Biotin Vitamins: Are They Safe?

Biotin vitamins play a very important role in the metabolic processes that involve carbohydrates and fat. Biotin, which is also known as vitamin H or vitamin B7, represents a water-soluble vitamin that raises no serious concerns. But the fact is that there is not enough documented proof to attest any hazardous health effects. However, as in the case of many other vitamins, biotin may interact with other drugs.

Recommended Daily Intake

Most diets assure the necessary daily intake of biotin, but if you decide to rely on a supplement as the main source of vitamin B7, you should respect the following recommended daily dosages:

  • 5 mcg for infants aged 0 to 6 months
  • 6 mcg for infants aged 7 to 12 months
  • 8 mcg for children aged 1 to 3 years
  • 12 mcg for children aged 4 to 8 years
  • 20 mcg for children aged 9 to 13 years
  • 25 mcg for adolescents aged 14 to 18 years
  • 30 mcg for adults aged 19 years or more
  • 30 mcg for pregnant females
  • 35 mcg for breastfeeding females

Biotin deficiency is rather rare, but if noticed, it can be treated with a daily intake of 100 to 1,000 mcg. Administering this vitamin during pregnancy is particularly important. Several studies conducted on rats concluded that the deficiency of this vitamin may cause birth defects. However, there are no studies performed on humans concerning this fact.

Dietary supplements that contain biotin need to be consumed with great care, as they may also include ingredients to which you are allergic. Before starting to take such a dietary supplement, you should talk to your doctor.

Toxicity and Overdose Risk

Exceeding the daily recommended intake leads to no noticeable side effects, so there is no risk of overdose. More than that, toxic reactions have not been noticed. Since vitamin B7 is water soluble, any excess is eliminated in the urine.

Even though the importance of biotin during pregnancy is incontestable, women are highly recommended not to exceed the recommended dose, as it is not known what effects a biotin overdose may have in this situation.

Interactions with Other Medication

Biotin vitamins do not interact directly with other drugs. Instead, some types of medication are able to prevent the body from absorbing this vitamin properly. In addition, several drugs may actually cause biotin deficiency in the body.

Anti-seizure medication, such as primidone and carbamazepine, will prevent biotin from being absorbed in the small intestine. More than that, anti-seizure drugs can reduce the blood biotin levels. If taken for a long period of time, antibiotics are able to reduce bacterial production of biotin, consequently leading to the deficiency of this vitamin. This is explained by the fact that antibiotics destroy both the bacteria that causes infections and bacteria that synthesizes the biotin vitamins in the small intestine.

Biotin is also known to increase the efficiency of weight loss supplements based on herbs. This effect may not be desired sometimes, so you are recommended to talk to a health care provider before starting to take vitamin B7 supplements.

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