BIG Nutrition: Biotin supplements interfere with lab tests


BIG Nutrition: Biotin supplements interfere with lab tests

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings that supplemental biotin, a B vitamin, can interfere with laboratory tests, including those that are used to diagnose heart conditions. The incorrect laboratory results provided to physicians can result in missed diagnoses.  

Biotin, also called B7, is a water soluble vitamin that is often marketed as a vitamin that enhances hair, nail, and skin growth. The adequate intake (AI) per day for adults and pregnant women is 30 mcg (which can also be listed as 0.03 mg); there is not an RDA for biotin because there is not enough evidence to establish one. Biotin from foods and supplements (containing 100% AI (0.03 mg) or less) appear to be safe and do not appear to interfere with laboratory tests. Supplements of biotin, more than the AI, should not be taken as they can contain very high amounts (up to 10,000 mcg) of biotin.

To stay under the AI for biotin:

  • Check all vitamin and/or vitamin mineral supplements to be sure that the amount of biotin (B7) does not exceed 0.30 mg.
  • Review all beverages and powder supplements to determine if there is added B7 since some of these may have added B vitamins.
  • Get biotin from food sources, such as, sweet potatoes, broccoli, nuts, seeds, meat, and eggs.

The word vitamin came about because they were originally thought to be ‘vital’ and contain ‘amines’ (amino acids= building blocks of protein). The name has stayed because they are vital for life, but it is food sources of vitamins that should be consumed. Supplemental vitamins should be consumed with care.

Happy and healthful eating,

Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN

If you are uncertain about the biotin content of your intake and any supplements, contact me at [email protected] Nutrition Services are available for BIG Members (@ 15% discount) and the Community. More information is listed here.