Why are physicians and laboratories worried about Biotin?

Why is Biotin an Issue Now?

Biotin has been a key component of vitamins for years… so why are laboratories being impacted today? Biotin usage and concentration has increased over the last few years due to biotin supplements being utilized to aid healthy skin, hair and nails. 

Over the past three years, biotin has seen a significant increase in retail sales. Biotin doses of 10,000 mcg are the number #1 selling supplement on Amazon.

Your laboratory may be unaware of potential biotin interference issues, as the laboratory cannot determine which patients are utilizing biotin supplements. Many of your patients are even unaware that they are taking biotin. The package insert from your biotin-streptavidin laboratory test should provide biotin interference levels, but these levels may not reflect the current doses that patients are taking.   

In addition, the metabolism rates of biotin at today’s standard doses is unknown, as biotin binds to proteins and can be present for up to several weeks. Sending patients home or delaying draws is an inconvenience to the patient and the physician, and ultimately biotin may still be in the patient’s system when retested. This issue is further complicated in acute settings where there is an immediate need for lab results. 

It is important to understand whether biotin interference can impact the tests that your laboratory utilizes.

Source: Nielsen FDM Data Ending 03/26/16.
*Volume sold represents # of capsules sold in the market.
It equalizes different sizes/forms to make comparisons easier.
**Biotin Market includes any product that has Biotin as an ingredient.

Biotin-Streptavidin Method

Over 25 years ago, the strong non-covalent interaction between biotin and streptavidin was utilized by some manufacturers to create laboratory tests. The method utilizes streptavidin coated microparticles to capture the biotin that has been attached to the target, yielding a result based upon the amount captured. 

Biotin in the patient sample interferes with the streptavidin’s ability to capture the biotinylated target. This can produce either a falsely depressed or a falsely elevated test result depending on the assay format, and can lead to misdiagnosis of patients. 


You can choose tests that are not impacted by Biotin

Laboratory tests designed through coating microparticles directly with an antibody to capture the specific target allow each lab test to be highly specific, accurate and sensitive.


Abbott ARCHITECT assays DO NOT utilize the biotin-streptavidin capture method during the sample testing process. Internal testing performed on assays that contain any form of biotin or streptavidin did NOT show any interference  due to biotin. 

Other considerations for your laboratory

Your laboratory will not know which patients are taking biotin. If your lab tests utilize the biotin-streptavidin capture method your results could be impacted. Your laboratory should consider:

  • Educating your physicians on the tests that are potentially impacted by biotin.
  • Understand the impact of biotin interference  in the tests that your laboratory utilizes.
  • Evaluate critical assays to determine and communicate the impact of biotin on test results that are used for acute care.

Your laboratory can choose tests not impacted by biotinci16200_Plus_front_425x217_medium.png

Have confidence in your laboratory's immunoassay test results and remove the risk of misdiagnosis due to biotin interference… request laboratory tests that are not impacted by biotin, such as the immunoassays offered by Abbott ARCHITECT.

Contact An Abbott Representative



For in vitro diagnostic use only                        

  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.

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