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How Do I Use Biotin for Weight Loss?

Biotin is available in tablet and capsule form.
Wheat bran contains biotin.
Cauliflower is a source of biotin.
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  • Written By: Sara Anastasia
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 27 March 2014
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The use of biotin for weight loss involves a daily dosage of 300 micrograms. Biotin, otherwise known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, helps the body metabolize nutrients more efficiently and stabilizes blood glucose. It is present in a variety of foods and is naturally produced in the body.

As an individual supplement, biotin comes in capsule or tablet forms and is available as a constituent in multivitamin products. While an adequate amount is from 30 micrograms to 100 micrograms a day, those seeking to lose weight may take at least 300 micrograms of biotin or the dosage indicated on the vitamin packaging. Up to 10 milligrams of biotin can be taken daily with no reported side effects or toxicity, although taking excess biotin for weight loss cannot compensate for undisciplined eating and a lack of physical activity.

To maximize the usage of biotin for weight loss, other B vitamins need to be present. Biotin works especially well with choline and B5, or pantothenic acid, for enhancing metabolism. Biotin and the rest of the B-complex vitamins need to be taken with food for optimal absorption. It is a water-soluble vitamin, so any excess is excreted with urine.

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For weight loss, high levels of biotin play a role in the conversion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into glucose, or useable energy for the body, reducing the likelihood that these nutrients will be stored away as fat. Biotin helps the nervous system use these calories more efficiently and, therefore, may reduce feelings of fatigue that accompany diet and exercise. Biotin supplementation cannot be used as a sole means for weight loss and should accompany a caloric deficit created through a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

For those seeking natural sources of biotin for weight loss, it is available in many food groups and is accessible through a balanced diet. Animal proteins plentiful in biotin include organ meats, beef, saltwater fish, poultry, and dairy products. Vegetables rich in biotin include cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, legumes, soy, and greens such as spinach. Rice, oats and wheat bran are some examples of whole grain sources. Molasses and brewer’s yeast are also amply supplied with biotin.

Biotin deficiencies are uncommon, not only because the vitamin can be easily accessed through food, but because the body produces and recycles its own from intestinal bacteria. Excessive alcohol intake, however, can flush biotin from the body. Poor absorption of food as a result of intestinal problems or reduced intestinal flora resulting from prolonged use of antibiotics or birth control can interfere with biotin absorption.

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Discuss this Article

anon931539
Post 10

I have been taking Biotin for almost a month. I went to see my friend and she told me that I lost weight. Yes! I can feel that I lost weight but I started taking Biotin for my nails, hair and skin and I also take B complex vitamin with vitamin C.

I am also watching what I am eating. Biotin works and just because your appetite increases, that does not mean that you should eat more and not exercise. Be wise: no soda of any type, more fruits and veggies and fish, water and rest enough, too.

anon316805
Post 9

I take biotin daily and love it. It increases my appetite tremendously but I don't pig out and overdo it so the weight has just melted off. I chew gum and snack frequently since it's speeding up my metabolism. Also I have found that my nails and hair are growing extremely fast.

I actually started taking this when I realized I was eating maybe once a day -- I just was never hungry. I was always tired. just wanted to stay home and sleep. So not only has this little miracle pill got my healthy again but its really made me feel good again.

anon294938
Post 8

I have been using Biotin and I have an increase in appetite and have gained weight and also now it has me swelling up in my legs and feet. I have a hard time walking because of so much pressure in my feet and legs. It feels like my body is holding water all over. I have gained up to 10 pounds since I started taking this. I am stopping right away.

bluedolphin
Post 7

Has anyone experienced side effects with biotin?

I've been taking 1000 mcg per day for the past month. The first couple of weeks, the only side effect I noticed was that it increased my appetite. I might have lost weight with biotin but since I started eating more, I think it has balanced out and I haven't lost any weight.

And then, last week, I suddenly developed a bad acne breakout on my face. I haven't done anything different and the only cause I can think of is the biotin.

I think I'm going to stop taking it. I've been taking a break from it for the past two days.

Just curious, has anyone else had these side effects with biotin, or is it just me?

candyquilt
Post 6

@LisaLou-- 300 mcg is not a lot, that's how much biotin your body needs per day for various functions. Considering that not all of the biotin supplement might get absorbed by our body, I think 500 mcg is a good place to start. If this dose helps you lose weight and feel good, you can continue it. If you feel that you need to increase it, you can go up to 1 mg a day or more.

@burcinc-- I don't think that we know the exact amount our body can absorb. It might depend on the person and the circumstances. But I have heard that it is around 3 mg. Most biotin supplements recommend taking no more than 5 mg a day. If you take that much, I think it will be fine but there it's also likely that some of that is just being excreted through urine.

So keeping within the 3 mg range is probably a good idea. You might want to check with your doctor just in case. This is just what I've heard from various people. I personally only take 500 mcg per day and it is enough for me. I am losing weight, but it's not quick weight loss. I've been losing about two pounds per month.

burcinc
Post 5

I thought that biotin was just a supplement for healthy hair. I had no idea that it helps promote weight loss! That's very interesting.

I'm doing a weight loss program right now. I don't take any supplements other than a multivitamin. I'm also afraid of taking supplements that claim to promote weight loss. But since biotin is a natural vitamin that our body already needs and uses, I think it might have less risks than other weight loss supplements.

Has anyone been using biotin for weight loss? What kind of biotin supplement do you use and at what dose? Has it benefited you?

Also, since biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, don't we need to know the maximum amount of biotin that our body can absorb? Because if I were to take a biotin supplement at a higher dose than what my body can absorb, I would basically be paying to flush the biotin down the toilet, right?

myharley
Post 4

There certainly isn't a lack of weight loss supplements out there to try. If I am going to use a "pill" to help me lose weight, I would feel better about using something like biotin than some of the other pills that have a lot of chemicals in them.

It also sounds like biotin would be safe for you to consume as a supplement since your body doesn't store any of the excess. As I read through the list of foods that have biotin in them, there aren't very many of them that I like or consume on a regular basis.

I wouldn't be opposed to trying biotin to lose some weight. If I included this with my multi-vitamin every day, it may be the extra boost I need to get my metabolism going.

LisaLou
Post 3

Taking 300 micrograms of biotin in a day seems like a lot to me. It is probably safer than some of the weight loss pills that are out there, but I have never been one to take very many supplements.

It seems to me, since the excess is eliminated through waste, it would be better to spread this out throughout the day if you wanted to get the most benefit from it. If you took all of this in the morning, I would think most of it would be eliminated before it had a change to do any good.

I have been through so many weight loss plans and maybe am a bit cynical when it comes to trying something new. It seems as if all of them work if you are consistent and stick with it.

Once you get off the plan though, the weight comes back and you are right back where you started from.

andee
Post 2

@julies-- I have used biotin as part of a weight loss plan and think that it probably did play a part in my losing weight. It is hard to pinpoint how effective this was because I made many changes at the same time.

Like this article points out, this should not be substituted for poor nutrition and lack of exercise. When I started taking the biotin I also made changes in my eating habits, and became more consistent with my exercise.

I will say I was surprised at the energy I had, but again, this was probably the combination of many factors as well. I still take biotin on a daily basis as I know it is good for me, and don't think I consume enough of the foods that naturally contain biotin.

julies
Post 1

I have tried many different weight loss programs, but have never heard of using biotin for weight loss. I used to sell nutrition products, and one thing that was always stressed was how much biotin was in your multi-vitamin.

Evidently, biotin is one of the more expensive B vitamins, and many supplements will not include as much of this as other B vitamins in their supplements.

I know that the B-complex vitamins are known for giving you energy. If you were to use biotin for weight loss maybe that would help combat some of the fatigue that you experience when you start to reduce calories.

I know that biotin is safe for you to consume and might have to do some more research about using this for weight loss. Has anyone been successful using this?

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