Medically reviewed by Mary Lucas, RN
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 10/01/2020
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a water-soluble B vitamin that’s a popular ingredient in hair growth and care products.
While biotin isn’t a proven, FDA-approved treatment for preventing male pattern baldness like finasteride or minoxidil, there’s some evidence that it can help to promote healthy hair growth, particularly in people who are biotin deficient.
We’ve covered most of this in our guide to biotin for hair growth and health, which looks at the most current research on biotin’s benefits.
Since biotin is a supplement rather than an FDA-approved medication, there are no guidelines regarding how much to take per day — although there are recommendations from credible sources like the Food and Nutrition Board (FND) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
This lack of concrete information can make it confusing and difficult to work out how to incorporate biotin into your hair care and hair loss prevention routine.
Below, we’ve looked at the data to work out how much biotin you should take per day for ideal hair health. We’ve also listed some of the risks of taking too much biotin, from side effects to a range of issues biotin can cause with certain lab tests.
Currently, there’s no FDA recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for biotin, meaning there’s no widely accepted recommended daily dose. The National Institutes of Health recommends a biotin dose of 20 to 30 micrograms (mcg) per day for teenagers and adults to prevent biotin deficiency.
Biotin is taken from the foods we eat by the microflora of the large intestine. Most people produce enough biotin through their digestive system to avoid the need for supplementation, meaning there’s no essential minimum dose of biotin — only recommended doses.
Because of this, biotin supplementation is usually only necessary if you’ve been diagnosed with a biotin deficiency. However, it’s common and safe to take a small daily dose of biotin to prevent biotin deficiency and potentially promote hair health.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a biotin deficiency, follow the treatment dose provided by your healthcare provider. Treatment doses of biotin can vary based on a person’s age and the severity of their biotin deficiency.
The Mayo Clinic states that no side effects have been reported for biotin in amounts of up to 10 milligrams (10,000 mcg) per day. This is double the amount of biotin that’s included in our biotin gummy vitamins.
The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), part of the National Institutes of Health, reports that studies of even higher doses of biotin, including studies of biotin at doses of 10mg to 50mg per day, have not produced any symptoms of toxicity.
With this said, it’s still important not to take too much biotin.
Unless you’ve been prescribed biotin at a specific dose by your doctor to treat a deficiency, stick to the recommended dose provided by your biotin supplement.
There’s evidence to suggest that high intake of biotin supplements could potentially interfere with several lab tests.
Specifically, daily use of high doses of biotin supplements has been linked to inaccurate readings for lab tests used to measure certain hormone levels, including thyroid hormone. This has resulted in some biotin users receiving test results that falsely indicate hyperthyroidism or Graves' disease.
Use of biotin supplements has also been linked to falsely low results on troponin tests, which are often used to diagnose stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular conditions.
Because of this, the FDA recommends healthcare professionals ask patients about their use of biotin if their lab test results are unusual. If you use biotin supplements, it’s important to let your doctor know ahead of time if you’re going to receive any type of blood test.
Biotin supplements are safe and may be effective at treating certain forms of hair loss. However, like with other supplements, it’s important to use them responsibly to make sure you don’t affect your health and wellbeing.
If you take a biotin supplement such as our biotin gummy vitamins, make sure you don’t exceed the recommended serving size. If you’re concerned about using biotin, or believe that you have a biotin deficiency, contact your doctor for personalized advice and assistance.
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