A new announcement from the FDA warns about the potential medical dangers of taking Vitamin B7 supplements, also known as biotin, regularly. B7 is commonly used without prescription for its purported skin, nail, and hair benefits; the vitamin is also often recommended for patients with multiple sclerosis.
This vitamin, also called biotin, can significantly impact some laboratory test results, potentially resulting in serious health consequences from misleading tests. With these incorrect test results, doctors can unknowingly misdiagnose patients, prescribe them improper treatment and possibly miss serious medical changes in their patients.
Biotin can have an especially large impact on tests measuring levels of troponin, a biomarker that acts as an important biological signal in diagnosing heart attacks. Patients with high levels of biotin in their blood can present artificially low levels of troponin in a lab test, leading physicians to incorrectly conclude no heart attack has taken place. This misdiagnosis, created by the effect of the biotin, can seriously affect the health of the patient if doctors are unable to recommend the correct treatment after a cardiac event.
In order to best avoid poor health outcomes from inaccurate tests, the FDA now recommends that health care providers and patients discuss the use of biotin supplements and their impact on laboratory results, and will continue monitoring biotin impact on lab tests.
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