WHY YOU SHOULDN’T TAKE VITAMINS FOR HAIR LOSS

Vitamins can’t possibly hurt you, right? Or so you thought. The FDA recently released a very important safety alert regarding biotin, the vitamin often marketed for healthy hair and nails. There are two main issues.

1. There is no evidence biotin works for hair loss.

2. Biotin, when not necessary because of a deficiency, can cause serious harm!

WHAT IS BIOTIN?

Biotin is a water soluble vitamin that acts as a coenzyme (helps enzymes do their job) in many different chemical reactions in the body. Some of them are involved in the formation of healthy skin and hair.

WHY IS BIOTIN IN HAIR LOSS PRODUCTS?

Because Biotin is involved in the formation of skin and hair, manufacturers have developed supplements containing massive amounts of biotin. In fact, many vitamins and supplements designed to be taken for “healthy hair, nails, and skin” contain up to hundreds of times the amount of biotin that is recommended daily.
The problem is that unless you have a biotin deficiency, there is NO evidence that it works.
Well, no big deal if they don’t work, right? Wrong! When not necessary, Biotin can cause serious harm.

FDA SAFETY ALERT! BIOTIN CAN LEAD TO FALSE BLOOD TESTS

We’ve known for some time that very high levels of biotin can alter the results of certain blood tests, including hormone tests and certain cardiovascular tests.
On 11/28/17, the FDA issued a safety communication about the possibility of both falsely elevated and falsely low results on a variety of blood tests being related to the use of biotin. Meaning, biotin can actually cause your doctor to think that the values of certain blood tests are much higher or lower than they are. This is incredibly dangerous.
In fact, at least one reported death was caused by this. A patient taking high doses of biotin had a heart attack, but the high doses of biotin prevented his physicians from recognizing it.
Although biotin itself is not likely to harm you, there could be harm if you are mistakenly diagnosed with a disease that you don’t actually have, or, conversely, if a disease is missed because you’re taking extremely high levels of biotin.
My advice is to steer clear of vitamins for your hair. They don’t work and they’re not worth the risks.

Feel like nerding out? Here are a few links to dive deeper.