August 28, 2020

Unless you’re a dietician or you take a lot of interest in the nutrients in your food, it’s unlikely that you will have heard much about the water-soluble B-vitamin, biotin. You may have been advised to take it by your doctor if you’ve been pregnant in the past, but it’s not only important during this period of your life. Biotin is an essential nutrient for people of all ages and genders, and can support health and wellbeing throughout life. 

Biotin in Almonds

Nuts and legumes, especially almonds, are a fantastic course of biotin. You can also find biotin in berries, fruits, carrots, soybeans, eggs and peanuts. If, for whatever reason, you struggle to get all the biotin you need from your diet alone, you can also buy biotin supplements in tablet form.

If you’re keen to understand why biotin is such an important vitamin – but also why it may not be suitable for you – this guide will teach you everything you need to know about the top 9 health benefits and 6 side effects of biotin. 

Biotin’s benefits are as follows:

1. Essential for a healthy metabolism

Biotin can assist in the functioning of the metabolism, ensuring that proteins, fats, carbohydrates and other foods can be properly metabolised to produce the energy we need for day-to-day activities. Our metabolism is also needed to break down fatty acids, produce glucose, and release insulin. 

2. Reduces heart disease risk

Our metabolisms can do more than we might think – especially fat metabolism, which is needed to boost heart health and ensure blood pressure is stable. Studies have found that biotin can increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein in the blood and decrease the amount of low-density lipoprotein, thus reducing risk factors associated with heart disease. 

3. Promotes hair, skin and nail health

Biotin is commonly used in hair, skin and nail supplements, so if you’ve heard of it before, it’s probably because of this. Research has linked biotin deficiency with skin conditions such as eczema and several dermatitis forms. Additionally, poor levels of biotin in the body can cause hair shedding and nail damage.

It’s thought that we need biotin to support the metabolism of fatty acids, which are important for strong hair, nails and skin

4. May prevent cancer

Prevents some types of cancer

Though none of us are exempt from cancer risk, we know that eating healthily can decrease our potential to suffer from the disease. In several studies, biotin has proven an affective cancer preventer, as it binds to proteins that then bind to DNA. From this position, biotin can repair any abnormal damage to cell DNA and prevent cells from reproducing in excess.

Additional research has looked at how cancer may be linked to a biotin deficiency, and discovered that people with low biotin levels had a higher rate of abnormal cell production – a major cancer concern. 

5. Prevents birth defects

Wondering why it’s advised for new mums to supplement with biotin during pregnancy? Apparently, biotin deficiency is common in pregnant women, and it’s also dangerous – it can result in birth defects like limb abnormalities and cleft palate.

The reasoning behind this is that a biotin deficiency may lead to slowed fat metabolism and over-production of cells, which are known to be direct causes of poor foetal cell development. 

6. Anti-inflammatory properties

Recent research conducted on white blood cells has found evidence to suggest that biotin deficiency may exacerbate allergies and inflammatory conditions. In one study on mice, those that were deficient in biotin experienced a serious allergic reaction when exposed to nickel compared to the mice that had normal biotin levels.

It’s thought that biotin’s strong anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy effects were the reason for this. 

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  • SUPPORTS HEALTHY HAIR (1): As is a commonly used vitamin for healthy hair ; Biotin helps support and maintain healthy, beautiful hair (1)
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  • NERVOUS SYSTEM SUPPORT (1): As part of the B Family of vitamins ; Biotin helps support a healthy nervous system and has other benefits as well (1)
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Prevents Illness and fights off infections

7. Boosts immune health

We need biotin to produce white blood cells, which, in turn, are needed to support immune health. Without biotin, we wouldn’t be able to effectively fight off illness and infection. In studies, biotin has been found to increase antibody production in the long-term, while a biotin deficiency does the opposite. 

8. Promotes healthy brain functioning

Most of us take our brains for granted, not realizing how it might feel to experience unhealthy cognitive functioning. Biotin is one of the nutrients we need for a healthy brain, being capable of improving mood, promoting brain functioning and preventing cognitive decline.

In several studies, biotin has shown promise in limiting or reversing symptoms of MS, though more research is needed for us to properly understand how exactly this may work. 

9. Prevents risk of type 2 diabetes

Biotin prevents type 2 Diabetes

It’s hard to naturally treat type 2 diabetes, though the disease can be reversed with the right diet and exercise. Biotin is a fantastic natural diabetes preventer, which can also reduce symptoms in people who already have type 2 diabetes, thanks to its ability to regulate blood sugar levels.

A 2011 study found that a biotin deficiency can impair glucose regulation, which suggests that biotin is directly linked to the body’s blood sugar levels. 

Biotin’s side effects are as follows: 

1. Decreased blood sugar

Too much biotin may lead to such a reduction in blood sugar levels that they become dangerously low. This is especially a risk for people with diabetes, as biotin slows down insulin release, which may cause high blood pressure. 

2. May cause acne

Acne is a common side effecto f Biotin

Another common side effect of biotin is acne. Ironically, though biotin can support skin health, it can occasionally lead to acne breakouts. This is thought to be caused by an imbalance of gut biotin, which leads to a deficiency in pantothenic acid, another important skin-healthy b-vitamin. 


Considering pantothenic acid can help to reduce acne outbreaks, it makes sense that when a gut biotin imbalance causes a pantothenic acid deficiency, it can result in acne flareups. 

3. Can cause skin reactions

Although biotin has shown promise in decreasing allergic reaction and inflammation, supplementing with biotin may actually cause skin rashes. This happens when the immune system mistakes biotin for an invading body, which causes inflammation of the white blood cells.


It’s important to decrease your intake of biotin if you think your skin rashes are caused by this nutrient. You can gradually increase your biotin intake to ensure your body gets used to it slowly. 

4. Linked to stomach pain

Stomach Pain is a comon side effect of Biotin

Again, it may be confusing to hear that biotin can cause stomach pain when it’s celebrated for being a digestive soother. But there have been reports that biotin can actually cause stomach pain, cramping, nausea and diarrhea, especially when taken in excess.


Having stomach pain is a common side effect of a number of medications, but you should always alert your doctor if you’re suffering, as it could be an indication of a more serious reaction in your body. 

5. Allergic reaction

Unfortunately, it’s usually difficult to know whether you have an allergy to a certain vitamin or supplement unless you’ve been exposed to it and experienced nasty symptoms. If you’re allergic to biotin, you might experience skin rashes and inflammation, swelling of the face, and sickness, and hot flushes.


It’s best that you stop taking biotin straight away if you experience any symptoms of allergy, or, if you’re prone to allergy, check with your doctor before you even start on biotin supplements.

6.Reactions to other medications

Biotin can react to other medications

It’s great that there’s a medication to treat anything nowadays, but issues can arise when two medications clash with one another, leading to potentially harmful side effects. If you currently take medications for diabetes, anxiety, and depression, or those for managing cholesterol, don’t take biotin without consulting your doctor.


This is because biotin may cause these medications to be less effective, which may lead to danger to your condition.

To Conclude

There’s no denying that biotin is a powerful remedial supplement that plays a crucial role in metabolism and boasts an impressive number of health benefits. However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t exercise caution if you’re considering taking biotin as a supplement.

While biotin can be incredibly beneficial to health, it’s important to be aware of the side effects that some people may experience from taking the vitamin in supplement form. Like any supplement, biotin could negatively impact your body, and ironically, these side effects mostly relate to issues and disorders that it has been proven to prevent.

Always talk to your doctor about your personal medicinal needs before consuming biotin, and if you notice any unusual side effects, stop taking it immediately.

Keep biotin’s side effects in mind, but don’t let them put you off benefiting from the vitamin. It’s unlikely that you will experience anything but positive health benefits from your supplement use, providing you exercise caution and take the dose suggested by a medical professional.

About the author

Rachel Perono

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