US FDA warns that biotin supplements can interfere with lab tests

Are you taking biotin for your skin and nails? Be aware that biotin supplements can interfere with many lab tests. Some of the currently known interactions are tests measuring amounts of troponin, which are often used to diagnose heart attacks. Biotin supplements may also interfere with tests measuring hormone levels involving the thyroid.

The FDA is warning and helping to raise awareness of this side-effect,

“Biotin in blood or other samples taken from patients who are ingesting high levels of biotin in dietary supplements can cause clinically significant incorrect lab test results. The FDA has seen an increase in the number of reported adverse events, including one death, related to biotin interference with lab tests.”

Their recommendation for consumers is to talk to their healthcare provider about biotin supplements and for healthcare professionals to report adverse events to the FDA through the MedWatch report system.

I know supplements seem like an effective way to boost your beauty, because who doesn’t like the concept of beauty from within? But be aware that supplement claims are not regulated by the US FDA, nor do they require testing or approval.

“Federal law does not require dietary supplements to be proven safe to FDA’s satisfaction before they are marketed”

“For most claims made in the labeling of dietary supplements, the law does not require the manufacturer or seller to prove to FDA’s satisfaction that the claim is accurate or truthful before it appears on the product”

The US supplement industry is huge, poorly regulated, generally poorly backed by research, and has large profit margins. It’s easy to see why it can be an attractive market to enter, but don’t trust your health to anecdotal evidence.

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