Those of us interested in healthier hair, skin, and nails have probably considered taking vegan biotin supplements at some point. But we have to wonder - exactly how safe are biotin supplements? With their promises of increased hair growth and clearer skin, some worry that they may be too good to be true. That’s why we need to get informed about how biotin works and the potential side effects of adding this supplement to your diet.
Biotin supplements are safe for most people to take in recommended amounts. The side effects are generally minimal, even when taken in higher levels.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know regarding the safety of taking biotin supplements. If you’re interested in how you can use biotin to improve the quality of your hair, skin, and nails without needing to worry about potential risks, keep reading.
What do biotin supplements do?
To fully understand whether or not biotin supplements are a safe option for us, we need to know exactly how they work in our system.
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a compound needed to metabolize carbs, fats, and amino acids. Biotin uses fatty acids to help our bodies generate a protein called keratin, which is largely responsible for our hair health.
Because we receive biotin naturally from food sources, the vitamin itself is not only safe but necessary for our health.
This is why biotin supplements are generally categorized as risk-free - but we still need to know all the facts before deciding if incorporating biotin supplements into our diet is right for us.
Side effects of biotin supplements
Those who take biotin supplements typically experience no side effects, but the ones that can occur are mild. Biotin side effects include:
These side effects can potentially be reduced by taking biotin supplements with a meal.
How much biotin should I be taking?
The best way to make sure we’re taking these supplements safely and avoiding biotin side effects is by consuming the right levels of biotin for our bodies.
The Food and Drug Administration has not suggested a daily recommended allowance, but the table below offers insight on the minimum amounts of biotin we should be taking based on age.
The recommended intake of biotin (per day)
Birth to 3 years
10 mcg - 20 mcg
30 mcg - 100 mcg
While this serves as a guideline for healthy individuals, certain groups may be at a higher risk of a biotin deficiency due to an inability to sustain biotin levels. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women, anyone with biotinidase deficiency, or those suffering from extreme hair loss due to a vitamin B7 deficiency.
It’s for this reason that biotin supplements generally come in much higher doses, often between 1000 and 5000mcg. Many consider this the amount necessary to gradually reverse the effects of a biotin deficiency in sensitive groups.
What happens if I take too much biotin?
You may be wondering - can taking too much biotin result in harmful side effects? A few potential side effects of a biotin overdose include the following:
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urination
However, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, an excess of biotin in the body is very rare. Because biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, any excess amount is excreted from our system - this helps our body to maintain proper B7 levels.
According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, no evidence in humans has shown a toxicity of biotin even with high intakes. There is no maximum dose for biotin due to the lack of reports showing negative side effects.
But just remember - when taking any new supplement, it’s important to monitor how your body reacts. The right amount for some may be too much for others. You should always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement to make sure you’re taking the right dose for you.
Which biotin supplements should I take?
When purchasing biotin supplements, it’s important we make sure they come from a reputable source with listed ingredients and a dosage matching up with our needs.
Luckily, FuelOrganics offers a high-quality and high-potency vegan biotin supplement for customers looking to support the health of their hair, skin, and nails.
Taking a biotin vitamin is generally a safe practice for anyone experiencing symptoms of a B7 deficiency. Because our bodies need vitamin B7 to support the growth and health of our hair, skin, and nails, supplements are a great way of upping our levels of biotin.
So if you’ve been putting off trying biotin supplements due to safety concerns, rest assured - you now have the knowledge you need to experience biotin benefits with no worries.
For more information about biotin dietary supplements, check out our other articles: Biotin vs Collagen: Which one is better
- Catlett, T. (2021). Biotin for hair growth: does it work? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/biotin-hair-growth
- Bistas KG, Tadi P. Biotin. [Updated 2021 Sep 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554493/
- Biotin- vitamin B7. The Nutrition Source. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.