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Can Biotin Supplements Affect a Heart Attack Diagnosis?

August 7, 2020
Medically reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD and Marianne Madsen

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 wouldn’t be able to run after your hyperactive toddler or run that marathon you’ve 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.

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With such an important job to do, it’s no wonder people will often take biotin supplements. Even though it’s found in plenty of different foods, you might be worried that you aren’t eating enough to reap the benefits.

 

But did you know that for some, taking a biotin supplement could prove to be deadly? Both Harvard Medical School and the FDA report that high levels of biotin in the bloodstream can actually interfere in lab results, potentially leading to wrong conclusions being drawn. Specifically the FDA states that it could cause “falsely high or falsely low results.” In particular, this can be problematic with tests for troponin, which is what doctors use to diagnose heart attacks. There has been at least one report of a person dying because high levels of biotin in his bloodstream gave a falsely low result for their troponin test.

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So if you’re taking a biotin supplement because your cousin’s uncle’s mother-in-law told you it was good for your health, it might be a good idea to talk to a doctor about it first. There are no conclusive results that show that these supplements are beneficial anyway. But if you do feel that it’s a necessary part of taking care of your health, make sure you take it under the guidance of your doctor and that you let all health care providers be aware that you’re taking it before a procedure so that they can be aware of the results it might have.

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