Biotin supplements have gained popularity in recent years as the go-to solution for hair, skin, and nail health issues, with many social-media influencers vouching for the benefits of the chewable gummies.

However, before buying the supplement, it is important to understand the benefits, possible side effects, and risks associated with the intake.

Biotin or vitamin H is an essential vitamin that helps the body in many functions, such as converting food into energy. It is part of the B complex group of vitamins needed for the proper functioning of the nervous system, liver, skin, hair, and nail health.

Who needs a Biotin supplement?

Most people can get biotin through a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Berries, citrus fruits, spinach, almonds, and salmon are rich sources of naturally occurring biotin.

Although not common, certain health conditions, poor diet, and medications can cause biotin deficiency in people. This is when a supplement comes to help.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to sleep
  • Thinning of hair
  • Dry skin and eyes
  • Nausea
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Prickling sensation in hands and feet
  • Red rashes on the skin

Factors to consider before choosing the supplement

1. It is important to find out if you have a deficiency in biotin before starting the supplement. A health practitioner can check for deficiency and prescribe the supplement.

2. Pregnant women and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as allergies, and liver or kidney problems also need to discuss with the healthcare professional before starting the supplement.

3. Make sure the supplements you select have adequate nutrients such as biotin, collagen, and essential vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

4. Check the label to know the expiry date.

5. Make sure the gummies you select are free of ingredients that you are allergic to.

Possible side effects:

Excessive biotin intake can interfere with certain laboratory test results that mimic Graves' disease--an autoimmune condition that causes an overactive thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormone.

Although water-soluble, which means the body does not store the vitamin, too much biotin can cause health problems. Here are some of the symptoms of overdose:

  • Difficulty to sleep
  • Skin rashes
  • Pimples
  • Digestive issues
  • Kidney problems
  • Problems with insulin release
Supplement aisle
Biotin supplements have gained popularity in recent years as the go-to solution for hair, skin, and nail health issues. Health Gauge, CC BY 2.0