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Biotin and the hair

One of the top 50 questions I am asked is whether biotin supplements shouls be used. The short answer is really that there is no good evidence that biotin does much for most people. It is however, quite safe and overdosing is unlikely provided one sticks to 5000 mcg or less per say. 

Is anyone biotin deficient?

However, the following groups may be more likely to have biotin deficiency: 

  1. individuals with intestinal issues,
  2. women who are pregnant, 
  3. individuals taking anti-seizure medications, chronic antibiotics, or isotretinoin
  4. individuals who consume alcohol chronically
  5. those with inborn errors of metabolism
  6. the elderly 
  7. those with extremes of poor diet

In those who are recommended to take biotin, type of biotin supplement does not appear to matter. 1000 mcg twice daily to up to 5000 mcg is appropriate dosing for most. I always advise individuals to review this question with their physician an avoid unnecessary supplementation.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299



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