October 6, 2022

Biotin is a natural B vitamin occurring in several foods. A person can also take biotin as a supplement, and while some people may medically require it, others may try it due to other health claims, such as its potential ability to reverse hair loss.

Though generally safe, those interested in taking biotin should first speak with their doctor.

This article describes some considerations for use and some brands to try.

Biotin is a type of B vitamin, also known as vitamin H. It is essential for allowing a group of enzymes to break down some substances and activate certain other enzymes responsible for helping the body produce myelin — an insulating layer that wraps around nerves, allowing transmission of electrical impulses.

A person can consume biotin naturally in the foods they eat, or they can take a daily biotin supplement if they have a biotin deficiency.

What is biotin good for?

Biotin plays a role in several bodily functions, including processing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy the body can use.

Companies often promote biotin products for health conditions, such as hair loss. However, a 2017 review of studies states there is limited and inconclusive evidence suggesting biotin works well for hair regrowth and health.

Learn more about biotin here.

Liquid biotin vs. Biotin pills

A person can purchase supplements in different forms to best suit their needs. For example, those who find it difficult to swallow capsules may prefer chewable gummies or liquid forms.

While some studies look at biotin’s overall performance and ability to treat health conditions, limited data exists highlighting the difference between the various forms.

Whichever form a supplement comes in, it is important for a person to follow manufacturer dosing instructions.

A person should speak with a doctor or healthcare professional before taking biotin supplements.

Individuals can take the supplement with or without food.

How much biotin should you take per day?

The amount of biotin the body needs varies by age and is measured in micrograms (mcg). The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) recommends the following values based on age:

Most people will likely get the amount of biotin they need through their diet alone. Foods that contain biotin include:

  • seafood
  • different meats
  • eggs
  • vegetables, including sweet potatoes, broccoli, and spinach
  • nuts and seeds

In the United States, biotin deficiency is rare. However, some people may experience difficulty getting sufficient amounts of biotin, including:

  • those who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • those with a rare genetic disorder, biotinidase deficiency
  • those with alcohol misuse disorder
  • people taking specific medications

Experts generally believe biotin supplements are safe to consume. However, a person should be aware that biotin can interact with some medications. Anticonvulsants, for example, can reduce the amount of biotin a person can get from their usual source.

Additionally, high levels of biotin may interfere with thyroid function tests, so it is important that a person discuss biotin supplement use with their doctor if they are undergoing thyroid investigations. However, there is no evidence that biotin is toxic at high intakes.

Below, we look at some of the best biotin supplements for a person to consider.

Best vegan option: Sugarbear Hair Vitamin Gummies

Sugarbear offers a vegan gummy that combines biotin with several other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and folic acid.

The company claims this product supports hair growth and health, although it also notes that it can take up to 6 months for a person to see results.

Individuals can make one-time purchases or register for a subscription plan, though the plan does not reduce the price per bottle. It offers a 100-day money-back guarantee and free shipping for orders over $100.

Best value: Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength Hair, Skin & Nails Softgels

Alongside biotin, Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength Hair, Skin and Nails Softgels contain antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E. They also contain hyaluronic acid.

The company claims that this supplement can support the hair’s structure, strong nails, and vibrant skin.

Individuals can purchase this product from a number of local drug stores, with some offering a collection service when ordering online, or free delivery on specific purchases.

Best value: Nature Made Hair, Skin & Nails Adult Gummies

Nature Made says this supplement is a tasty gummy that has many benefits, including support for metabolism.

The company promotes its use of third-party testing to ensure the quality and purity of its products. It contains no artificial flavors, dyes, or sweeteners, does not contain high-fructose corn syrup and is gluten-free.

This product is available to purchase for a one-time price or a person can register for a subscription and save 10%.

Best gummy: OLLY Heavenly Hair Gummy Supplement

This supplement contains biotin and several other vitamins and minerals, including keratin and amla. The company claims the supplements support strong, healthy hair growth.

OLLY states that its product does not use artificial colors or flavors, is gluten-free and has a tropical citrus flavor.

Individuals can purchase a one-time bottle or subscribe to receive three bottles every quarter with a 15% saving.

The below table compares the products listed in this article.

When choosing a product, a person may consider:

  • Type of supplement: A person may choose a liquid, tablet, gummy, or capsule, based on preference or need.
  • Cost: Some products may be more cost-effective when a person signs up for a subscription, so a person may like to consider how regularly they intend to take the supplements.
  • Company reviews: A person should consider a company’s reviews from independent sources such as the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot.

A person should talk with their doctor about taking biotin before starting the supplement. Most people will get sufficient amounts from the foods they eat.

For people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, a doctor may advise them to take a supplement. A doctor may recommend people with certain health conditions or taking certain medications avoid taking a biotin supplement.

Below, we answer some common questions about biotin.

Which brand is best for biotin?

There are several comparable brands that offer biotin supplements. A person should consider brands that offer transparent, third-party testing processes and that have positive independent reviews.

Do biotin supplements really work?

While proponents of biotin often make large claims about its positive effects on conditions such as hair loss, it is important to note that research does not fully support its use. The evidence is often limited and inconclusive.

What strength of biotin should I take?

There is no recommended dosage or strength for biotin supplements. For people over the age of 18, 30 mcg is the recommended daily value. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding need 30–35 mcg.

Biotin is a B vitamin found naturally in several foods, including some meats, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Most people will get their recommended daily amount through their diet, but people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and those with certain medical conditions or that take specific medications may need to take supplements.

While several anecdotal claims suggest biotin can help with conditions such as hair loss, limited evidence supports this.

Biotin is generally safe, but it can interact with medications and high levels may cause inaccurate thyroid test results. A person should discuss biotin supplements with their doctor before taking them.