Here’s What Biotin Does to Your Body (2023)

Waiting for hair to grow in its own time can feel endlessly long, even for the most patient person. So when someone suggests using a vitamin like biotin to speed up the process, it can seem like a miracle path to your best Pantene-commercial-worthy hair yet.

Biotin is a complex B vitamin that helps convert food into energy and aids in breaking down fat in our bodies. We typically get the biotin we need from food, but many believe that taking extra biotin can boost hair strength, ultimately stimulating thickness and growth.

As is the case when taking any vitamin, biotin has its share of side effects, and it’s really important to know what these are before you start taking it on the regular.

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A certain amount of biotin is necessary for our bodies to function properly. This vitamin is in charge of creating energy and helps to keep many systems healthy and in check, such as your liver, nervous system, hair, and eyes.

We know that the natural biotin we get from eating certain foods (more on that in a minute) is essential for our health. But while many suspect that biotin can be effective in treating some medical conditions, there isn’t enough science behind these claims to support them completely. Still, many believe there are benefits to taking extra biotin.

It helps your metabolism

Biotin plays an important role in supporting metabolic function. It helps break down and metabolize carbohydrates and amino acids, and also helps break down fat in your body, all of which helps to create energy.

Research has found that biotin, when combined with chromium picolinate, may raise your metabolic rate of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

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While this doesn’t mean that biotin can accelerate weight loss, it does show that biotin is essential when it comes to your metabolism and blood sugar control.

It *might* support hair growth

Biotin is often marketed as a vitamin that helps stimulate hair growth and that helps reverse hair loss. Biotin deficiencies have been shown to cause thin and brittle hair, which leads many to believe that the vitamin helps keep hair healthy and may promote growth.

While research has found that while biotin supplements may help promote hair health if someone has a biotin deficiency, there isn’t enough evidence to say definitively that biotin can make your hair grow.

It strengthens nails

One older study from 1989 looked at 45 patients who took 2.5 milligrams of biotin a day, and found that 91 percent of them had “firmer and harder fingernails” after 5 months. Still, there’s not much more evidence that says that biotin will lead to healthier nails or stimulate growth.

A biotin deficiency can also lead to thin, brittle nails that break more often and don’t grow as quickly. Taking biotin supplements may help those who have this deficiency.

It regulates blood sugar

Several promising studies have found that biotin may lower blood glucose in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Animal studies have found that biotin can stimulate the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, which lowers blood sugar.

A 2016 study found that biotin might help with glycemic control in people with type 1 diabetes.

It helps babies in the womb

In rare cases, pregnant women can have a biotin deficiency, and so to promote fetal health, it’s sometimes recommended to take a prenatal vitamin that contains biotin and folic acid while pregnant.

However, taking too much biotin while pregnant could lead to rare side effects that include allergies, acne, or even miscarriage. Always speak to your OB/GYN before taking biotin while pregnant.

It makes skin glow

Someone with a biotin deficiency may experience red rashes or dry, itchy skin, which leads some to believe that biotin plays a role in healthy skin. However, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support the idea that taking biotin leads to healthier skin.

Biotin may be a readily available supplement, but that doesn’t mean you should take it without speaking to your doctor. Most of us are getting enough biotin through our normal diet and don’t need to add extra through supplements.

What if you take too much biotin?

Like any other vitamin, too much biotin isn’t advised. Always speak to your doctor about the other medications you’re taking before you begin taking biotin.

High amounts of biotin can actually create false positives in laboratory tests for thyroid disease and heart attacks — yikes! One study even found that it can mimic Graves’ disease.

The lesson? Don’t start a biotin regimen without consulting your doctor to figure out the appropriate dosage.

Does biotin cause weight gain?

Some claim that taking biotin can cause you to gain weight. There’s no scientific research out there to definitively back up that claim. However, some studies have shown that taking an excess amount of B vitamins can be linked to the prevalence of obesity and diabetes.

Interactions with certain medications

Some medications you take might affect the levels of biotin in your body, and taking extra biotin may interact with some medications.

According to National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, taking some epilepsy medications for at least a year can significantly lower biotin levels.

Always let your doctor or healthcare provider know if you are taking biotin supplements.

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You can get your biotin naturally, through the foods you eat, or you can choose to take more by taking supplements or applying topicals.

Biotin-rich foods

The best way to get biotin is through your diet. Keep in mind that cooking the below foods can actually render biotin ineffective, so eating these raw (if possible) mean you’ll get more active biotin.

  • cooked egg yolk
  • nuts such as almonds, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts
  • nut butters
  • soybeans and legumes
  • whole grains and cereals, like oatmeal
  • cauliflower
  • bananas
  • mushrooms
  • wheat germ
  • spinach
  • brie cheese
  • milk
  • pork
  • carrots
  • apples
  • tomatoes
  • yeast
  • oysters


Biotin supplements are readily available and can often be purchased in your local drugstore. They can be available in supplements that contain only biotin, or combination supplements that contain other B-complex vitamins. You may also find biotin in multivitamin/multimineral products.

While there’s no recommended daily dosage of biotin and since supplements like these are not monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safety, it can be tough to know how much is too much.

Based on scientific findings for “adequate intake levels” — guidelines for how much of a nutrient to consume from food to prevent deficiency — it’s safe to ingest around 30 micrograms of biotin per day for folks age 13 and up.

Regardless, you should always speak to your doctor before adding biotin supplements to your daily routine.


Topical biotin is available mostly in the form of shampoo, conditioner, or other similar hair products.

The idea is that using these will promote stronger, healthier hair and could boost growth. Again, there’s no evidence that biotin will make your hair stronger, healthier, or longer unless you have a biotin deficiency.

There’s nothing wrong with using biotin hair products and they likely will not do anything negative to your hair.

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Biotin is an essential B vitamin our bodies need to function properly. It converts food into energy and is often associated with hair strength and growth.

Research shows that biotin may promote hair health and growth if someone has a biotin deficiency. Beyond that, there’s no strong scientific evidence that shows that excess biotin will make your hair grow.

Biotin may be helpful in regulating blood sugar and may aid in fetal development, although more research is needed.

Too much biotin has never been shown to be harmful (unless you’re pregnant), but it can produce false lab tests. There’s no evidence that biotin can cause weight gain or weight loss.

The best way to get biotin is through your diet, by eating biotin-rich foods. You can also speak with your doctor about taking biotin supplements or use hair products that contain biotin.

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Here’s What Biotin Does to Your Body? ›

Your body needs biotin to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails, and it's found in many cosmetic products for hair and skin. Like all B vitamins, it is a water soluble, meaning the body does not store it.

What happens if you take biotin everyday? ›

Biotin is safe to take — even at high doses. But taking too much can sometimes cause side effects like stomach ache, trouble sleeping, and excessive thirst. Talk to your healthcare provider if you think you've taken too much biotin. You can also contact Poison Control if you're having trouble reaching your provider.

What happens when you start taking biotin? ›

Taking biotin may lead to stomach upset, such as cramping, stomach troubles and nausea [2]. Whenever you experience any problems related to stomach upset, immediately talk to your doctor, who will assess if you are taking the adequate amount or if you need to stop taking biotin supplements.

What does biotin do to the female body? ›

Daily consumption of Biotin can monitor your body's metabolism rate. Most of the B vitamins convert our food to fuel (glucose) to produce energy. Your body needs Biotin to metabolize carbohydrates, fat, amino acids, and it even works as one of the building blocks of protein.

What are 3 benefits of biotin? ›

Biotin is a B vitamin that plays a crucial role in the metabolism of carbs, fats, and proteins. It supports health in many ways. Biotin boosts the health of the hair and nails, supports a healthy pregnancy, and helps manage blood sugar levels, among other benefits.

Does biotin have side effects? ›

No side effects have been reported for biotin in amounts up to 10 milligrams a day.

What are the cons of taking biotin? ›

  • Can lead to skin breakouts, acne, and rashes (if overdosed”>
  • Raw eggs interfere with the absorption of biotin.
  • Interacts with some drugs, specifically those for cholesterol and antibiotics.
Mar 17, 2014

Will taking biotin cause weight gain? ›

There's no evidence that biotin can cause weight gain or weight loss. The best way to get biotin is through your diet, by eating biotin-rich foods. You can also speak with your doctor about taking biotin supplements or use hair products that contain biotin.

Is it better to take biotin in the morning or at night? ›

3) What is the best time to take biotin supplements? A. The most commonly recommended time slot to consume biotin supplements is with your morning meal. The water-soluble nature of biotin will ensure that your body is absorbing it with the other nutrients in your meal.

How long does it take for biotin to work? ›

Research pertaining to how quickly vitamins work in the body is limited, however, we have found that some begin to see and experience benefits approximately 30 days after you start taking biotin. It may take up to 90 days or longer for some individuals.

Does biotin help with sleep? ›

Biotin is necessary for maintaining appropriate thyroid activity and regulating sleep, hunger, energy, and even pain.

Is biotin good for aging skin? ›

Biotin is often referred to as an anti-aging nutrient that will help give you a youthful look and feel. Biotin is also said to help with the following issues: Keep your skin healthy by providing essential fatty acids and nutrients.

Does biotin give you energy? ›

The Benefits of Biotin for Energy

Biotin and other B vitamins play a vital role in converting nutrients into energy, without biotin we would experience signs of fatigue, tiredness, digestive issues and mood swings.

Is collagen better than biotin? ›

If a person has a biotin deficiency, taking biotin may improve the health of their skin. Otherwise, collagen can be a better option as there is more evidence to suggest it helps improve the skin's appearance.

Does biotin raise blood sugar? ›

Although the mechanism of hyperglycemia is different in type 1 and 2 diabetes, biotin is effective in both conditions. Coggeshall JC reported that daily administration of 16 mg biotin for 1 week decreased fasting blood sugar (FBS) up to 50% in type 1 diabetic patients.

What food is biotin in? ›

Foods high in biotin
  • Egg yolks. Eating an egg can deliver over a third of your recommended daily dose of biotin. ...
  • Salmon. Pair this tasty fish with a salad or some brown rice for an easy weeknight dinner. ...
  • Sweet potatoes. ...
  • Organ meats. ...
  • Avocados. ...
  • Legumes. ...
  • Almonds. ...
  • Mushrooms.
Aug 2, 2022

Does biotin affect blood pressure? ›

These results suggest that the pharmacological dose of biotin decreased the blood pressure of the SHRSP via an NO-independent direct activation of soluble guanylate cyclase.

Can biotin cause thyroid problems? ›

Biotin has no effect on thyroid hormone levels or thyroid function in the body. However, biotin can interfere with the measurement of hormone levels in the laboratory, making them inaccurate.

Can biotin cause hair thinning? ›

As there are a number of alleged side-effects mentioned in relation to extreme over consumption of biotin, it may well be that any hair loss is a result of the body being 'out of sorts' or adjusting to this new regime rather than as a direct result of the biotin itself.

Who is most at risk for biotin? ›

Who is at risk for biotin deficiency? People with health conditions that impact how the body absorbs nutrients, or who are on certain medications, can be at risk of developing biotin deficiency. Biotinidase deficiency (BTD) is the most common cause of biotin deficiency.

Is taking biotin worth it? ›

Research also shows that biotin helps improve skin's hydration, smoothness, and appearance. In addition, some studies show that biotin can strengthen fingernails and make them grow faster. Biotin is a versatile addition to your beauty routine. Biotin is also necessary for a healthy pregnancy.

What's a safe amount of biotin to take daily? ›

Adults and teenagers—30 to 100 micrograms (mcg) per day. Children 7 to 10 years of age—30 mcg per day. Children 4 to 6 years of age—25 mcg per day. Children birth to 3 years of age—10 to 20 mcg per day.

Does biotin help you lose belly fat? ›

Biotin works to convert fat into energy. This helps in burning extra fat and calories stored in the body. Biotin is needed to make fat into glucose and break down amino acids. High doses of biotin do help in weight loss.

Can biotin cause anxiety? ›

This cross-sectional study found that people with a higher intake of Biotin had lower odds of depression, anxiety and stress. The authors of the study performed a subgroup analysis and discovered that individuals with high dietary Biotin intake reduced the risk of stress, anxiety and depression.

Does biotin cause bowel movement? ›

Constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach may occur. These effects are usually temporary and may disappear as your body adjusts to this medication. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Can you take biotin and vitamin D together? ›

Interactions between your drugs

No interactions were found between biotin and D3.

When should you not take biotin? ›

Laboratory tests: Taking biotin supplements might interfere with the results of many different blood lab tests. Biotin can cause falsely high or falsely low test results. This might lead to missed or incorrect diagnoses. Tell your doctor if you are taking biotin supplements, especially if you are having lab tests done.

Why do you need to drink a lot of water when taking biotin? ›

If you decide to take biotin in pill form, be sure to drink eight or more glasses of water per day to flush it through your system. Drinking less than that could lead to biotin induced acne. If you consume more biotin than you need in supplement form, you'll pee it out because your body has no use for it.

Does biotin really strengthen hair? ›

The bottom line. There's no strong evidence to support using biotin for hair growth or to prevent hair loss in people without a deficiency. Because hair thinning and poor hair growth are sometimes associated with a biotin deficiency, correcting a deficiency can help restore hair growth in some people.

Does biotin thicken hair? ›

Strengthens and thickens: Biotin "is well known for its positive effects on hair including growing stronger thicker strands," says Friese. Protects: Because biotin strengthens hair, it is less likely to break off at the ends, promoting and protecting length, explains Friese.

How much biotin Should a 60 year old woman take? ›

The DV for biotin is 30 mcg for adults and children age 4 years and older [15].

Does biotin affect memory? ›

In conclusion, we demonstrated that biotin deficiency deteriorates short-term memory and locomotor activity. This impairment may relate to decreased dopamine levels and PKA activity in the hippocampus.

Is 10000 mcg biotin too much? ›

The normal recommended biotin dosage for adults is 30 to 100 micrograms (mcg) per day. But there's no evidence of high levels of biotin being harmful or causing toxicity, which is why you'll commonly see biotin supplements containing 5,000 to 10,000 mcg.

How much biotin do you need for hair growth? ›

The amount of biotin suggested for hair growth usually ranges between 100 - 1,000 micrograms (mcg) daily, but this number varies based on your body's reaction to biotin.

Does biotin really help hair growth? ›

But biotin has been shown to help with preventing balding and hair loss. In fact, biotin is primarily used for alopecia — a condition that causes hair loss in all sexes. “Biotin helps maintain hair growth and helps with inflammation,” Dr. Bergfeld says.

Does taking biotin everyday help hair growth? ›

There's no strong evidence to support using biotin for hair growth or to prevent hair loss in people without a deficiency. Because hair thinning and poor hair growth are sometimes associated with a biotin deficiency, correcting a deficiency can help restore hair growth in some people.

How much biotin should I take for hair loss? ›

Current recommendations for biotin by the Institute of Medicine state that the daily adequate intake (AI) for adults is 30 μg/day [1]. Most healthy individuals meet these requirements through a well-balanced diet, though many still take up to 500–1,000 μg of biotin supplementation daily.

What vitamin makes your hair grow? ›

“Vitamins are essential for healthy hair growth and may help in preventing hair shedding and thinning,” says Michele Green, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist in New York. “The best vitamins for hair growth include B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, biotin and iron.

Does biotin cause weight gain or weight loss? ›

There's no evidence that biotin can cause weight gain or weight loss. The best way to get biotin is through your diet, by eating biotin-rich foods. You can also speak with your doctor about taking biotin supplements or use hair products that contain biotin.

Which biotin is best for hair growth? ›

10 Best Biotin in India for Hair and Skin (2023)
  • Amway Nutrilite Biotin Cherry Plus Biotin.
  • GNC Biotin.
  • Healthvit Biotion.
  • Himalayan Organics Biotin.
  • HealthKart Plant Based Biotin.
  • HealthXP Hair Skin & Nails Biotin.
  • INLIFE Advanced Hair Skin & Nails Biotin.
  • NOW Biotin (5000 mcg)

What makes hair grow faster? ›

How to Make Your Hair Grow Faster and Stronger
  1. Get frequent trims. ...
  2. Eat the right diet. ...
  3. Add a hair-healthy vitamin to your a.m. routine. ...
  4. Shampoo less and hydrate more. ...
  5. Lay off the bleach. ...
  6. Avoid excessive heat styling. ...
  7. Brush hair regularly. ...
  8. Protect hair from physical damage.
Sep 14, 2022

Which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss? ›

Only riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss.


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