Why are physicians and laboratories worried about Biotin?

What is Biotin?ADD-00059295I_What-is-Biotin.png

You are probably taking biotin and don’t even know it…

Biotin is a vitamin with many health benefits and as such, is added to multivitamins and supplements. Although it can be obtained through your diet, its usage as a supplement has grown rapidly over the last few years due to its benefits for healthier hair, skin and nails.1,2,3

Is Biotin Harmful?

ADD-00059295H_Is-Biotin-Harmful.jpg

No, biotin is not harmful and there are no known side effects from taking biotin.  In fact, biotin is recommended for expectant mothers to take for fetal development and is commonly used by the public for healthier hair, nails and skin. 4,5

Why laboratorians and physicians are worried about laboratory tests

Biotin is a key component of the biotin-streptavidin method that is used by many laboratory tests today.  Problems can occurs when these tests are performed on a patient who is taking biotin supplements. These supplements raise the level of biotin in the patient’s blood which can interfere with the ability of the test to perform properly.  

There are recent published reports of patient misdiagnosis due to biotin interference

  • New England Journal of Medicine: August 2016: Biotin Treatment Mimicking Graves’ Disease
  • January 2016: Thyroid Month: Beware of Biotin, Endocrine News.

The growing trend of biotin users (in the millions) is making laboratories alert to the increased risk of test interference. There are also laboratory tests that physicians can request that are not impacted by biotin.

What should I do?

Inform your doctor if you are taking biotin and alert them that this could interfere with certain blood tests. Ask your doctor to make sure that the tests ordered are performed on diagnostic products that are not impacted by biotin.

Skipping your daily biotin supplement before your test does not guarantee that results will be accurate.  Biotin has been known to be in your system for up to several weeks, and can still impact results. 

Below is a link to a discussion guide you can take to your physician regarding your biotin usage and laboratory tests. 

Conversation Guide

  1. Nielsen FDM Data Ending 03/26/16.
  2. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=biotin.
  3. Google analytics: September 2016.
  4. Zempleni J, Kuroishi T. Biotin. Adv Nutr. 2012;3:213-214. 
  5. Combs GF. Biotin. In: Combs, GF. The Vitamins: Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health. San Diego, CA: Elsevier, Inc.; 2008: 331-3.
  6. Kummer, S. NEJM August 2016: Biotin Treatment Mimicking Graves’ Disease.
  7. Saint Paul LP, Debruyne D, Bernard D, Mock DM and Defer GL. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of MD1003 (high-dose biotin) in the treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis, 2016; Expert Opinion on Drug.
  8. Fernandez-Mejia,  C. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 16 (2205) 424-427.
  9. Seaborg, E. January 2016: Thyroid Month: Beware of Biotin, Endocrine News, 2016. 
  10. Paxton A.  Beauty fad’s ugly downside: test interference.  CAP Today, September 20, 2016.
 

You are about to exit the Abbott family of websites for a 3rd party website

Links which take you out of Abbott worldwide websites are not under the control of Abbott, and Abbott is not responsible for the contents of any such site or any further links from such site. Abbott is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement of the linked site by Abbott. The website that you have requested also may not be optimised for your screen size.

Do you wish to continue and exit this website?

Yes No

You are about to enter an Abbott country or region specific website.

Please be aware that the website you have requested is intended for the residents of a particular country or countries, as noted on that site. As a result, the site may contain information on pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other products or uses of those products that are not approved in other countries or regions.

Do you wish to continue and enter this website?

Yes No

DO YOU WISH TO CONTINUE AND EXIT THE CORE LABORATORY WEBSITE?

Content is not under the control of corelaboratory.abbott.

Yes No