the world of supplements in order to try and find a solution to hair loss or thinning, you may be able to see benefits in the case of a deficiency. However, if you are already pretty on top of your vitamin and nutrient needs, you may not see the results you are looking for.
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