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Biotin Supplement Benefits and Dosage

Find out what biotin is, what it’s good for, and whether you need a biotin supplement.

ingredients 14 biotin-B7 illustration
Sophie Medlin
Sophie Medlin
Head of Nutritional Research
March 17, 2020
4 min read

Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is part of the full B complex. It’s a nutrient that everyone needs, and it helps your metabolism extract energy from food sources. In this article, we’ll go through the biotin benefits of healthy biotin levels, whether a supplement is necessary, and if there are any side effects.

Article breakdown

What is biotin?

Biotin is a water-soluble nutrient. It’s essential for converting the energy in foods into energy that our bodies and brains can use, as well as the production of fatty acids.

While we get some biotin from food—the vitamin is commonly found bound to proteins—our major source (other than biotin supplements) is provided by the bacteria in our gut. However, we can’t produce biotin ourselves.

Biotin dosage

You don’t need a lot of biotin. Whereas many nutrient reference values (NRVs) are measured in milligrams, the NRV for biotin is 50 micrograms (0.05mg) per day. In every dose of Heights Smart Supplement theres the full 50mcg, which is equivalent to 10 tins of cooked salmon or 8 cups of almonds.

How biotin interacts with other vitamins

Biotin is available through your diet, but many people can benefit from supplementation. If you do take a biotin supplement, taking it at the same time as other B vitamins will help optimise energy release. You can read more about each of these vitamins here:

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)

  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid)

  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

Biotin benefits

So what is biotin good for? While we don’t need a lot of biotin, it is still an essential vitamin, which plays an important role in various functions in your brain and body. These include:

  • Converting food to energy

  • Metabolising fats to promote healthy skin

  • Contributing to a balanced mood

  • Maintaining a healthy nervous system

  • Supporting the immune system

Biotin for hair

There’s some evidence to suggest that biotin is particularly good for your hair. Not getting enough has been shown to contribute to thinner hair, and there’s ongoing research to determine whether the extra supplementation of biotin can lead to hair growth. There is also promising research that suggests high-dose biotin supplementation may help to decline or even reverse MS-related disability.

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Biotin foods

While a lot of biotin is created by gut bacteria, it’s also available in small quantities in a variety of ingredients. Foods that contain a lot of biotin include:

  • Eggs

  • Salmon

  • Liver

  • Sunflower seeds

What are the symptoms of a biotin deficiency?

Biotin deficiencies are rare, but they can happen, particularly among individuals predisposed towards nutrient deficiencies. Chronic exposure to alcohol is another factor that can make a biotin deficiency more likely. Signs of a potential biotin deficiency include thinning hair, rashes, brittle nails and conjunctivitis.

Are there any side effects of biotin?

Research suggests that there are no side effects of biotin, even if taken in large amounts. That means that there’s no established safe upper limit (SUL), and no reason to be worried about excess intake.

How we use biotin in the Smart Supplement

At Heights, we've formulated the Smart Supplement with vitamin B7 from d-biotin, which is the naturally occurring, biologically active form of the vitamin. You can be sure that:

  • Each dose contains 100% of the NRV for biotin.

  • Our biotin is pure and quality-tested.

  • Everything is manufactured in small batches.

  • It meets many common dietary and lifestyle practices: It's gluten-free, 100% plant-based, allergen-free and contains absolutely zero GMOs, contaminants, fillers or colourants.

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Here’s a handful of relevant scientific studies on biotin.

  • Koutsikos, D., Agroyannis, B., & Tzanatos-Exarchou, H. (1990). Biotin for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy, 44(10), 511-514.

  • Osada, K., Komai, M., Sugiyama, K., Urayama, N., & Furukawa, Y. (2004). Experimental study of fatigue provoked by biotin deficiency in mice. International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. Internationale Zeitschrift fur Vitamin-und Ernahrungsforschung. Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition, 74(5), 334-340.

  • Tourbah, A., Lebrun-Frenay, C., Edan, G., Clanet, M., Papeix, C., Vukusic, S., ... & Defer, G. (2016). MD1003 (high-dose biotin) for the treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 22(13), 1719-1731.

We also used these sources when writing this article:

For more information on how to help your brain thrive, read Dr Tara Swart's easy advice here.

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