7 Fact Based Health Benefits of Biotin Supplements

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Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is historically called Vitamin H, named after the German word  ‘haut’ for the skin.

It acts as a cofactor for carboxylase enzymes.

Biotin is found naturally in a wide range of foods including, egg yolk, organ meat, nuts, soybeans, whole grains, mushrooms, and cauliflower. [1]

The intestinal microbes also synthesize biotin. Its deficiencies are rare.

Health Benefits of Biotin Supplements

The key benefits of biotin include, metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids, and carbohydrates, and thereby provide fuel for the body.[2] It also plays a role in gene regulation and cell signaling.[3] It may be effective in regulating blood sugar, preventing hair loss, brittle nails, skin conditions, and peripheral neuropathy.

1. Biotin reduces serum triglycerides and VLDL

The studies have shown that biotin supplements are associated with reducing blood triglycerides level. Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood.

The high levels of triglycerides in the blood cause triglyceridemia, which is associated with the risk of atherosclerosis and high cholesterol levels.[4]

In a study, the mice group supplemented with biotin for eight weeks had 35% lesser serum triglycerides.[5] [6]

In another study, biotin supplementation (15mg) for 28 days in diabetic and nondiabetic subjects had decreased serum triglycerides levels and VLDL.

It did not have any effect on total cholesterol, insulin, and glucose.[7] [8]

What it means:  The high levels of triacylglycerides and VLDL pose a high risk of heart disease in humans. Biotin supplementation reduced the serum triacylglycerides and VLDL. This triglyceride reducing property of biotin can be employed to develop new therapeutics in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia.

2. Biotin may reduce blood sugar levels

The research studies are trying to find the possible role of biotin in reducing blood sugar levels.

The high blood sugar levels are observed in type II diabetes patients. In a study, the serum biotin concentration was lower in 43 patients with type II diabetes. Biotin administration(9mg daily) corrected the high levels of glucose in the blood.[9]

However, the biotin administration did not produce any significant change in glucose and insulin levels in one research study.[10]

he research studies had mixed results.

The studies have shown that biotin, when used in combination with chromium piconate, might lower blood sugar levels.[11] [12] [13]

What it means:  The biotin supplementation has mixed results in lowering blood sugar levels associated with type II diabetes. However, biotin and chromium piconate combination therapy might reduce the high sugar levels in type II diabetes patients.

3. Biotin may treat symptoms of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS)

The studies showed that high doses of biotin improved symptoms in patients with MS. [14]

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease that affects the myelin of the central nervous system. The communication between the brain and the other parts of the body is disturbed.[15]

In one study, 23 patients with progressive MS were given 300 mg of biotin, and their neurologic functions were studied. The patients reported improved energy levels and reduced pain.[16]

In another pilot study, four patients with progressive MS and visual impairment who received biotin reported improved vision.[17] [18]

In another pilot study, high dose biotin (MD1003, phase III of clinical trials) demonstrated clinical improvement in 91% of participants. [19]

Some research showed that there was no long term improvement of the symptoms in participants. Moreover, the inflammatory symptoms worsened and relapsed with a high dose of biotin.[20] [21]

What it means:  The exact role of biotin in the progressive multiple sclerosis is not known. Preliminary studies show that high doses of biotin improved the symptoms of progressive MS. But follow up studies showed that high dose biotin might increase in relapse rate in MS patients. More studies are required to know about its efficacy and safety for progressive MS patients.

4. Biotin may treat brittle nails

Biotin supplementation may be effective in the treatment of brittle nails, common in women.

The studies have shown that deficiency of biotin causes brittle nails, a condition characterized by easily breakable and flaky nails. [22]

One clinical study, patients were administered with 2.5mg biotin for over six months, and the distal ends of their fingernails were studied.

The nail thickness improved by 25% in subjects whose nail samples were collected immediately before and after biotin supplementation. The splitting of nails significantly reduced in all patients.[23]

In another study with 35 subjects who took biotin supplementation (2.5mg/day) for 6-15 months, 63% of participants showed clinical improvement in brittle nail symptoms.[24]

What it means:  The supplementation of biotin orally has been found to treat worn down brittle nails in two studies. Further larger clinical trials will help in determining the dosage and efficacy of biotin in improving nail health.

5. Biotin may increase hair growth

Biotin supplementation may help in promoting hair growth. Biotin helps in the production of keratin, a key protein found in hair and nails, which in turn promotes hair growth.[25]

Hair loss is often associated with the deficiency of biotin. [26]

One study showed that 0.3 mg of oral biotin in children with uncombable hair syndrome improved hair health after four months.[27]

In another trial with 5mg of oral biotin in children with uncombable hair syndrome showed improved results with hair appearance.[28]

In a placebo-controlled study, oral marine protein supplement with biotin was given to women aged 21-65 years for 90 days.

The women who took MPS experienced hair growth and decreased hair shedding.[29] [30]

What it means:  The biotin deficiency may cause thinning of the hair, and its supplementation may promote hair growth. However, there is limited research in the use of biotin promoting hair growth in healthy individuals. Further studies are required to determine if biotin supplementation can improve hair health.

6. Biotin may relieve symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy

High dose of biotin may relieve the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy refers to conditions that affect the nerves causing painful symptoms. It is a complication of diabetes.[31]

In a small study, the three diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy were given biotin (high dose) for 1-2 years.

There was a significant improvement in their symptoms within 4-8 weeks.[32]

What it means:  A high dose of biotin may help in the management of diabetes-induced peripheral neuropathy. However, further trials with a larger number of subjects are required to support the use of biotin in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy.

7. Biotin may treat vaginal candidiasis

Biotin supplementation may treat symptoms of vaginal candidiasis. It is a fungal infection of the vagina, causing irritation and itchiness.

A 38-year-old lady had persistent vaginal candidiasis and was a carrier of biotinidase deficiency. Her symptoms resolved after three months of biotin supplementation.[33]

What it means:  Preliminary research indicated that vaginal candidiasis with biotinidase deficiency responded to biotin supplementation. However, further research is needed to validate the role of biotin in treating vaginal candidiasis.

Precautions with Biotin

Possible Side effects

Biotin appears to be safe even at high levels. People with biotinidase deficiency might need extra biotin as their body cannot process biotin.

However, there is no information about the maximum safe dose of biotin.[34]

FDA (2017) has reported that ingesting high levels of biotin can interfere with the blood lab test results.

It is advisable to mention the intake of supplements to the healthcare practitioner before a blood test.[35]


Biotin appears to be safe in children when taken orally at a recommended dosage. It also appears safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Possible Drug Interactions

It is advisable to check with the healthcare provider before starting with biotin supplements while taking drugs for conditions including cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.

Biotin might weaken the effects of some drugs.

It may interact with the anticonvulsants.[36]

In some cases, few drugs, including antiseizure medication, long term use of antibiotics can lower biotin levels.

Consult the healthcare provider if you are on dialysis, smoke cigars, take antiseizure medications, antibiotics for a long time, and eat two or more raw egg whites.[37]


The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) reports there is insufficient data to derive the recommended dietary allowance for biotin.[38]

The adequate intake (AI) of biotin is 30mcg/day for adults over 18 years and pregnant women.[39] Breastfeeding women require 35 mcg daily.

In cases of biotin deficiency, up to 10mg/day is used. The adequate intake of biotin is as follows: [40]

  • infants aged 0-6 months: 5mcg/day
  • 7-12 months: 6mcg/day
  • 1-3 years: 8 mcg/day
  • 4-8 years:12 mcg/day
  • 9-13 years: 20 mcg/day
  • 14-18 years: 25 mcg/day.


The biotin is necessary for normal body metabolic functions. Biotin supplements may help to overcome the symptoms associated with biotin deficiency.

It may help in lowering triacylglycerides and blood sugar levels. It may help in treating brittle nails, skin conditions, and hair loss.

However, there are not enough studies to support their potential benefits. Probably, these supplements will gain importance if its potential skin, nail, and hair benefits are clearly and thoroughly investigated in individuals.