How Much Biotin Should I Take?

how much biotin should I take

Quick Health Scoop

  • Vitamin B7 (better known as biotin) is an essential nutrient that helps support energy metabolism and nervous system function
  • It’s recommended adults ages 19 and over consume 30 mcg of biotin each day 1
  • Biotin is generally considered safe at 2500 mcg and higher
  • Biotin can be consumed from food or a dietary supplement either in the morning or at night, the important thing is to regularly consume enough of this vital B vitamin 
  • A biotin deficiency is rare, but some notable biotin deficiency symptoms include hair loss, brittle nails, and a red rash1

If you’ve ever looked into nutrients to support healthy hair and skin, you’ve probably heard of Biotin. Biotin (or vitamin B7) is an essential B vitamin found in many foods that helps support cellular energy metabolism and nervous system function. Energy metabolism is how the body turns the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that you eat into the cellular energy your body needs to function properly.1 Biotin also contributes to the maintenance of healthy skin and healthy hair.2 So, the answer to “how much biotin should I take” really depends on what you’re looking for.

Learn More: Vitamins for Energy

Most people get enough biotin from their diets alone.1 But if you want to make sure you’re getting enough of this important nutrient, or if you’re looking to increase your daily biotin intake, here are some key questions answered and a few guidelines to help you get started. 

How Much Biotin To Take Daily 

For adults ages 19 and over, the average daily recommended amount for biotin is 30 mcg.1 At this dosage, it supports all the basic things your body needs biotin for like cellular energy metabolism and nervous system function.

Biotin is also required for your hair and skin health. Even lower dosages of this nutrient can have a positive impact if you’re not getting enough from your diet or if you have a biotin deficiency. 

How Much Biotin Per Day Do I Need?3

Age

Male

Female

Pregnancy

Lactation

Birth to 6 months

5 mcg

5 mcg

7–12 months

6 mcg

6 mcg

1–3 years

8 mcg

8 mcg

4–8 years

12 mcg

12 mcg

9–13 years

20 mcg

20 mcg

14–18 years

25 mcg

25 mcg

35 mcg

35 mcg

19+ years

30 mcg

30 mcg

30 mcg

35 mcg


Learn More: What is Biotin Good For?

Can You Take Too Much Biotin?

Not really! Even at higher dosages, biotin has not been shown to cause any harm.1 It’s generally considered safe to take and has even shown some additional benefits at dosages of 2500 mcg and higher. But if you’re taking a biotin supplement, always follow the instructions on the label, and consult with your physician if you are taking medication or planning to undergo lab testing. Stop use if you notice any adverse reactions.1

That said, consuming a biotin supplement may cause false results in some lab tests, such as tests that measure thyroid hormone levels.1

Should I Take Biotin At Morning Or At Night?

You can take biotin either in the morning or at night. The important thing here is consistency. 

Biotin is a water soluble vitamin, meaning that our bodies don’t really store biotin. They use what they need and flush out the rest on a daily basis, through our urine.4

So, it doesn’t really matter when you consume biotin or take your biotin supplement, so long as you consume enough regularly, over time. 

Learn more: When Is The Best Time To Take Vitamins?

How Do I Know If I Need More Biotin?

Most people get enough biotin from their diets alone. Certain populations, however, may struggle more than others to get enough biotin. These include:

  • People with “biotinidase deficiency” a rare genetic disorder1
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women1,5
  • People with alcohol dependence1

While a biotin deficiency is rare in the United States, it is possible to have a biotin “nutrient gap.” A nutrient gap can occur when your dietary intake of biotin is lower than the minimum recommended amount, in this case lower than 30 mcg.6 Over time, if this gap continues, it can turn into a nutrient deficiency.6 If you experience symptoms, such as brittle nails or hair loss, you may have a biotin deficiency.1

Learn More: What is Biotin Deficiency?

What Are Some Food Sources of Biotin?

If you’re looking to increase your biotin intake, you’re in luck! Biotin is found in lots of different and delicious foods. Here are just a few examples:3,5

Food Containing Biotin

How Much Biotin Per Serving

Percent Daily Value

Beef liver, cooked, 3 ounces 

30.8 mcg

103

Egg, whole, cooked

10.0 mcg

33

Salmon, pink, canned in water, 3 ounces

5.0 mcg

17

Pork chop, cooked, 3 ounces

3.8 mcg

13

Hamburger patty, cooked, 3 ounces

3.8 mcg

13

Sunflower seeds, roasted, ¼ cup ODSHP

2.6 mcg

9

Sweet potato, cooked, ½ cup ODSHP

2.4 mcg

8

Almonds, roasted, ¼ cup ODSHP

1.5 mcg

5

Tuna, canned in water, 3 ounces

0.6 mcg

2

Spinach, boiled, ½ cup

0.5 mcg

2

Broccoli, fresh, ½ cup

0.4 mcg

1

Cheddar cheese, mild, 1 ounce

0.4 mcg

1

Milk, 2%, 1 cup

0.3 mcg

1

Plain yogurt, 1 cup

0.2 mcg

1

Oatmeal, 1 cup

0.2 mcg

1

Banana, ½ cup

0.2 mcg

1


Shop Biotin Supplements

The Bottom Line

If you want to know how much biotin to take, start with what you’re looking for. Most people get enough biotin from their diets alone, as the average daily recommended amount of biotin is a mere 30 mcg for adults 19 and over. But biotin is also generally considered safe and tolerable even at higher dosages, with some studies showing benefits at dosages of 2500 mcg and higher.1, 7 You can consume biotin or take a biotin supplement at morning or at night, the key here is that you regularly get enough of this nutrient. 

Certain populations may find it more difficult than others to get enough biotin.1 Symptoms such as brittle nails or hair loss may indicate that you have a biotin nutrient gap or deficiency.1

If you’re looking to supplement with biotin, talk to your healthcare professional about which dosages are best for you. If you’re looking to start small, try increasing your biotin intake with foods such as eggs, salmon, cheddar cheese, pork, sweet potatoes, or sunflower seeds.3,5 However you choose to sneak this essential nutrient into your diet is up to you!

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    This information is intended only for educational purposes and is not medical advice or a recommendation for any specific product. Consult your health care provider for more information.

    †These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

     References

      1. National Institutes of Health. “Biotin: Fact Sheet for Consumers.” Office of Dietary Supplements. 2021. Accessed on: October 8, 2021. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-Consumer/
      2. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA). "Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for biotin." EFSA Journal 12.2 (2014): 3580.
      3. National Institutes of Health. “Biotin: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.” Office of Dietary Supplements. 2021. Accessed on: October 8, 2021. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/
      4. MedlinePlus. “Vitamins.” US National Library of Medicine. 2021. Accessed on: October 8, 2021. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002399.htm
      5. Oregon State University. “Biotin.” Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center. 2015. Accessed on: October 8, 2021. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/biotin
      6. Oregon State University. “Micronutrient Inadequacies in the US Population: an Overview.” 2018. Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center. Accessed on: October 8, 2021. 2018. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrient-inadequacies/overview#shortfall-micronutrients 
      7. Council for Responsible Nutrition. “Biotin.” Vitamin and Mineral Safety 3 Ed. 2013. Accessed on: October, 8 2021. https://www.crnusa.org/sites/default/files/files/resources/17-CRNVMS3-BIOTIN.pdf