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Does Biotin Affect Cholesterol Test

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How Biotin Interferes with Thyroid Lab Tests & Causes Falsely Elevated Results

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Can Biotin Supplements Affect A Heart Attack Diagnosisaugust 7 2020

Medically reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD and

It seems these days that more and more people are taking supplements so that they can fully meet their nutritional requirements. One supplement that people can take is called biotin, which is a vitamin that is part of the B complex and otherwise known as vitamin B7.

In terms of your overall health, this is a pretty important vitamin. Specifically, according to the National Institutes of Health, biotin is what helps change the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats from your food into actual energy your body can use. Without this particular nutrient, you wouldnt be able to run after your hyperactive toddler or run that marathon youve been training for. Additionally, biotin is found as a part of other supplements people may add to their diet that are formulated to stimulate growth in your hair, nails, and skin or can be a part of a multivitamin someone may already be taking.

Why It Probably Isn’t That Big Of A Deal

As a thyroid patient, as long as you are aware of how biotin interferes with your lab tests then taking it really shouldn’t be an issue.

Especially when you consider that all you need to do is simply avoid taking biotin for 2-3 days prior to your lab tests to ensure that it is NOT interfering.

I think it’s important to understand this because there is a lot of potential benefits that can come from using biotin, especially as a thyroid patient.

The amount of biotin that you are taking also plays an important role in whether or not you should avoid taking it prior to your lab tests.

Most multivitamins contain biotin but in much smaller doses than those found in typical hair, skin, and nail supplements.

For instance, biotin found in my thyroid multivitamin is dosed at 500mcg per serving.

Whereas my recommended thyroid hair, skin, and nails supplement contains 5,000mcg of biotin which represents a much higher percentage of the RDA compared to the 500mcg dose.

You will probably find this trend to be true in other formulations of both multivitamins and specific hair, skin, and nail supplements.

Multivitamins contain smaller amounts of biotin whereas specific hair, skin, and nail supplements contain much more.

This is important to you as a thyroid patient because you may be unknowingly taking biotin.

The good news is that low doses, the 100-300mcg range, probably do not impact your thyroid lab tests that severely.

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Factors That Can Affect The Accuracy Of Your Blood Test Results

According to the World Health Organization, chronic diseases kill millions of people each year.

Diabetes alone accounted for nearly 1.6 million deaths in 2015. Deaths caused by neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia doubled since 2000, and this number is expected to grow in the upcoming years.

Although these are alarming facts, you might be happy to find out that numerous diseases and injuries, particularly chronic illnesses, can be prevented.

To prevent a disease, you first need to be aware of it.

To be aware of it, you need to do the right thing and get your health checked periodically.

Discovering a predisposition to the disease earlier on gives you a massive advantage. Youll be able to follow special treatments and minimize its risks or eliminate them.

But how to get tested for various diseases which might affect you?

Well, one of the simplest and most efficient ways is by using direct-to-consumer labs. These are usually discount labs you can purchase online at affordable prices and have your general health checked in a matter of days. No doctor visit is required so that you can quickly check your blood tests and monitor your health if you are an educated patient.

However, you need to keep in mind that there are many factors which can influence the results of your lab tests. In other words, these factors can reduce the accuracy of your results, and thats why you need to follow up the doctors advice before drawing blood for testing.

Question 4 How Long Must A Patient Abstain From Biotin Supplementation Before Blood Draw To Avoid Assay Interference


Some supplements have amounts many times the adequate intake, with megadoses in the 5,000 µg to 10,000 µg range. Biotins half-life is approximately 2 hours, so abstinence for 8 hours may be sufficient to minimize interference. However, it is highly recommended that patients taking massive biotin doses abstain for 72 hours before having blood specimens drawn for laboratory tests.2

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How It Can Be Dangerous

For the most part, I think that the attention that biotin receives and how it impacts your thyroid lab tests is largely overblown.

But that doesn’t mean that there are some potential dangers associated with biotin use.

Perhaps the most concerning potential thing that could happen would be a misdiagnosis or a mischaracterization of thyroid status in the body upon tests which are influenced heavily with biotin interference.

This could theoretically become an issue which may cause both stress and anxiety for some patients.

How would this happen?

Well, remember that biotin interferes with the testing assay .

The interference tends to cause abnormally high readings of thyroid lab tests, especially high levels of both free T4 and free T3.

It would be plausible then, that doctors who are not very knowledgeable about biotin and how it influences your lab tests may make adjustments based off of these false readings .

For hypothyroid patients this is concerning because this population is often already undertreated, to begin with!

The last thing you would want to do is give your doctor another reason to reduce your dose of thyroid medication which is probably not high enough, to begin with.

If your doctor reduces your dose based on the false premise that your thyroid lab tests are elevated then you will most likely experience WORSENING symptoms of hypothyroidism.

That means things like more hair loss , more fatigue, more weight gain, and so on.

What To Expect During The Test

A cholesterol test is a simple blood test during which a technician will generally seat the person in a chair with a special armrest. The technician will then tie a rubber strip around the persons arm to try to find a suitable vein from which to draw blood.

After finding a vein, the technician will clean the area with alcohol, insert a needle attached to a tube into the persons vein, and allow the tube to fill.

When the tube is full of blood, the technician will remove the needle and hold gauze on the site of the puncture. The technician may ask the person to apply pressure for a few minutes to stop the bleeding, and they might apply a small bandage over the gauze.

At this point, the test is complete, and the person is usually free to go about their normal daily activities.

The results will tell a doctor if the levels of cholesterol in a persons blood are healthy.

The test measures several types of cholesterol in a persons blood in mg/dl. It is possible to break down the results by type of cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol

HDL results measure the amount of good cholesterol in a persons blood. Higher readings tend to be better than lower readings:

60 mg/dl or higher

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Common Conditions People Have *:

  • Multiple Sclerosis : 4 people, 15.38%
  • High Blood Pressure: 3 people, 11.54%
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor: 2 people, 7.69%
  • Thyroid Cancer: 2 people, 7.69%
  • Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis : 2 people, 7.69%
  • Atrial Fibrillation/flutter : 2 people, 7.69%
  • Psoriasis : 2 people, 7.69%
  • Pain: 2 people, 7.69%
  • Muscle Spasms : 2 people, 7.69%
  • Weight Loss: 1 person, 3.85%
  • * Approximation only. Some reports may have incomplete information.

    What Is Being Tested

    Whats The True Relationship Between Biotin and Your Thyroid Health?

    The B vitamins are nutrients that the body requires in small amounts for metabolism, energy production, and for cell, skin, bone, muscle, organ, and nervous system health. B vitamin tests measure these specific compounds in the blood or urine to help evaluate a person’s nutritional status.

    B vitamins are absorbed from the diet, used as needed, and any excess is removed from the body through the urine. Because B vitamins are water-soluble, only small amounts are stored by the body and they must be obtained from foods rich in B vitamins or from supplements on a regular basis. Severe B vitamin deficiencies are rare in the United States but are still prevalent in areas of the world with diet deficiencies.

    B vitamin deficiencies can occur when:

  • There is an inadequate supply of B vitamins.
  • You are unable to absorb or utilize one or more of the vitamins.
  • You eat foods or take drugs that slow or prevent the absorption, production or action of a vitamin.
  • A deficiency in another vitamin or mineral prevents its use.
  • The need for the vitamin is increased.
  • Pregnant women with a limited diet can be at an increased risk for B vitamin deficiencies and so can their babies. Rarely, a baby may have an inborn error of metabolism a condition that prevents the proper use of a B vitamin.

    B vitamin toxicity rarely occurs, usually when someone ingests much more than the recommended dose of supplements. High concentrations of a few of the B vitamins may affect the liver or nervous system.

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    Get Your Health Checked Up Today

    Its amazing that we live in an era when we can order a blood test online and get the results back in a few days. The whole process is also confidential and super-affordable!

    You should take advantage of that and order your first blood test today. If you dont know what to start with, check out the popular tests on DiscountedLabs, and explore the multitude of blood panels available. These tests are inexpensive, and theyll help you get your health under control!

    Could Your Vitamin Impact Blood Test Results

    Many doctors appointments begin with the same question: what medications are you taking? Though going through the list might feel tedious, its important to share an up-to-date rundown every time to determine how these drugs may interact with each other and even how they could impact important blood tests.

    Last fall, the Food & Drug Administration issued a safety alert regarding the water-soluble vitamin B7, or biotin, frequently found in multivitamins and supplements. Daily biotin recommendations range from 5 to 35 micrograms, depending on ones age, gender, and other factors including pregnancy. Biotin can also be ingested naturally through common foods such as sweet potatoes, mushrooms, eggs, and spinach.

    Many dietary supplements promoted for hair, skin, and nail benefits contain biotin levels up to 650 times the recommended daily intake of biotin, states the FDA. Biotin in blood or other samples taken from patients who are ingesting high levels of biotin in dietary supplements can cause clinically significant incorrect lab test results.

    The FDA has seen an increase in the number of reported adverse events including one death related to biotin interference with lab tests. Biotin in patient samples can cause falsely high or falsely low results, depending on the test, and the influence of biotin may not always be apparent to healthcare providers or laboratories.

    MedStar St. Mary’s Laboratory Centers

    Belmont Building

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    Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About Vitamin B Testing

    Vitamin B6, folic acid , and vitamin B12 play a key role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. While pregnant women are not routinely tested for vitamin B deficiencies, nearly all pregnant women are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins, which include B vitamins. Folic acid, in particular, can help prevent birth defects of the brain and spine when taken during pregnancy.

    Biotin: Friend And Foe


    Biotin can interfere with some test results. What can you do?

    • You can continue taking supplements that contain biotin. It is a nutrient your body needs.
    • Tell your health care practitioner if you take biotin or supplements containing biotin.
    • Be proactive: know exactly what is in your supplements by carefully reading all labels.
    • Talk to your health care practitioner or pharmacist if you are not sure if something contains biotin.
    • Follow instructions from your health care practitioner who may advise you to avoid taking biotin before a scheduled blood draw.
    • Alert your health care practitioner if you forget and take biotin before a scheduled blood draw.

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    What About Home Cholesterol Tests

    You don’t have to see your doctor to check your cholesterol you can also check your cholesterol at home. These home cholesterol test kits can usually be purchased at your local pharmacy. But not all home test kits are the same, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    There are a number of different cholesterol test kit brands and therefore different levels of accuracy. Per the Mayo Clinic, the most accurate tests are ones affiliated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention programs. These test meet the rigorous standards of the CDC.

    However, the Mayo Clinic notes that most home cholesterol kits only measure total cholesterol levels. As mentioned, if a high cholesterol test is specifically caused by high levels of HDL , it’s unlikely a person is at risk for heart disease. Be sure to discuss your home cholesterol test results with your doctor.

    Which Tests Might Biotin Supplements Affect

    Many labs use immunoassay-based screening methods. This testing method measures the presence and concentration of a small molecule in a solution. If you have too much biotin free-floating in your system, it can throw these tests off.

    In other words, the biotin in your system can replace what tests are measuring for in the solution and create false readings, Dr. Goldman says.

    High levels of biotin can impact tests used to diagnose conditions such as:

    • Cancer
    • Other hormonal-related diseases

    Results may appear falsely low or falsely high, depending on the specific testing method, Dr. Goldman says. And lab results influenced by biotin supplements are not always obvious to your healthcare provider or the lab conducting the test.

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    What Is Vitamin D

    Vitamin D serves many purposes within the body, and you can get it from several different sources. The main function of vitamin D is to promote calcium absorption in your body.

    You can get vitamin D through your diet and by getting out in the sun, as long as you dont have sunscreen on. Sunscreens block the skins absorption of the vitamin.

    In both cases, the vitamin undergoes several changes within the body before its put to use. From there, vitamin D can help:

    • keep your bones healthy

    Cholesterol is another necessary substance in the human body. But too much of it can be a bad thing.

    There are two main types of cholesterol: LDL, which we mentioned previously, and high-density lipoprotein .

    HDL is commonly referred to as good cholesterol, and you want to keep HDL levels above 60 milligrams/dL.

    LDL, on the other hand, is known as bad cholesterol, which is the type of cholesterol that can clot your arteries and increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. You should keep your LDL levels below 100 milligrams/dL.

    Hair Loss Biotin And Thyroid Patients

    What Biotin Does to Your Lab Results (Knowdis!)

    Can you, or should you, take biotin as a thyroid patient?

    We’ve been discussing how biotin can impact your lab tests but we haven’t really discussed why thyroid patients are likely to be taking this nutrient.

    The reason is simple:

    Biotin plays an important role in the hair growth cycle and MANY thyroid patients suffer from hair loss, even when taking thyroid medication.

    And, as it turns out, this is probably, at least partially, related to the micronutrient status in their body.

    Biotin, an important vitamin, is one of many important vitamins and co-factors which are required for normal hair growth.

    If you are deficient in any of these nutrients then you may experience hair loss, hair fall, or hair which is slow to grow.

    All of these are big issues for thyroid patients who also tend to suffer from under-treatment of their own thyroid medication which is itself another risk factor for hair loss.

    Hypothyroidism also predisposes people to develop micronutrient deficiencies because of the important role that it plays on your stomach.

    Low thyroid levels can impact micronutrient absorption and increase your risk for developing gut-related issues such as IBS or SIBO.

    In addition, patients with Hashimoto’s also have a higher risk of developing Celiac disease which can also limit the absorption of macromolecules and micronutrients.

    All of these factors can potentially impact your hair growth.

    It’s no wonder why, then, that many thyroid patients look to biotin for help.

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