Medically reviewed by Angela Sheddan, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 3/1/2023
You’re probably here because you Googled “vitamins for healthy hair and nails.” And you know what? We’re proud of ya. There’s no shame in your game, bud. That said, biotin is probably quickly becoming part of your new vocabulary — as it should be.
Here’s what we know: biotin plays an important role in the growth of your hair, nails and other parts of your body. Since it’s not an FDA-approved medication (it falls in the “supplement” bucket), there’s no official recommended daily dose for biotin.
Despite that, there’s some reliable info from the Food and Nutrition Board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on how much biotin you should take daily for hair health, as well as the risks of side effects that might come from taking excessive amounts of biotin.
Ready to hear more? Let’s start with the obvious question of what, exactly, this biotin stuff is.
The simplest explanation we can offer is that biotin is a specific class of B vitamin.
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is an essential vitamin that’s found in many of the foods we eat every day. It plays a major role in several important processes within your body, including the production of enzymes that allow you to break down carbohydrates and fats.
Your body also relies on biotin for processes like cell signaling, histone modification and the regulation of your genes.
Most people take in sufficient amounts of biotin through their diet. As we said above, it’s found in many common foods, making it an easy vitamin to consume via your diet. You can find biotin in milk, egg yolks, and many meat and seafood products.
Good sources of biotin include:
There are also small amounts of biotin in plain yogurt, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, bananas, apples and other types of fresh fruit.
However, a small percentage of people — in particular, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people who use alcohol frequently and individuals with biotinidase deficiency — are at risk of developing biotin deficiency.
Some medications, such as anticonvulsants, can also affect biotin production and contribute to biotin deficiency.
If you’ve been scrolling to find the answer to “How much biotin should I take,” it’s a tough one to pin down — but you already know that. 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 intake of 20 to 30 micrograms (mcg) per day for teenagers and adults to prevent biotin deficiency.
However, this is a total biotin intake that includes all sources of biotin, such as common foods and cooking ingredients.
Biotin is absorbed from most foods by the microflora of the large intestine. Most people produce a sufficient amount of biotin via their digestive system to avoid any need for biotin supplements, meaning there’s no essential minimum dose of biotin — only recommended ones.
Because of this, biotin supplementation is usually only necessary if you’ve been diagnosed with a biotin deficiency, or if your diet doesn’t provide an adequate intake of biotin.
However, it’s common and normal to take a small daily dose of biotin to prevent biotin deficiency and potentially promote hair health.
Symptoms of biotin deficiency include:
Alopecia (hair loss) on the body
Scaly, red skin near body openings
Paresthesias (burning or prickling sensations)
In children and infants, biotin deficiency may cause lethargy, developmental delays and a lack of muscle tone (referred to as hypotonia).
If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms above and think a biotin deficiency may be the cause, it’s important to let your healthcare provider know.
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Can you overdose on biotin? Not exactly.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, which is a part of the National Institutes of Health, there’s no evidence that biotin is toxic to humans. Studies have found that biotin doesn’t produce adverse effects even at doses of 10 to 50mg per day. So for people asking “Is 5000 mcg of biotin too much,” the answer is: no, it’s within safe parameters.
However, taking too much biotin may reduce the accuracy of certain blood tests — a topic we’ve discussed more below. It’s also wasteful, as there’s no evidence that very high doses of biotin offer any additional health benefits.
So when you start going further and asking “Is 10,000 mcg of biotin too much” though, you’re just doubling the higher end of safe dosage — for no reason.
Unless you’ve been prescribed biotin at a certain dose by your healthcare provider (for example, to treat a biotin deficiency), it’s best to stick to the recommended daily dose listed on your biotin supplement.
Biotin dosage for hair loss isn’t something the scientific community has pinned down and, as you may have noticed, there are a lot of questions about whether or not a supplement is necessary.
Generally speaking, as long as you’re below the range for adverse effects, any dosage will be safe and any source of biotin will promote hair growth the way it’s supposed to. Talking with a healthcare provider can help you make these decisions for your individual needs, but we think 300 mcg (the amount in our Biotin Builder Gummies) is a safe everyday volume for someone who wants to make sure they don’t become deficient.
For more information, check out our blog, Biotin For Hair Growth: A Solution For Balding Men?
There’s some scientific evidence to suggest that using biotin supplements, even at a moderate dosage, could interfere with certain laboratory tests used to diagnose thyroid disease and other conditions.
Specifically, daily use of supplements that contain biotin has been linked to inaccurate readings for lab tests used to measure levels of thyroid hormone. This has resulted in some biotin users receiving test results that falsely indicate hyperthyroidism or Graves' disease.
The use of biotin supplements has also been linked to low results on troponin tests, which are often used to diagnose stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular conditions.
False lab test results can result in misdiagnosis, meaning you may be diagnosed with a medical condition you don’t have and prescribed medication that could negatively affect your health.
To avoid misdiagnosis, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider about any supplements you use, including supplements that contain biotin, before undergoing any type of blood test.
Most sources — including the National Institutes of Health — recommend a total biotin intake of 20 to 30 micrograms (mcg) per day for teenagers and adults.
You probably don’t need it. If you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you likely consume enough biotin already. However, if you feel worried about potentially becoming deficient in biotin, you can increase your intake with a daily biotin supplement such as our Biotin Gummy Vitamins.
You definitely don’t want to overdo it. 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 well-being.
Other treatments may be better for you. Biotin isn’t a proven, FDA-approved treatment for preventing male pattern baldness. If you want solutions with Food and Drug Administration approval and a track record of performance, medications like finasteride or minoxidil offer targeted, effective treatment.
If you’re worried about overusing biotin, or have any questions about using biotin safely, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider for personalized medical advice and assistance.