Biotin is one of the essential vitamins you need for healthy hair – but are there any side effects of biotin that could mess with your health? In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know.
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a water soluble vitamin that helps to create enzymes in the body. It breaks down the protein in the food we eat and turns it into different amino acids; some of which form keratin. Keratin is the main building block of hair, meaning that biotin is necessary for hair to form. However, a lot of foods contain biotin and our bodies can also create it, so it’s pretty unusual to have a biotin deficiency.
Biotin has been a go-to supplement for general beauty ever since it was discovered to help brittle nails become stronger. However, the research on exactly how and why biotin is so good for our beauty is insufficient.
Mainly, it has been proven to have benefits for our hair, skin and nails through observations and single studies, rather than repeated, double-blind clinical trials. But as long as the effects are visible and not harmful, people will continue to buy supplements. So are there any biotin side effects?
Possible Biotin Side Effects
According to dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart, possible signs of a biotin overdose include slower release of insulin, skin rashes, lower vitamin C and B6 levels and high blood sugar levels.
Some other documented, although not common, side effects of biotin are nausea, cramping and diarrhea. Some say taking the supplement with food reduces the risk of side effects.
Do Not Take Biotin if You Have a Health Issue
Some people are allergic to biotin and should clearly not supplement with it. It’s also important to be careful and ask your doctor first if you suffer from a kidney disease, or are a smoker, or if you’ve had stomach surgery. That precaution naturally applies for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or anyone taking medications.
Benefits of Supplements
As biotin is water soluble, any excessive amounts of the vitamin are flushed out of the body, making an overdose unlikely for an average person with no health issues. There are also combined supplements you can take that are specialized for what you want to achieve.
If you’re not looking to take pure biotin for the vitamin’s own sake, take a special hair or nail supplement that contains all the ingredients that will work together to achieve your goal. Biotin itself is not enough to get great hair. Hair health depends on many different factors, such as vitamins, minerals, exercise, hydration, sleep, stress or genetics.