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This article will expound and elucidate some important facts surrounding the biotin supplement. Since there is a strong connection between biotin supplement and human health and overall wellbeing, we consider it something necessary to do as we provide you with some useful tips about this synthetic product; the upsides, downsides, and better substitute.
Today, vitamin supplements come in different forms for treating vitamin deficiencies in the body and other medical conditions. Biotin supplement is used for a therapeutic purpose known as biotin therapy- used to strengthen nails and hair among other deficiencies and health-related conditions. Biotin in itself is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in fats, carbohydrates, and protein metabolism. The consumption of biotin is a daily necessity because water-soluble vitamins such as biotin are not stored in the body. Biotin is also referred to as vitamin H or B7.
Biotin supplement comes as a treatment for decreasing insulin resistance and types 2 diabetes nerve symptoms. Medical studies opine that biotin supplement is also potent in managing and treating conditions such as depression, hepatitis, cradle cap, to mention a few. Biotin supplement has also helped users achieve stronger-healthier hair, skin, and nails. However, there are founded downsides to biotin supplement usage according to some reputable health quarters.
BIOTIN IN FOODS
One can do without the daily intake of biotin supplement because biotin as a vitamin can be consumed from natural foods such as wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, wheat bread, eggs, dairy products, peanuts, soy nuts, Swiss chard, salmon, and chicken.
Biotin supplements can contain 5,000 micrograms—about 16 times higher than the Daily Value—or more. And taking biotin supplements has not been proved to have measurable benefits. What’s more, supplements, in general, are only loosely regulated. Though they fall under the purview of the FDA, the agency classifies them differently from drugs. The companies that make and sell them aren’t required to prove that they’re safe, that they work as advertised, or even that their packages contain what the labels say they do. One medical researcher Lipman: “Supplement oversight is virtually nonexistent; this makes it difficult to even know how much you’re actually ingesting”. Since the body can take as much adequate level of biotin that it needs daily from consuming some of the aforementioned foods above, biotin supplement may only come in handy in the case of biotin deficiency in the body.
DOWNSIDES OF BIOTIN SUPPLEMENT
In the U.S.A, the food and drug administration (FDA) laid down a caution against the use of biotin supplement. According to the agency- biotin supplement significantly affects the actual results of a wide array of medical tests such as tests for anemia, cancer, heart disease, pregnancy, and thyroid problems. This reported case of medical tests alteration by biotin supplement tends to cast shadows on biotin supplement. The agency said it has seen an uptick in the number of reported adverse events—including one death—related to the vitamin’s interference with lab tests.
Furthermore, the FDA’s warning shines a light on an issue that researchers have been flagging for years. Danni Li, Ph.D., director of clinical chemistry at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, released a study in 2009 that showed biotin supplements could interfere with the results of medical testing. Li has been in communication with the FDA ever since, urging the agency to warn the public. “The risks can be quite severe,” she notes. “Depending on what kind of test, the consequences can even be deadly.”
BIOTIN SUPPLEMENT COULD CAUSE MISDIAGNOSIS?
Based on health-related medical study and research work by reputable government regulatory body and private health practitioners, it’s reported that biotin supplement could lead to misdiagnosis. The reason for this is that biotin is also used in medical tests to bond with proteins in the blood. However, these proteins are the basis for detecting various health conditions.
BIOTIN SUPPLEMENT POSES NO HEALTH RISKS
Biotin supplement may lead to misdiagnosis or interfere with medical tests but there is no conclusive evidence yet that shows that biotin supplement poses any health dangers to users. According to CR, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the largest trade group representing dietary supplements. CRN issued a statement in response to the FDA’s warning, first clarifying that the FDA has not found health issues related to the biotin supplements themselves.
“The concerns raised by FDA are specifically directed to potential interference with certain lab tests,” reads the statement from Duffy Mackay, N.D., CRN’s senior vice president. According to CRN, “The simplest and most effective way to address these concerns is for healthcare practitioners to alert patients to temporarily stop taking their biotin supplements before getting blood work.”
However, the FDA, in its statement, noted that there is not enough evidence to determine the length of time needed to clear biotin from the blood.
HOW MUCH BIOTIN SHOULD ONE CONSUME?
An adult human within the age bracket of (19-above) only needs a daily intake of 30mcg of biotin which can adequately be supplied by biotin rich natural foods consumed daily such as wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, wheat bread, eggs, dairy products, peanuts, soy nuts, Swiss chard, salmon, and chicken. Relying on biotin supplements for adequate biotin intake daily is more or less redundant since biotin supplement contains 5,000 micrograms of biotin. That’s about 16 times higher than the daily value. Below is a breakdown of daily biotin value required based on age bracket and other natural conditions.
- 0-6 months (5 micrograms/day)
- 7-12 months (6 mcg/day)
- 1-3 years (8 mcg/day)
- 4-8 years (12 mcg/day)
- 9-13 years (20 mcg/day)
- 14-18 years (25 mcg/day)
- 19 years and up (30 mcg/day)
- Pregnant women (30 mcg/day)
- Breastfeeding women (35 mcg/day)
Natural biotin intake is not associated with any known health risks or conditions, unlike the biotin supplement. Except in the case of biotin deficiency in the body, a physician may prescribe the use of biotin supplement to make up for the low value of biotin in the body. The intake of biotin supplement should be done under medical advisement and supervision.
In nutshell, health experts and researchers opine that the use of biotin supplement is not an ideal alternative source of biotin for the human body since biotin-rich foods do well to provide the body with daily biotin value. Biotin supplement, however, is known to alter a wide array of medical tests leading to misdiagnosis, which in turn could pose serious health concerns.
According to health experts and pundits, there is no succinct proof that biotin supplement strengthens the hair, nails, and smoothens the skin though users may have a contrary view.