The Bariatric Center of Kansas City feels it important to share recent news published by The FDA with our bariatric weight loss patients.  On November 28, 2017 they published  the following alert about Biotin:

“The FDA is alerting the public, health care providers, lab personnel, and lab test developers that biotin can significantly interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect test results.”  (Click here for FDA Post)

The FDA has seen an increase in the number of reported adverse events, related to biotin interference with lab tests. It has been found to alter tests for thyroid levels, heart failure, pregnancy, cancer and iron-deficiency anemia.

In a recent scientific study done at the University of Minnesota, researchers found that 40% of the lab tests were thrown off by additional supplementation of biotin. Another study done at Loyola University looked at 374 different lab tests and found 80 came with warnings stating the results would be altered by extra biotin in the blood.

Biotin is promoted as being beneficial for skin, hair and nail strength. But many supplements contain biotin levels up to 650 times the recommended daily allowance.  There is no scientific evidence that extra biotin helps with hair loss, or weight loss, and our Journey Bariatric Vitamins contain 0.6 mg, which is twice the recommended amount a person needs per day.  We do not recommend additional supplementation with biotin.  While not toxic, biotin supplementation can be harmful in diagnosing conditions unless it is stopped at least 48 hours prior to lab tests.

Our weight loss patients need remember, Biotin is found in liver, eggs, fish, meat, nuts, seeds and some vegetables such as sweet potatoes. It is extremely rare to see a biotin deficiency.  If you feel, in your weight loss journey, the need to supplement your biotin intake, please take no more than 2.5 mg/day, which is 4 times the amount in Journey vitamins.

Following bariatric weight loss surgery, almost everyone will experience some hair thinning starting about 3 – 4 months after surgery.  It will last for 90 – 120 days and then hair will begin to regrow.  If it does not, then lab work may show a nutritional deficiency. Hair is made of a type of a structural protein called keratin. The body needs protein, zinc, iron, vitamin D, silicon and selenium to make keratin.  Journey Bariatric Vitamins contain the recommended amounts of all these nutrients. The best way to increase your body’s production of keratin is to add whey protein to your diet.  Other helpful foods are red meat, poultry, blueberries, almonds, leafy greens, soybeans, and salmon.  

It is important to report to your physician any supplements you are taking.  When having lab work drawn, please inform the lab of any supplements you take.  And please, stop any biotin supplements 48 hours prior to having lab work drawn.