Knowing how long it takes a dietary supplement to take effect may be a more common question. However, it can be equally vital in some cases to know how long something like biotin will stay in your system.
Considering how many foods have biotin in them – which makes it hard to avoid biotin altogether – it can be hard to say exactly how long biotin takes to go all the way through your systems. This knowledge might not seem to be the most important, but not knowing it can be more vital than you might think.
Biotin does a lot of things for you, which is why many people take a biotin supplement to make sure they get enough. Like other water soluble vitamins, biotin can’t be stored in your body. So, however much biotin you take, it will all be either used or filtered out in very short order.
Therefore, biotin is rather hard to overdo, and it is perfectly safe to take a high dose of biotin. In fact, many biotin supplements have a dose that is technically higher than what you need in a day. Sometimes you might not even see biotin listed as an ingredient.
This is because biotin has a couple of other names that it goes by. Vitamin B7 and Vitamin H are both other names of biotin. The former name for biotin is more commonly used in B complex vitamin supplements. The latter name for biotin is rarely used as all, but is sometimes put on multivitamins.
As biotin is one B vitamin, it helps with your energy levels. In fact, using Vitamin B for energy is one of the main reasons people take biotin as a supplement. Besides that, biotin also assists with your nerves and liver, though these are less common.
What is more common about biotin supplementation is people that use it for their hair growth, skin health, and nail growth. People with thinning hair commonly take biotin as a way of making their hair grow thicker and healthier. The same goes for skin, and nails get stronger and less likely to break.
Of course, biotin has plenty of other things it does as well, but these are the most popular reasons people supplement their biotin intake. If you take daily multivitamins, the chances are high that you are already getting some biotin there.
When Biotin Is A Bad Thing
Why all the fuss about biotin being out of your system before you have blood work done? Well, that would be the effect biotin often has on certain blood work tests that you might need. There are many different diagnostic tests that can have skewed results when too much biotin is present in a person’s bloodstream.
While some of these lab tests are not extremely definitive, some can cause all manner of other problems if they give an incorrect result. Just a few of the tests include certain types of pregnancy tests, fertility ones, cancer ones, and hormone tests.
One of the more concerning tests that can go wrong is a certain one on troponin. Troponin is tested because high levels of it equal heart damage and a high risk of a heart attack. However, biotin can make the test results show far less troponin in your blood than you actually have.
The result is heart damage that you don’t even know you have until it is possibly too late. Thyroid tests tend to be the opposite, with biotin making you seem to have a thyroid disease even if you don’t. When medication is prescribed for this, it is obviously a bad thing to take if you don’t actually need it.
Because of the potential problems, some of which you can doubtless guess, death is a possibility when things go wrong with some of these tests. In a study on biotin’s effect on lab tests, people taking biotin had around a 40% chance of getting an incorrect result.
Most people should agree that that is far too high a likelihood of error. The reason for this is that some blood tests are done by adding biotin. Biotin, and a similar compound that is sometimes used, are actually good binding agents.
Biotin In Your System
As for how long biotin stays in your system after you take it, that is an answer that varies. Many labs that do the blood tests say that eight hours is enough time of having not taken your biotin supplement. However,
On the other hand, many factors can make this last even longer. This is why most doctors strongly recommend somewhere between 24 to 48 hours of no supplements before you have laboratory tests done.
After taking a biotin supplement, you do hit your peak of biotin in your blood in somewhere between 1 to 3 hours. So, having lab work done during that period of time is the absolute worst time to have it done.
Though biotin overdose is rare, high doses of biotin repeated over a long period of time can cause an overdose. The signs of biotin overdose include a variety of things. Some of the ones you can watch for are insulin problems and lower Vitamin C and B6 levels, but the most visible one is a skin rash.
In this case, getting the biotin out of your system will take even longer. But that is just one biotin factor to consider. Let’s get to the rest.
Factors To Consider
As mentioned, though biotin usually takes that amount of time to get out of your system, that is not always the way it actually works. There are other considerations that can make this time take longer than that.
For example, if you take a high dose of biotin, it makes sense that it will take longer for the biotin to be filtered out of your body. Therefore, a biotin supplement that has no other ingredients, and a larger amount of biotin in it, will put more into your system than a supplement that has other ingredients beside the biotin.
On this note, happening to consume foods that are high in biotin during this time will add time as well. This is more if you happen to eat a large amount of biotin rich foods. However, as many popular foods are actually high in biotin, this is more likely than you might think.
It also should make sense that, if your liver, kidneys, etc. are not in peak condition, it will take even longer. After all, excess biotin is filtered out through your urinary tract. Keep in mind that your urinary tract may have a lot of other things to filter out as well.
Plenty of people have liver or kidney problems, some without even knowing about it. This only makes everything even slower. So, you can expect more time here, possibly even double the time it takes to get all the biotin out.
And that is probably with you drinking enough water like you are supposed to be doing… As you can see, lots of reasons biotin can take longer to get out of your system.
As for things that might help biotin get out of your system faster, well, that isn’t something that anyone knows yet.
While biotin is one of the more known supplements that can cause lab results to be skewed, it is not the only one. This is why alerting your doctor to whatever supplements you are taking is so important. Some doctors advise the cessation of all supplements for up to a week before getting any blood tests done.
In this case, it is truly better to be safer than sorry. If you are taking biotin for thinning hair, skipping a couple of days’ worth should not set your hair growth back. Unless your doctor says otherwise, a couple of days is probably what you want to go with.
However, not all doctors are cognizant of the possible effects of biotin. Some doctors even prescribe biotin for certain health conditions. Biotinidase deficiency, multiple sclerosis, and some types of alopecia are just a few examples of things biotin might be prescribed for.
So, take biotin, but take it carefully and with thought behind it!