What can too much biotin do?

Have you been taking biotin supplements to have healthy hair, skin and nails? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news: biotin is not harmful per se. However, the bad news is that excessive amounts of biotin can lead to side effects that are both funny and scary.

What Is Biotin?

Before we dive into the fun yet also a little bit terrifying world of excess biotin intake, let us first learn what exactly is this nutrient.”

Biotin or Vitamin H or Coenzyme R is an essential vitamin which plays multiple roles in our body. One of its notable functions include supporting energy metabolism by converting food into fuel (“Hello! Carbs”) as well as promoting healthy hair, nails and glossier skin.

But hold your horses before stocking up on these supplements; too much of anything comes with risks!

The Recommended Daily Intake

The recommended daily allowance for adults is 30 mcg (micrograms) whereas pregnant women should consume at least 35 mcg per day [1]. Here are some natural sources where one can get their fill:

Foods Amount Biotin Content (mcg)
Egg yolk 1 large 25-30
Almonds ¼ cup 14
Sweet Potato 1 medium-sized   2   
Spinach ½ cup cooked   0.53

It’s always best to cover your nutritional needs from food rather than having pills stacked in jars on your bedside table.

A word of caution though – don’t go overboard with these foods/drinks!

What Happens If You Take More Than Needed?

“So what’s so horrifying about it?” You might ask. Here are some potential adverse effects that come with taking more than needed:

1. Acne Breakouts

You heard that right! Excessive intake of biotin supplements can cause rebellious acne to pop up unexpectedly.

Although there isn’t a whole lot of research yet for this claim, it’s still a common theme on certain forums where beauty enthusiasts gather.

2. False Diagnosis of Blood Test Results

Are you scheduled for blood tests sometime soon? Then beware as overly-dosed biotin may interfere with lab test results such as thyroid hormone levels and troponin which is used in diagnosing heart attacks [2].

Too much biotin causes a high concentration of the vitamin in the body making an illusion in the laboratories’ results which healthcare providers rely upon.

3. Allergic Reaction

Yes, too much Vitamin H can trigger allergies if your system is hypersensitive towards it. You don’t want to suddenly find yourself reddening, getting hives or swollen lips just because ‘health experts’ recommended consuming extra dietary supplements without any consultation.

When Do The Side Effects Start?

While different people may show varying symptoms depending on their metabolism; most adults tend to experience side effects after excessive consumption over extended periods- lasting from weeks/months [3].

However, pregnant women need sufficient amounts during pregnancy/postpartum phases hence why “consultation with medical professionals” should always be emphasized.

Too Much Biotin Ingestion: Final Thoughts

There’s no denying how important Biotin actually is but anything above moderation comes with risks and repercussions!

Don’t get into trends blindly without consulting proper advice – speak to licensed medical personnel about whether or not these pills will suit you based on evaluating your lifestyle ,medical history etc.

Remember balance matters more than extremes!

[1] “Office Of Dietary Supplements – Biotin.” National Institutes Of Health, U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services, Dec. 2021.

[2] Zempleni, Janos et al. “Biotin.” Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.) vol. 3,4 (2012): 375-6.

[3] Mock DM. Fifty years of biotinidase deficiency: From newborn screening to whole genome sequencing and beyond.Nutrients [Internet]. 2017;9(8). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579630/

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