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Is Biotin Bad For You?

Also Known As: vitamin H, coenzyme R



Short answer

Biotin is a vitamin in the B complex family that is also known as vitamin H or vitamin B-7. It has many great health benefits that include topical improvements as well as multiple internal health improvements. There are a few potential side effects but overall it is a very great nutrient.



Long answer

Biotin is a vitamin in the B complex family that is also known as vitamin H or vitamin B-7.  Biotin is a water soluble vitamin that is excreted in the urine and is non-toxic. Fat soluble vitamins can accumulate in the tissues and vital organs causing potential toxicity over time.

Biotin is involved with energy production in the body and helps to synthesize glucose and fatty acids. Biotin supports many enzymatic functions in the body. Biotin metabolizes fats, carbohydrates and amino acids (building blocks of proteins).  Individuals enjoy the effects of biotin supplementation to help promote glowing skin, healthy hair and strong nails. Outside of these topical benefits the ingestion of biotin supports healthy glucose levels, healthy neurologic function and break down of fat. Biotin promotes liver and kidney health and is cardiovascular friendly.  Recent research demonstrates high doses of biotin can show improvement in the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. This is felt to be from improving myelin (protective covering of nerve fibers) repair and facilitating cellular energy production. As per the Multiple Sclerosis News Today-"Biotin acts in MS by increasing a route of cellular energy production, protecting against the breakdown of nerve cell axons.” 

Biotin is also recommended in pregnancy for embryonic stability.  High doses are not necessary so taking a prenatal vitamin with small amount of biotin and folic acid is just fine. The recommended dosage of biotin is 5 mcgs for children and 30-50 mcgs in adults.  Biotin can be found in a plethora of foods that include the following;

egg yolks

organ meats such as liver






nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts and pecans)

whole grains



sunflower seeds


Deficiency of biotin is rare. Deficiency can lead to skin rashes, elevated cholesterol, cardiac problems, depression, nausea and hair loss or thinning.

Higher doses of biotin have been linked to abnormal thyroid tests.  The biotin can interact with the lab test itself due to certain immune-assays and has nothing to do with altering thyroid function. If someone has normal thyroid tests that become quite abnormal the health care professional should be asking the patient if they started biotin supplementation recently.  Stopping the biotin will regulate the labs. 

Possible short-term side effects

  • abnormal thyroid tests
  • nausea in high doses

Commonly found in


  • improved skin, hair and nails
  • improved eye site
  • improved liver and kidney function
  • better energy and clarity
  • improvement of ms symptoms
  • stable glucose levels
  • breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and amino acids
  • supports embryonic stability

biotin supplements (what is this?)

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View Sources | Written by Dr. Becky Maes | 03-04-2018

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Written by Dr. Becky Maes
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