The Biotin Buzz: Biotin and Blood Test Results

Understanding How Biotin Can Disrupt Blood Test Results

Recently, biotin, also known as vitamin B7, has gained popularity as a dietary supplement for promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails. While biotin supplements in moderate amounts are generally considered safe and beneficial, they can have unexpected consequences regarding blood test results. Biotin interference with specific laboratory assays has emerged as a concerning issue, potentially leading to inaccurate diagnoses and inappropriate medical interventions.

Let’s discuss what biotin is, what it does, and how and why it can disrupt some blood test results. Also find out the specific results it can skew, and whether it causes an increase or decrease in those numbers.

Is Biotin a Vitamin B?


Yes. Biotin is in the B vitamin family and is referred to as Vitamin B7. It is one of the water-soluble B-complex vitamins, which play essential roles in various bodily functions. Biotin is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, converting them into energy that the body can use. It also supports healthy skin, hair, and nails and is essential for the proper functioning of enzymes involved in various biochemical processes.

Because biotin is water-soluble, any excess amounts are typically excreted in the urine, and the body does not store large reserves of biotin like it does with fat-soluble vitamins (e.g., Vitamins A, D, E, and K). As a result, regular consumption of biotin through a balanced diet or supplements within recommended levels is generally safe for most individuals. However, as discussed earlier, excessive biotin intake through supplements can lead to potential side effects and interference with certain blood tests.

What Does Biotin Do For The Body?

Lots!
While only small amounts are required in our body for good health, the small amount packs a big punch. It helps with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It assists enzymes in breaking down these nutrients into smaller units that can be used for energy production or stored for future use.

For example, biotin is necessary for gluconeogenesis, a process in which the body makes glucose (blood sugar) from non-carbohydrate sources, such as amino acids (building blocks of protein) or fats, during times of low glucose availability.

Anyone wanting to improve their hair skin, and nails knows that biotin is often associated with promoting healthy hair, skin, and nails. It is believed to play a role in maintaining the structural integrity of these tissues, as well as supporting healthy growth.

How Does Biotin Interfere With Blood Tests?

Biotin interference occurs because certain blood tests rely on biotin-streptavidin binding, a strong and specific interaction used to detect biomarkers accurately. Biomarkers are what we are testing for in the blood, such as testosterone, TSH or other non hormones such as Vitamin B12, etc. Assays which are used to detect the biomarkers contain substances like Biotin-streptavidin that bind to the hormone that we want to measure in the blood and help determine the numbers you see on your test results. As you can see “biotin” is a part of the testing process.

Since biotin is commonly present in many dietary supplements and multivitamins, when individuals consume these supplements, particularly at high doses, excessive biotin levels circulate in the bloodstream, interfering with laboratory assays that utilize the biotin-streptavidin interaction. This interference can lead to falsely elevated or decreased test results, posing a significant challenge for healthcare professionals in making accurate diagnoses.

Results Skewed by Biotin

Several blood tests are known to be affected by biotin interference, and the results can vary depending on the specific test. Some of the most commonly affected tests include:

  1. Thyroid Function Tests: Biotin interference can lead to falsely decreased levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), falsely increased levels of free thyroxine (FT4), and falsely decreased levels of triiodothyronine (T3). This could potentially lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate management of thyroid conditions.
  2. Cardiac Biomarkers: Biotin interference can cause falsely elevated levels of cardiac troponins, crucial markers for diagnosing heart attacks. Such inaccuracies may lead to unnecessary cardiac interventions or delayed treatment.
  3. Other Hormone Tests: Biotin interference can skew test results measuring estradiol, testosterone, and cortisol levels. This may impact the management of hormonal imbalances and other related conditions.
  4. Vitamin D Tests: Biotin interference can lead to falsely increased or decreased levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which may affect the diagnosis and treatment of vitamin D deficiencies.


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not established a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for biotin. However, it is generally considered safe when taken within normal dietary ranges or in supplements containing less than 1mg (1000mcg) of biotin. For most individuals, this amount is unlikely to cause interference in blood tests. Biotin-rich foods, such as eggs, nuts, and whole grains, can also be included in the diet without significant concern.

How Much Biotin Should I Take?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not established a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for biotin. However, it is generally considered safe when taken within normal dietary ranges or in supplements containing less than 1mg (1000mcg) of biotin. For most individuals, this amount is unlikely to cause interference in blood tests. Biotin-rich foods, such as eggs, nuts, and whole grains, can also be included in the diet without significant concern.

However, supplements containing higher doses of biotin, typically exceeding 5mg (5000mcg), have been associated with interfering effects on blood test results. Therefore, if individuals are taking such high-dose biotin supplements, it is advisable to stop their usage at least 48 to 72 hours before undergoing blood tests affected by biotin interference.

Importance of Communication with Healthcare Providers

Individuals must communicate openly with their healthcare providers about any supplements they are taking, including biotin. Doctors may not routinely inquire about supplement usage during routine visits, so patients need to proactively disclose all supplements, their dosages, and any recent changes in supplement intake. This communication can help healthcare providers make informed decisions about the timing of blood tests and interpret results accurately.

Keep in mind…

While biotin supplements can be beneficial in promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails, they can also introduce inaccuracies in certain blood test results due to biotin interference. Understanding which tests are affected and whether results are skewed upwards or downwards is essential for healthcare professionals to make accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment decisions. If taking biotin supplements totally more than 5mg (5000mcg), individuals should pause their intake 48 to 72 hours before undergoing relevant blood tests. Moreover, maintaining open communication with healthcare providers about supplement usage is critical to ensuring reliable test results and promoting overall health.
As with any dietary supplement, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting or stopping biotin supplementation to determine the most appropriate dosage and to address any potential concerns or interactions with medications or medical conditions.

Supplement Review

At New You Health and Wellness we specialize in streamlining your supplementation programs based on your specific circumstances. It can be quite frustrating to have a cupboard, medicine cabinet or drawer full of supplements and not know what to take. Call us at 414 299 8121 for a consultation to help you figure out what you may or may not need, what you are potentially doubling up on, and what you don’t have enough of based on your specific circumstances. Find out more about our supplement review here.

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