This Popular Supplement May Be Putting Your Heart in Danger, Study Says

Rethinking your regimen could help stop a heart attack.

With endorsements from A-list celebrities like Kylie Jenner, sales of the hair and skin-enhancing supplement Biotin have soared in recent years. And while many medical professionals remain skeptical of the product's purported perks, some swear by its supposedly wide-ranging health benefits. However, doctors are now voicing a serious concern about the supplement and its affects on heart health. According to one study published in the medical journal JAMA, Biotin can lead to a misdiagnosis of heart attack when the patient takes high doses commonly found in hair and nail growth products.

According to the study, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning in 2017 that "high doses" of the supplement, defined as one milligram or more, could result in inaccurate lab testing. As the study shows, this amount of Biotin can produce inaccurately low results in blood tests for troponin, a protein group that can signal a heart attack or heart damage.

Anne Thorndike, MD, chair of the American Heart Association's nutrition committee, discussed the findings with U.S. New & World Report. "If you're taking high-dose Biotin and you have a heart attack, there's a good chance you might not be diagnosed correctly," she warned.

The study also assessed just how common high doses of Biotin are in popular products. Virtually unheard-of before the year 2000, the study's analysis revealed that today, roughly three percent of adults consume high doses of the over-the-counter supplement.

Perhaps even more alarmingly, certain demographics take the supplement at much higher rates than others, putting them at serious risk. Danni Li, PhD, an associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Minnesota and leader of the study, explained that over seven percent of women aged 60 and above currently take high daily doses of Biotin. Two percent of women that age take a whopping daily dose five milligrams or more. For reference, the recommended daily intake of the vitamin is just 30 micrograms, or 0.03 milligrams.

That's why it's best to get the benefits of Biotin from natural dietary sources. Eating meat, eggs, fish, nuts, and certain vegetables provides the same health benefits as the supplement—without the added risk of overdoing the dosage. And for more on your supplements' side effects, This Is Why You Should Stop Taking Vitamin Supplements.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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