January 2021

Biotin Doesn’t Help MS Patients After All

Contrary to earlier findings, a new high-quality study shows that taking high-dose biotin does not reduce disability in people with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). It’s important to understand this new evidence.

Previous, low-quality clinical studies showed that taking 300 mg of biotin daily for 12 months could reduce disability in some patients with MS. But there were also concerns that it might increase the risk for relapse. This new high-quality trial was randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled and enrolled over 600 patients at 90 centers in 13 different countries. It showed that taking 100 mg of biotin three times daily for 15 months doesn’t reduce disability. Nor did it find a link between biotin use and an increased risk for relapse. Some speculate that the reason for the link between biotin and increased relapse in previous research might have been due to patients discontinuing disease-modifying drugs while taking biotin.

If patients ask about high-dose biotin for MS, tell them that the latest and highest-quality evidence shows that it won’t help. Additionally, taking high-dose biotin is known to interfere with a number of lab tests - there were 25 instances of inaccurate lab results for patients taking high-dose biotin in this new study alone. If patients still want to give it a try, recommend they focus on incorporating biotin-rich dietary sources rather than supplements, such as organ meats, eggs, fish, seeds, and nuts. And advise patients to stick to adequate intake levels - 30 mcg for adults daily.

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