Some have wondered if biotin causes weight gain. While there is very little research to date on this specific question, biotin has not been associated with any side effects, even in high doses, according to an overview of biotin published by the University of Maryland. Biotin is also considered to be non-toxic.
Nuts contain biotin, and according to an analysis of data from a study of more than 50,000 nurses over eight years that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, regular consumption of nuts is actually associated with lower weight gain over time.
The study looked at 51,188 women in the Nurses' Health Study II who were 20–45 years old, and who had no cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or cancer. Dietary intake of nuts and subsequent weight changes were prospectively evaluated from 1991 to 1999.
Study authors concluded, “Higher nut consumption was not associated with greater body weight gain during eight years of follow-up in healthy middle-aged women. Instead, it was associated with a slightly lower risk of weight gain and obesity. The results of this study suggest that incorporating nuts into diets does not lead to greater weight gain and may help weight control.”
Because biotin is available in numerous foods, it is unlikely that you will be biotin deficient, so taking biotin supplements probably won’t be necessary.
If you do choose to take any dietary supplement, it is a good idea to talk to your health care provider about any potential side effects, especially if you are pregnant or are taking prescription medications.
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Dr. Tracy Davenport is a health writer, advocate and entrepreneur who has been helping individuals live their best life. She is co-author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux. Follow Tracy’s love of smoothies on Twitter.