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I've heard somewhere that taking a biotin supplement while on accutane is a bad idea? is this true? or does it not really matter?

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I've heard somewhere that taking a biotin supplement while on accutane is a bad idea? is this true? or does it not really matter?

i doubt it would have a negative impact. why would you take biotin while on accutane? For hair? Honestly accutane most likely wont mess with your hair, and if it was to mess with your hair, biotin wouldn't make a difference at stopping it.

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people have taken it routinely during the course and have had a more than successful treatment. you'll be fine, just feed yourself well.

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To Quote Wikipedia on the topic of 'Biotin':

"Biotin is used in cell growth, the production of fatty acids, metabolism of fats, and amino acids. It plays a role in the Krebs Cycle, which is the process in which energy is released from food. Biotin not only assists in various metabolic chemical conversions, but also helps with the transfer of carbon dioxide. Biotin is also helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level. Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails."

Biotin is a B complex vitamin (B7). I've been taking Biotin for some time and I find it to be beneficial in maintaining my blood-sugar levels, in helping me to recover from hard athletic efforts (it may prevent excessive muscle soreness), and it helps to keep my skin, hair, and nails healthy. I don't think it would do much to prevent hair loss, but it might aid in hair growth. There's no harm in taking it (I secretly hope that it will keep my skin from misbehaving any further!) Check it out on the www -- there's plenty of info on Biotin :dance:

Take care!

~M~

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That might have been me who said that it may not be the best idea to take it. As a pharmacy student, I havce access to this awesome website called Natural Standard that lists every supplement known to man and the degree of evidence supporting its effectiveness for different uses. I think I'll just post just about the whole monograph because I enjoyed reading it (I know it's long...):

Biotin is an essential water-soluble B vitamin. Biotin is required by the body in order for four specific enzymes to function in metabolism: propionyl coenzyme A carboxylase (PCC), pyruvate carboxylase (PC), beta-methylcrotonyl coenzyme A carboxylase (β-MCC), and acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC). Without biotin, these enzymes do not work properly, and various complications can occur involving the skin, intestinal tract, and nervous system. Metabolic problems including very low blood sugars between meals, high blood ammonia, or acidic blood (acidosis) can occur. Death is theoretically possible, although no clear cases have been reported. Recent studies suggest that biotin is also necessary for processes on the genetic level in cells (DNA replication and gene expression).

Biotin deficiency is extremely rare. This is because daily biotin requirements are relatively small, biotin is found in many foods, and the body is able to recycle much of the biotin it has already used. Bacteria which normally live in the human gut (flora) are able to make biotin, although it is not known if humans are able to use this source of biotin. No significant toxicity has been reported with biotin intake.

The name biotin is taken from the Greek word bios meaning "life." Biotin was discovered to be an essential vitamin in the 1930s through rat experiments. In these studies, large amounts of raw egg-whites fed to rats caused toxicity which was cured with biotin-containing foods. It was found that the egg-whites contained a chemical (glycoprotein) called avidin which prevents the body from absorbing biotin from food. Avidin attaches itself to biotin to form a "biotin-avidin complex" which cannot be broken down in the gut for absorption. This problem is prevented by cooking eggs, which destroys avidin's ability to bind biotin.

Uses

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. Grade*

Biotin deficiency

Biotin deficiency is extremely rare. This is because daily biotin requirements are relatively small, biotin is found in many foods, and the body is able to recycle much of the biotin it has already used. Bacteria which normally live in the human gut (flora) are able to make biotin, although it is not known if humans are able to use of this source of biotin.

Potential causes: Long-term use of certain anti-seizure medications (phenytoin [Dilantin], primidone [Mysoline], carbamazepine [Tegretol], phenobarbital [solfoton], and possibly valproic acid); prolonged oral antibiotic use (due to changes in intestinal bacteria/flora); intestinal malabsorption (for example short gut syndrome); intravenous feeding (total parenteral nutrition/TPN) without added biotin; and eating raw egg whites on a regular basis.

Effects: Without biotin, four enzymes which are necessary for normal metabolism cannot function properly (propionyl coenzyme A carboxylase [PCC], pyruvate carboxylase [PC], beta-methylcrotonyl coenzyme A carboxylase [β-MCC], and acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase [ACC]). Various complications can occur involving the skin (red scaly face rash around the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears; dry skin; seborrheic dermatitis; brittle hair/hair loss; conjunctivitis; vulnerability to skin fungal infections), intestinal tract (nausea; vomiting; appetite loss; weight loss), and nervous system (confusion; hallucinations; fatigue; tiredness; mild depression; muscle aches; numbness/tingling; increased sensitivity to touch [hyperesthesia]). Death is theoretically possible, although no clear cases have been reported.

PCC is required for breaking down amino acids, and β-MCC is required to break down the amino acid leucine. Without the proper function of these enzymes, severe metabolic complications can occur including low blood glucose, high blood ammonia, acidic blood (acidosis), coma, or death. ACC is necessary for making fatty acids. PC is required for the body to make sugar from its stored energy sources (gluconeogenesis), and without PC blood sugar levels between meals can become dangerously low.

Tests: Biotin levels in the blood or urine can be measured. Urine organic acids can be evaluated, including measurement of beta-hydroxyisovalerate.

Treatment: Should be under strict medical supervision. There is disagreement among experts about the proper biotin dose. In adults, intramuscular doses as low as 150-300mcg daily have been suggested. Higher doses between 10-40mg of biotin daily have also been recommended (given orally, intramuscularly, or intravenously). Higher doses may lead to faster improvement. In children, doses as high as 6-30mg daily have been recommended, either orally, intramuscularly, or intravenously (although lower doses can also be considered). Dosing should be selected and adjusted depending on the duration and severity of the deficiency. Symptoms generally improve within 3-5 days, and completely resolve after several months. The cause of the deficiency should be addressed, and supportive care should be provided as appropriate.

A^^

Biotin-responsive inborn errors of metabolism

There are several inborn errors of metabolism that cause a "functional" biotin deficiency, leading to much greater biotin needs than normal in order to activate biotin-dependent enzymes. These disorders include: multiple carboxylase deficiency, holocarboxylase synthetase deficiency, biotidinase deficiency, and propionic-coenzyme A carboxylase deficiency (common among Innuit people in Greenland). Severe metabolic complications and death can occur from these disorders unless treated. High-dose biotin is used to treat these disorders. Management should be under strict medical supervision.

A^^

Brittle fingernails

Biotin has been suggested as a treatment for brittle fingernails, particularly in women. There is not sufficient scientific evidence to form a clear conclusion.

C

Diabetes mellitus (type 2)

In preliminary research, biotin has been reported to decrease insulin resistance and improve glucose tolerance - both properties which may be beneficial in patients with types 2 (adult-onset) diabetes. However, there is not sufficient human evidence to form a clear conclusion in this area.

C

Pregnancy supplementation

Marginal biotin deficiency has been found to commonly occur during pregnancy. Serious concern has been focused on this finding, because biotin deficiency is teratogenic (causes birth defects) in many animals. It has been suggested by some experts that biotin supplements should be considered for widespread use in pregnant women, although as of 2004 the scientific evidence is not generally considered conclusive enough to make this recommendation. Biotin supplementation during pregnancy in not currently standard practice, and prenatal vitamins generally do not contain biotin. However, individual patients may be considered for biotin supplementation by health care practitioners on a case-by-case basis.

C

Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)

Intravenous feeding solutions (TPN) should contain biotin, in order to avoid biotin deficiency in recipient patients. This applies for patients in whom TPN is the sole source of nutrition.

C

*Key to grades: A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Alopecia areata, antioxidant, basal ganglia disease, cancer, Crohn's disease, exercise capacity improvement, glucose intolerance, gray hair, hair loss, hyperlipidemia, Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathy, Rett syndrome, seborrheic dermatitis, uncombable hair syndrome, vaginal candidiasis.

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Dietary intake

Foods/supplements rich in biotin: Barley, brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), egg yolks, kidney, liver, milk, pancreas, royal jelly, soy, wheat bran. Lesser amounts of biotin are found in avocado, bread, broccoli, cauliflower, cheeses, chicken, fish, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, pork, potatoes, and spinach. People observing vegan or lactoovovegetarian diets appear to obtain sufficient amounts of biotin in their diets.

Supplements: Biotin is available as capsules and tablets in various doses, and as lozenges.

Adults (18 years and older)

Daily Adequate Intake (AI): The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine recommends a daily AI of 30mcg in adults 19 years and older (a daily AI of 25mcg is recommended in those ages 14-18 years-old). In pregnant women older than 14 years, an AI of 30mcg is recommended. During breastfeeding, a daily AI of 35mcg is recommended. Most healthy non-pregnant individuals with regular diets obtain these amounts of biotin through dietary consumption.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA): The U.S. RDA for biotin is 300mcg daily. This is the dose used in many dietary supplements. However, the daily requirement of biotin has not been clearly established scientifically, largely because biotin is available in many foods and is ingested in adequate amounts by most individuals. In addition, biotin is made by bacteria in the gut, which may contribute to the human biotin requirement. No toxicity has been reported with biotin intake, and doses as high as 200mg daily have been used in patients with inborn errors of metabolism without significant reported toxicity.

Biotin deficiency: Should be under strict medical supervision. There is disagreement among experts about the proper dose. In adults, intramuscular doses as low as 150-300mcg daily have been suggested. Higher doses between 10-40mg of biotin daily have also been recommended (given orally, intramuscularly, or intravenously). Higher doses may lead to faster improvement. Dosing may be selected and adjusted depending on the duration and severity of the deficiency. Symptoms should improve within 3-5 days, and completely resolve after several months. Doses as high as 30mg daily for several months have been tolerated. The cause of the deficiency should be addressed, and supportive care should be provided as appropriate.

Biotin deficiency: Should be under strict medical supervision. There is disagreement among experts about the proper dose. In children, doses as high as 6-30mg daily have been recommended, either orally, intramuscularly, or intravenously (depending on the duration and severity of the deficiency). Lower doses (closer to the AI) can also be considered on a case-by-case basis. Symptoms should improve within 3-5 days, and completely resolve after several months. The cause of the deficiency should be addressed, and supportive care should be provided as appropriate. Inborn errors of metabolism should be ruled-out.

Biotin-responsive inborn errors of metabolism: Treatment should be under strict medical supervision. Large doses of biotin (5-20mg daily) have been reported as used in patients with holocarboxylase synthetase deficiency or biotidinase deficiency. Doses between 10-100mg of biotin daily have been recommended in holocarboxylase synthetase deficiency. Approximately 20mg daily has been recommended in carboxylase deficiency. Treatment is generally continued indefinitely.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

Individuals with hypersensitivity to constituents of biotin supplements should avoid these products.

Side Effects and Warnings

No significant toxicity has been reported with biotin intake, and very high doses (up to 200mg daily) have been used in patients with inborn errors of metabolism without reported toxicity. However, doses higher than the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board's recommended daily Adequate Intake (AI) should not be exceeded in healthy individuals unless under medical supervision.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pregnancy: Marginal biotin deficiency has been found to commonly occur during pregnancy. Serious concern has been focused on this finding, because biotin deficiency is teratogenic (causes birth defects) in many animals. It has been suggested by some experts that biotin supplements should be considered for widespread use in pregnant women, although as of 2004 the scientific evidence is not considered conclusive enough to make this recommendation. Biotin supplementation during pregnancy in not currently standard practice, and prenatal vitamins do not generally contain biotin. However, individual patients may be considered for biotin supplementation by health care practitioners on a case-by-case basis. The recommended daily adequate intake (AI) by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board is 30mcg for pregnant women. This dose should not be exceeded unless under medical supervision.

Breastfeeding: The recommended daily adequate intake (AI) by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board is 35mcg for breastfeeding women. This dose should not be exceeded unless under medical supervision.

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

Interactions with Drugs

Anti-seizure medications: The anticonvulsants phenytoin (Dilantin), primidone (Mysoline), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital (Solfoton), and possibly valproic acid have been associated with reduced blood levels of biotin. This is due to reduced gut absorption of biotin and increased urinary excretion. Testing of biotin blood or urine levels should be considered in individuals using these drugs chronically, and biotin supplementation may be necessary if deficiency is found.

Broad-spectrum oral antibiotics: Broad-spectrum antibiotics such as sulfa drugs can alter the normal intestinal bacteria (flora) which make biotin. Although it is not clear if this flora-produced biotin can actually be used by humans, testing of biotin blood or urine levels should be considered in individuals using these drugs chronically. Biotin supplementation may be necessary if deficiency is found.

Isotretinoin (Accutane): May reduce biotinidase activity. It is not clear if biotin supplementation may be warranted during chronic use.

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