Important Safety Information for Our Patients: Biotin (Vitamin B7) Interferes with Many Lab Tests
North Ottawa Community Health System would like you to be aware that some laboratory tests can be affected by high levels of biotin (Vitamin B7) in your blood sample.
What is Biotin?
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a vitamin often found in multivitamins, prenatal vitamins, and dietary supplements marketed for hair, skin, and nail growth. Many dietary supplements contain biotin levels up to 650 times the recommended daily intake. Physicians may also recommend high
levels of biotin for patients with certain conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
What is the problem with biotin and some laboratory tests?
Many laboratory tests use biotin technology due to its ability to bind specific proteins that may be measured to detect certain health conditions. Biotin in patient samples can cause falsely high or falsely low results, depending on the test. Incorrect test results may lead to inappropriate patient management or misdiagnosis.
What Should You Do?
Tell your doctor if you are currently taking biotin or are considering adding biotin, or a supplement containing biotin, to your diet.
Know that biotin is found in multivitamins, including prenatal multivitamins, biotin supplements, and supplements for hair, skin, and nail growth in levels that may interfere with laboratory tests.
Be aware that some supplements, particularly those labeled for hair, skin, and nail benefits, may have high levels of biotin, which may not be clear from the name of the supplement.
If you have had a lab test done and are concerned about the results, talk to your health care provider about the possibility of biotin interference.
Should You Stop Taking Biotin (Vitamin B7)?
Please stop taking biotin seven days before having laboratory testing performed whenever possible. If this is not possible, or if your doctor has prescribed biotin for a health condition that you have, tell your doctor that you took biotin within the week before laboratory testing occurred.