FDA Warning For Biotin Supplements

​The FDA has warned that the supplement biotin may interfere with certain lab tests.


Biotin Supplement Interferes With Lab Tests

The FDA has warned that the supplement biotin may interfere with certain lab tests. Biotin is frequently taken for nails and hair. It may help nails, but has less effect on hair growth. Some physicians have recommended persons with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) take very high doses of biotin.

In November 2017, the FDA issued a statement stating, “The FDA is alerting the public, health care providers, lab personnel, and lab test developers that biotin can significantly interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect test results, which may go undetected.”

Biotin in the blood or other body samples taken from patients who are ingesting high levels of biotin in dietary supplements can cause either falsely high or falsely low results. Lab tests that may be affected include: 

  • thyroid
  • hormones
  • vitamin B12
  • folate
  • anemia
  • heart disease/BNP blood test

Some biotin skin, hair and nail supplements contain megadoses in the 5,000 mcg to 10,000 mcg range. Biotin’s half-life is  about twp hours, so abstinence for eight hours may be sufficient to minimize lab test interference. However, it is highly recommended that persons taking massive biotin doses abstain for 72 hours before having blood specimens drawn for laboratory tests.

Check your supplements to see how much biotin they contain. The recommended daily allowance ranges from 5 to 35 mcg. If you’re concerned that the supplement you’re taking may affect your future lab, please check with your physician or laboratory provider and let them know about the medications you take, including vitamins and supplements.