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Research Letter
August 11, 2020

Trends in Daily Use of Biotin Supplements Among US Adults, 1999-2016

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 4Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 5Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis
JAMA. 2020;324(6):605-607. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.8144

Over-the-counter biotin supplements, especially in high dosages (≥5 mg/d, or 166-fold greater than the dietary recommendation of 30 μg/d), are widely available and marketed as having health benefits such as stimulating growth of hair and nails. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication in 2017 warning that high-dosage biotin supplement use may interfere with laboratory test accuracy.1 To understand the potential clinical implications of high-dosage biotin supplement use, we characterized the prevalence and trends in use of 1 mg/d or greater and 5 mg/d or greater of biotin among US adults from 1999 to 2016. A biotin dosage of 1 mg/d or greater was chosen because lower dosages (<1 mg/d) are unlikely to interfere with laboratory tests; a dosage of 5 mg/d or greater was studied because biotin supplements for hair and nail growth often contain 5 mg/d or more.