Biotin products have popped up everywhere! You can find a number of biotin supplements in low doses designed for things like better hair and nails. You can also find newer products such as Myetin® which deliver higher doses of D-biotin with the goal of supporting better nerve health.
So how much biotin is too much per day? The answer depends on what you’re taking it for.
First, What is Biotin?
Biotin is one of the B complex vitamins which helps the body convert food into energy.
In fact, the word “biotin” comes from a Greek word meaning “sustenance,” or “life.”
Most people associate B vitamins, and biotin in particular, with healthy skin and hair.
But biotin has many other important functions including supporting the liver and the eyes, as well as boosting overall nerve health.
Biotin forms fatty acids and glucose, helping metabolize amino acids and carbohydrates in the body delivering what we call “cellular level nutrition”.
One of the reasons people with neurodegenerative conditions are taking biotin is it supports development of the myelin sheath which helps reduce nerve pain and inflammation.
What is the “Recommended” Dosage of Biotin?
There is no official “recommended” dosage of biotin in large part because of the variety of reasons people take it. Regardless of why you’re taking it, it’s important to remember that biotin is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that any excess biotin will, theoretically, pass through the body in the urine.
If you are just looking for better skin and nails, the suggested dosage of biotin for adolescents and adults ranges from 30 to 100 micrograms.
Note – a microgram is just that – a portion of a gram. That means every 1000 mcg equals 1 mg.
It’s important to understand the labeling and dosage on each product!
People with neurodegenerative conditions or seeking better nerve health may take higher doses of D-biotin.
You Can Get Some Biotin from Food!
Biotin is found naturally in such foods as organ meats, egg yolks, cauliflower, milk, carrots, nuts and nut butters, mushrooms, bananas, soybeans and other legumes and whole grains.
However, cooking biotin-containing foods can render the biotin ineffective.
Because of this, those who want to receive the most active amount of biotin from food sources should consume their food raw or less processed as possible, or consider a biotin supplement.
Foods Aren’t Enough to Get the Biotin You Need
The most well-known signs of biotin deficiency include hair loss and a scaly red rash. The rash typically shows up around the genitals, the nose, the mouth and the eyes.
Adults with a serious biotin deficiency may experience lethargy, numbness and tingling of the extremities, hallucinations, seizures and depression. Some may also experience impaired immune system function and an increased susceptibility to fungal infections and bacterial infections.
Other people particularly interested in higher doses of D-biotin are suffering from some form of nerve condition where inflammation and pain are a daily struggle. In these cases, biotin has been shown to deliver additional nutrition supporting regeneration of the myelin sheath and helping reduce nerve inflammation when taken over time.
Can You Take Too Much Biotin?
Since biotin is water soluble, it is difficult to take too much biotin. Most of the evidence in the medical community suggests no side effects from taking higher doses of biotin daily. Although there is no evidence that biotin interacts with any medication, biotin can result in a false or abnormal result in thyroid levels. Be sure to inform your healthcare provider that you are taking high dose biotin prior to having lab tests performed.
And while it is highly unlikely that you could “overdose” on biotin, before making any major changes to your health regimen, it is a good idea to speak to your doctor to find out what’s best for you. However, most biotin products such as Myetin® are available without a prescription.