Biotin has many names, including vitamin B7 and sometimes vitamin H as well; others call it co-enzyme-R. Along with the different names, it also has several health benefits and here are just some of them:
- Healthy metabolism, including carbohydrates and sugar conversion to glucose or usable energy
- Helps the body utilize amino acids derived from proteins
- Activates fatty acids that come from animal fats, oils, and other sources
- Helps balance blood sugar levels
- Protects the brain and fights memory problems
- Strengthens the cardiovascular system by increasing the good cholesterol in the body
Out of all the benefits though, biotin is most known for helping maintain health of hair, skin, and nails. This is why the vitamin is mostly found in supplements that help avoid hair loss. But a recent study showed that using biotin for hair can cause various problems.
The key here is to know that the recommended daily intake for the B vitamin is 30 micrograms. However, if you look at the biotin supplements that are available today, most of them give about 10 milligrams of the vitamin. That is equal to 10,000 micrograms every day! We normally don’t stop with the supplements because there are plenty of other sources of the vitamin, such as:
Overdosing on biotin can cause a problem with thyroid and parathyroid tests. Biotin is actually helpful to the thyroid gland as it is often used by people with thyroid disorders, which can cause hair loss. But too much biotin is not advised as it can alter the results of the tests mentioned. This can be a huge problem because not every endocrinologist knows how biotin affects the thyroid test and its results.
People who take biotin and have their thyroid tests may be given treatments to a disease they don’t really have. For instance, an endocrinologist from Grand Junction, Colorado named Carol Greenlee said that she encountered a number of patients who don’t have hyperthyroidism, but the results showed positive of the condition. Additionally, some are diagnosed with Graves’ disease even though they don’t have it just because of the abnormality in the test results.
It is therefore advised that if you’re going to take a thyroid test, you should stop taking biotin right away. Biotin interferes with the result if the levels are high in the body – generally three times more than what’s normal. However, this is very easy to achieve, mainly because of the megadoses offered to the public in many supplements today.