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FDA warns about biotin’s impact on lab tests

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Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a B vitamin found in many multivitamins, including prenatal vitamins. Millions of Americans also take biotin supplements to help them achieve healthier hair, skin and nails. 

But taking biotin does come with a warning. Late last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] issued an update to an earlier warning for healthcare providers and those who regularly take biotin that it can significantly interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect results. 

While biotin in patient samples can cause inaccurately high or low results depending on the type of test, the FDA is particularly concerned about its interference in testing for troponin, an important biomarker in the blood which helps to diagnose heart attacks. Biotin can cause falsely low troponin test results, which may lead to a missed diagnosis or other potentially serious clinical implications, the agency’s warning stated. 

The FDA recommends talking to your doctor if you are currently taking biotin at a level above the recommended daily allowance of 0.03 mg, which does not typically interfere with lab test results.

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