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Biotin is a supplement that is becoming more and more popular for people to ingest to help deal with hair loss, poor skin and problems with sugar. Biotin helps with those conditions but there are also some potential risks that you need to watch out for.

When it comes to biotin, deficiencies are pretty rare because of the diverse range of foods rich in biotin that patients can take advantage of in order to ascertain they are consuming enough of this vital co-factor. We need to make sure we are eating enough biotin in our daily diets because of how important biotin is in a number of different physiological processes. Drug companies are also aware of these potential risks and numerous biotin supplements are available on the market [1]. There are multiple compounds on the market that advertise biotin for hair growth or as a hair loss treatment option, something that have help treat your brittle nails, or even something that can help treat your acne. As we have seen in past investigations, biotin can benefit certain groups of patients suffering from biotin deficiencies. This supplement is something that does not come without its own set of risks so in this article, we will cover some of the potentially dangerous side effects of biotin supplements that you need to familiarize yourself with before taking this medication. 

Possible Side Effects of Too Much Biotin 

Biotin is an essential co-factor in a few important reactions throughout the body [2]. When levels are low, patients are at a risk for having problems with their immune system, high sugar levels and superficial changes like hair loss, skin changes and nail fragility [3]. Biotin is something that we are unable to produce ourselves so we need to make sure we ingest foods rich in biotin.

Physicians currently recommend that children up to 3 years old take up to 20 micrograms of biotin daily, children up to 10 take up to 30 micrograms daily and adults take up to 100 micrograms of biotin daily [4]. 

One of the potential risks of too much biotin in your diet can come from sugar metabolism. Biotin is one of the first signals necessary to start the production of factors like insulin so when you take too much biotin, it is possible that your insulin levels could be more elevated than normal and you could have hypoglycemia as a result. Biotin also has an effect on the liver and it downregulates cells responsible for making glucose when levels are too low in the body. These two effects could combine and lead to low blood sugar levels if you are taking high doses of the medication potentially. [5]

Patients with biotin, in theory, could have symptoms associated with low blood sugar as a result from excessive biotin use. This would include headaches, sudden weakness, problems with concentration and dizziness. [6]

Is it Safe to Use? 

Now that you know of some of the potential risks of excessive biotin, I will discuss whether the risk is worth the reward when you are taking this medication. To begin with, biotin is a vitamin that is water-soluble. This means that when you take more biotin in that your body is able to process, it will dissolve naturally in our kidneys and be excreted in urine. Because our bodies need such small levels of biotin daily, taking high doses of biotin supplementation will just lead you to having very biotin-rich urine [7]. 

To further expand further on this point, it is almost impossible for our body to take too much biotin into your body. Even mothers who are currently pregnant and taking more biotin in their diets are protected from the effects of biotin according to current research. Studies show that the concentration of biotin in their breast milk varied based on their intake of biotin but levels were only a fraction of what the original intake was after passing through the mother's metabolism first before passing to the new-born baby [8]. The risks of not having enough biotin in young children's diets far outweigh any theoretical risk that patients could face by having too much biotin in your diets so make sure your levels are high enough [9]. 

Some studies in animals indicate that excessive biotin could have some effect on a female reproduction cycle. Studies showed that animals have a decreased number of cells responsible for making sure female eggs have enough nutrients for development and high levels of estradiol compared to mice from the normal groups. Although it is hard to draw parallels in the human population, biotin is something that requires more studies in the future to determine if there could be any impact on female reproduction cycles. [10]

All in all, patients who utilize biotin for hair growth as a hair loss treatment need not worry about potential risks that could happen. The properties of biotin naturally protect yourself from any adverse risks of having too much biotin in your diet so you will naturally just get rid of too much biotin when you ingest too much. At the conclusion of this investigation, there are no side effects of biotin supplements that you should worry about as it stands now. 

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