Biotin is an essential vitamin that helps your body function at its best, which is why it's important to get the correct biotin daily dose, ideally through natural foods.
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- Meat like beef liver, pork chops and ground beef
- Canned fish like tuna and salmon
- Seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds and almonds
- Sweet potato
But getting too high or low a biotin dosage can potentially lead to unpleasant side effects. Here, learn the best dosage for biotin, how much biotin is too much and what happens if you take too much biotin.
Talk to your doctor before trying a biotin supplement, as the FDA doesn't require these products to be proven safe or effective before they're sold, so there’s no guarantee that any supplement you take is safe, contains the ingredients it says it does or produces the effects it claims.
The Best Biotin Daily Dose
Although there's no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) established for biotin, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists the daily adequate intake (AI) for biotin daily requirements, based on your age and measured in micrograms (mcg):
- Birth to 6 months: 5 mcg
- 7 to 12 months: 6 mcg
- 1 to 3 years: 8 mcg
- 4 to 8 years: 12 mcg
- 9 to 13 years: 20 mcg
- 14 to 18: 25 mcg
- 19 years and older: 30 mcg
- Pregnant people: 30 mcg
- Breastfeeding people: 35 mcg
Aim to get the recommended biotin vitamin dose for your age group through your diet, per the Mayo Clinic. Eating high-biotin foods not only supplies the vitamin itself, but also provides other nutrients and protective substances to further nourish your body.
Can You Have Too Much Biotin in Your Diet?
There's little risk to eating plenty of biotin-rich foods, as your body is able to eliminate excess amounts of the vitamin through your urine, per the Cleveland Clinic.
Can You Take Too Much Biotin?
Typically, people without underlying health conditions can get their recommended dose of biotin through food alone, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Still, some people take biotin supplements, often to support hair, skin and nail health. And while taking a supplement is unlikely to cause any lasting issues, there's not much evidence to support these supposed benefits in people without an existing biotin deficiency, per the Cleveland Clinic.
What's more, supplements often far exceed safe biotin dosages (which, for adults, is about 30 micrograms per day, according to the NIH). And taking too much biotin can potentially lead to side effects like an upset stomach, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Taking high-dose biotin supplements may also interfere with the accuracy of lab test results, according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. This may lead to missed or incorrect diagnoses.
Biotin can also interact with certain medications: For instance, these supplements may interact poorly with anticonvulsant drugs, per the NIH. As a result, talk to your doctor before adding a supplement to your routine.
How Much Is Too Much Biotin?
You can take too much biotin: Doses that exceed the NIH-recommended 30 micrograms per day for adults may be unnecessary. For people with no underlying health concerns, supplement doses up to 5,000 micrograms per day don't seem to be associated with side effects, per the Linus Pauling Institute.
However, people with certain diseases like hereditary biotin metabolism disorders may benefit from (or at the very least tolerate) more than the average biotin dose, per the Linus Pauling Institute. Talk to your doctor before trying a supplement to determine the best dose for you.
While you can have too much biotin if you don't have any underlying health concerns, your doctor may encourage you to try a supplement if you have a diagnosed deficiency.
According to the NLM, biotin deficiency can lead to symptoms like:
- Thinning hair
- Brittle nails
- Red, scaly rash around your eyes, nose and mouth
Certain hereditary conditions can put you at risk for a deficiency, per the Linus Pauling Institute, such as:
- Biotinidase deficiency: This inherited metabolic disorder restricts the body's ability to produce enough enzymes needed to release biotin from dietary proteins during digestion. It usually occurs in infants within the first few months of life or in later childhood, causing an impaired immune system and susceptibility to infections.
- Holocarboxylase synthetase (HCS) deficiency: This rare genetic disorder usually affects newborns and renders the body unable to use biotin efficiently, resulting in severe symptoms including seizures that may worsen to coma or even death, according to the NIH's Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.
Other lifestyle, dietary, medical and physical conditions may also contribute to risk of biotin deficiency, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Some of these include:
- Eating raw egg whites (for a period of weeks to years)
- Pregnancy (in fact, studies show at least one-third of pregnant people may experience marginal biotin deficiency)
- For infants, drinking formula or breast milk without biotin
- Prolonged intravenous feeding without biotin supplementation
- Smoking cigarettes
- Liver disease
medications for epilepsy
- Using long-term antibiotics
If you do not have a deficiency, there is little evidence a biotin supplement will provide any benefits — including to your hair or nails, according to an August 2017 study in Skin Appendage Disorders.
The takeaway: If you fall into any of these categories, talk to your doctor about whether you may benefit from a biotin supplement, and if so, what biotin daily dose is best for you.
- National Institutes of Health: "Biotin"
- Linus Pauling Institute: "Biotin"
- Skin Appendage Disorders: "A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss"
- Mayo Clinic: "Nutritional supplements"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Biotin Benefits: What the Experts Have to Say"
- American Association for Clinical Chemistry: "The Unintended Consequences of Biotin Supplementation: Spurious Immunoassay Results Lead to Misdiagnoses"
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “FDA 101: Dietary Supplements”
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Biotin"
- NIH GARD: "Holocarboxylase synthetase deficiency"