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.

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 the development of the myelin sheath which helps reduce nerve pain and inflammation.

How Does Biotin Deficiency Occur?

Biotin deficiency is rare. However, it can occur in individuals with biotinidase deficiency. This is a rare autosomal recessive disorder that prevents the body from releasing free biotin.

Biotin deficiency can also occur in smokers or individuals who drink alcohol excessively. It is also found in individuals who consume a large number of raw egg whites.

Some genetic disorders have also been shown to cause biotin deficiency. Low levels of biotin are also found in individuals undergoing renal dialysis.

Biotin is produced in the intestines. As such, Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease are at an increased risk for developing biotin deficiency.

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.

However, the FDA has suggested that an adequate dose of Biotin for adults and adolescents over the age of 14 is between 30mcg and 35mcg.

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 of each product!

It is important to know that biotin supplemental hasn’t been tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, and in children.

Biotin Dosage for Hair

According to the National Institutes of Health, there isn’t enough evidence to effectively rate how well biotin could treat hair loss. However, biotin deficiency does result in hair loss in many people.

Individuals with a biotin deficiency who suffer from thinning hair or hair loss may actually benefit from taking biotin supplementation.

The FDA has not established a recommended dietary allowance for biotin. However, 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.

Some proponents, however, recommend taking 2000 to 5000 mcg of supplementary biotin in order to strengthen hair shafts and achieve desired results.

This recommendation may be based on a few studies done in children. These studies found that 3-5mg/day of biotin in children with uncombable hair syndrome significantly improved the health of their hair after just 4 months. (1,2)

Biotin Dosage for Neurological Health

While biotin may be able to strengthen hair shafts and improve nails, it can do so much more. Having strong hair doesn’t matter if your nerves aren’t functioning properly.

Biotin is extremely important for nerve health. Biotin activates key enzymes, which stimulate the body to produce myelin. When there is a healthy level of myelin in the body, nerve cells can communicate more effectively.

Producing more myelin may help many individuals who are suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.

Several studies found that high doses of biotin, up to 10,000 times the daily adequate intake, could reduce symptoms in individuals suffering from nerve diseases. 3

Some individuals taking high doses of biotin reported less pain, improved energy levels, and reduced inflammation as noted in a recent pilot patient study.

You Can Get Some Biotin from Food!

Biotin is found naturally in foods such 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 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.

Selected Food Sources of Biotin

Food mcg per serving
Beef liver, cooked, 3 ounces 30.8
Egg, whole, cooked 10.0
Salmon, pink, canned in water, 3 ounces 5.0
Pork chop, cooked, 3 ounces 3.8
Hamburger patty, cooked, 3 ounces 3.8
Sunflower seeds, roasted, ¼ cup 2.6
Sweet potato, cooked, ½ cup 2.4
Almonds, roasted, ¼ cup 1.5
Tuna, canned in water, 3 ounces 0.6
Spinach, boiled, ½ cup 0.5
Broccoli, fresh, ½ cup 0.4
Cheddar cheese, mild, 1 ounce 0.4
Milk, 2%, 1 cup 0.3
Plain yogurt, 1 cup 0.2
Oatmeal, 1 cup 0.2
Banana, ½ cup 0.2

Foods Aren’t Enough to Get the Biotin You Need

While most healthy individuals can obtain the biotin they need from the foods they eat, individuals suffering from disease or illness or a biotin deficiency can not.

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 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.

Myetin® offers 150 mg of D-Biotin in each dose and the suggested use is twice daily. So people taking Myetin® get 300 mg of high dose biotin each day!

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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.