Although rare, biotin deficiency can cause problems for your hair, nails and skin. Taking biotin tablet supplements can help to ensure that these and other parts of your body stay healthy.
This vitamin is not known to cause harmful side effects in the general population, but you should still talk to your doctor before taking it — or any other supplement.
Biotin is water-soluble and considered to be non-toxic. But if you develop any adverse side effects while taking biotin tablets, seek medical attention. You may need to lower your dosage.
Consider Causes of Biotin Deficiency
Certain medications may lower the amount of biotin in your body, resulting in your need to take higher doses of this vitamin than normal. For example, if you use antibiotics for a long amount of time, it can destroy the bacteria in your digestive system that produce biotin, which may lead to a deficiency.
Additionally, long-term use of seizure medications can lower your biotin levels, as well, according to a summer 2016 article published by Iranian Journal of Child Neurology. If you take these medications, ask your doctor about increasing your dosage of biotin tablets to avoid becoming deficient and developing hair, nail and skin problems.
Examine Your Diet
The RDA for biotin is 30 micrograms for adults, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Bacteria in your gut produce some biotin. However, the best way to get this vitamin and keep your hair, nails and skin healthy is to eat a balanced diet. According to the National Institutes of Health, the following foods are good sources of biotin:
- Fruits: bananas, apples
- Vegetables: sweet potato, broccoli, spinach
- Meat: hamburger, beef liver, pork chops
- Fish: tuna, salmon
- Nuts, Seeds and Grains: almonds, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, whole wheat bread
- Eggs and Dairy: whole eggs, cheddar cheese, milk, plain yogurt
Know Potential Benefits
Biotin is one of the B vitamins, and it is also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H. It works with the other B vitamins to metabolize the food you eat, and this in turn nourishes your hair, nails and skin, as well as other areas.
This vitamin is often recommended for people who have weak, brittle or splitting hair and finger or toenails. However, according to a 2017 study published by Skin Appendage Disorders, there is a lack of research available to back these claims.
Understand Potential Negatives
While this vitamin is not known to cause any adverse side effects for most people, supplements have the potential to interact with other supplements, as well as medications. According to the National Institutes of Health, excess intake of biotin can affect the results of lab tests, such as measuring thyroid hormone levels. It is important to notify your doctor if you take biotin supplements.
Less commonly, biotin can cause serious side effects. According to 2018 article published by Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, biotin supplementation has caused abnormal thyroid function in healthy individuals participating in clinical trials.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Listing of Vitamins"
- National Institutes of Health: "Biotin Fact Sheet for Consumers"
- Skin Appendage Disorders: "A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss"
- National Institutes of Health: "Biotin"
- Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: "Rethinking Biotin Therapy for Hair, Nail, and Skin Disorders"
- Iranian Journal of Child Neurology: "Nutritional Aspects of Treatment in Epileptic Patients"