I created this best biotin supplement review post because hair loss and thinning hair is something many on a ketogenic diet report suffering, and there are connections to the keto diet and biotin deficiency that are worth exploring.
Hair loss is one thing, but when it comes soon after starting a new diet, this may automatically make you think it’s because of that diet. Many different factors can contribute to hair loss or thinning hair on a keto diet, including rapid weight loss, thyroid problems, lack of dietary protein or lack of sufficient calories altogether. It goes deeper than this, as it can be autoimmune related.
We have a different blog post on keto hair loss that goes into other possible hair loss culprits while on a low carb diet.
Before getting into the 5 best biotin supplement bottles review below, let’s look into some evidence that shows why it may be a good idea to supplement with biotin on a keto diet. First, let’s see exactly what biotin is, how it helps us, and what to do when looking to increase your biotin intake (food v supplements).
WHAT IS BIOTIN?
Biotin is a part of the B-vitamin complex family that helps convert food into fuel for energy use. These B-vitamins help metabolize the fat and protein we eat. Biotin is a key nutrient for healthy hair and skin. It plays multiple roles in our body, from nervous system function to embryonic development support. Biotin is also known as vitamin B7, vitamin H, and coenzyme R.
Biotin is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin involved in carbon dioxide transfer, and therefore essential to the metabolism of carbohydrates and fat. (source)
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It’s not easy to be deficient in biotin. It’s available in many common foods including nuts, leafy greens and milk. If something is causing a biotin deficiency, signs and symptoms may come in the form of hair loss, skin rashes and depression. Biotin deficiency is one of the major connections between hair loss or hair thinning and ketogenic diets.
DO KETO DIETS CAUSE BIOTIN DEFICIENCY?
The most prominent study out there currently showing the potential of ketogenic diets causing biotin deficiency is a study performed on mice. The study concluded with a recommendation for individuals on ketogenic diets to increase their biotin intake or supplementation. It showed that biotin deficiency increases for mice on ketogenic diets.
If you’re suffering from hair loss or hair thinning on your keto diet, it can be a number of things other than biotin deficiency, but it could also be from your keto diet/a lack of biotin.
Taking a biotin supplement or consuming more natural biotin from food can help offset a deficiency caused by the ketogenic diet. Biotin can also help solve current skin problems contributing to hair loss and thinning.
Egg whites contain avidin, something that can create a biotin deficiency within your body. From a study on adults who ate raw egg whites (not the biotin-containing yolks), or a biotin-free diet for months to years:
“In adults fed raw egg white or receiving biotin-free prolonged total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for months to years, thinning of hair, frequently with loss of hair color, was reported. Most adults with the deficiency demonstrated a red, scaly, skin rash, frequently around the eyes, nose, and mouth. Most of the adults had neurological symptoms, including depression, lethargy, hallucinations, and paresthesia of the extremities.” (source)
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF BIOTIN DEFICIENCY
Here is a list of the initial symptoms of biotin deficiency: (source)
- Dry skin
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Fungal infections
- Find and brittle hair
- Hair loss or total alopecia
- Neurological symptoms (if left untreated)
- Muscular pains/Myalgias (if left untreated)
- Hyperesthesias and Paresthesias (if left untreated)
Biotin deficiency can cause or accelerate the thinning of your hair. It may be wise to seek out more biotin in your foods or to take a biotin supplement or to check yourself for biotin deficiency if you’re on a ketogenic diet.
Testing for biotin deficiency: It’s hard to be deficient in biotin. If your hair loss or hair thinning is coming from a biotin deficiency, the best way to know if the symptoms you’re displaying are due to this is to test.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES: KETOGENIC DIET, HAIR LOSS, & BIOTIN
There are various personal stories from people on ketogenic diets who suffered various hair problems and then improved their hair thinning and other hair problems by supplementing with biotin. These personal stories may help you form your own conclusion on the matter.
Online forums and blog comment sections are a good way to find additional information from others in your similar circumstance. It’s good to see others have good results from taking a biotin supplement. Many report hair regrowth while still on a ketogenic diet thanks to biotin supplementation. I’ll quote a few of these comments below, and link back to their forum threads or blog posts in case you want to read more about others’ keto hair problem experiences.
From DiabetesForum.com on a thread about the ketogenic diet and hair loss:
I’ve experienced hair loss, too. When I brought it up to the doctor on Friday, he said it was due to the rapid weight loss (70 pounds lost in one year). He said that things would stabilize when I go on maintenance–which is where I am now. So, we’ll see.
Here’s another from that same thread on the DiabetesForum:
For anyone experiencing hair loss, head to the drugstore and buy a bottle of biotin forte. I lost a ton of hair through my thyroid cancer treatments years ago. My endo. told me to take biotin and it would stop the hair loss. After only a few days, I noticed I was no longer losing handfuls of it in my brush. You can also buy it online. I was told to take 5 mg. per day. and it works like a charm!
Here’s another personal experience from a forum commenter on ketogenicforums.com:
I say yes. My hair started to fall out after about 6 months on ketogenics. I added biotin AND collagen and after 5 months my hair loss has diminished greatly.
This one is from the comments section of a dietdoctor.com blog post on this same subject of hair loss and keto:
I started the low carb diet 5 months ago and have lost close to 40 pounds. Several months ago I to noticed my hair falling out more than usual. This past month has been particularly bad. My once very thick hair is noticeably thinner to me. I’m feeling great but not enjoying this. Hoping it will soon resolve:) I’m happy to read that it’s not just me experiencing this. And perhaps it’s more common than reported.
Should you take biotin while on a keto diet? Between the study on mice, people’s personal experiences, and the chances of diet-related temporary hair loss, seeking out the best biotin supplement option can only help.
DO BIOTIN PRODUCTS HELP REGROW LOST HAIR?
The average adult needs only 30mcg per day of biotin to avoid a deficiency, but many take larger doses up to 10,000 micrograms (mcg) per day with positive effects on their hair.
It’s been shown that taking 5mg (or 5,000mcg) per day for 2-years has no ill effects (source).
Biotin is not known to be toxic.
There are actual studies out there showing that it does work for hair loss and hair thinning. In this double-blind study, they saw increased hair growth thanks to biotin:
The daily administration of a proprietary nutritional supplement significantly increased hair growth after 90 and 180 days. Self-perceived improvements after 90 days were increased after 180 days of additional treatment, suggesting continued improvements may occur with ongoing treatment. No adverse events were reported. These results may represent the first description of increased hair growth in women associated with the use of a nutritional supplement. (source)
While biotin is used in many creams, masks, and other topical applications for beauty products, it’s most effective when ingested. When choosing a biotin supplement, it’s hard to avoid binders, fillers and other added ingredients called “flow agents.” There are a handful of things good to watch out for when choosing a health supplement.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST BIOTIN SUPPLEMENT
Trustworthy supplement brands will always declare every ingredient on their label, no matter the artificial metallic colors, gluten, or unnecessary binders and fillers used. These are best avoided, and it’s good when companies avoid them, as well as declare everything with third party inspection certificates included.
These third-party inspections show purity and contamination levels. Full disclosure of excipients (binders, fillers, flow agents) on labels from my understanding is not required, so when you see a company fully declare everything on their labels, you know they’re a trustworthy brand. On top of being conscious of almost unavoidable nanoparticles, these are the features I examine for my health supplement reviews and personal purchases:
- Quality: Independent Third Party Certifications, label accuracy, safe GMP practices, quality assurance, certified organic ingredients, reviews. Is there a history of happy customers and proof of the company’s products providing real benefits to its users?
- Price: Quality comes first. You can’t sacrifice quality for price when it comes to your health, but you can find great quality at great value.
- Other Ingredients: Are the labels honest? The company should declare all raw ingredients used, including excipients (binders, fillers, and flow agents).
THE 5 BEST BIOTIN SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
The top 5 biotin supplements reviewed below are in the table. You can see the final personal rating with the stars. As I only review 5, there’s no room for bad quality. It’s hard to bring them down in ratings, but I do my best. All 5 biotin products are high-quality options.
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Starting off with a pure biotin powder that needs no use of fillers, binders, or anything. Let’s get on with the biotin supplement reviews.
1. BulkSupplements Pure Biotin Powder – Pure biotin in powdered form, 100% free of fillers, binders, flow agents
BulkSupplements Pure Biotin (Vitamin B7) Powder (10 grams) is biotin in its purest form available outside of actually consuming whole biotin-rich foods. With this potent form of biotin, you must measure carefully with a milligram scale (they’re easy to attain and use). The powder is said to be nearly tasteless and can mix well in foods. The Bulksupplements Pure Biotin 10 gram package weight when it arrives at your door is around 4 ounces. They also have a Biotin 1% powder which is a blend of Dicalcium Phosphate and the vitamin B7 biotin. In case you end up on that 1% biotin powder product listing, you should know that these are different. The 1% powder is still a good looking product, with its only other ingredient being Dicalcium phosphate, however, this pure biotin powder has the best quality and the best value. We need this essential nutrient. If consuming it from food isn’t working out, or there’s a need for any type of biotin supplementation, then BulkSupplements Pure Biotin Powder is one of the very best biotin options available anywhere.
Other Ingredients: 5
Our Rating: 5
Let’s compare the amount of biotin this bag has to another good bottle of biotin on this list. Thorne Research Biotin 8 has 8mg of biotin per capsule. 60 capsules is 480 milligrams. 480mg is just under half a gram (0.48g). Unless my math is wrong, that means with BulkSupplements you receive A LOT more value compared to most other options available out there, which all hover around the half gram to one gram mark in total biotin (compared to 10g!). With BulkSupplements Pure Biotin, you get the quality and the value.
- Highlight Feature: 2ox Value. 10 grams of pure biotin per package is an unbelievable value. Perfect for those who require extremely high doses of biotin (most other bottles hover around 0.5g – 1g max in total biotin)
- No “Other Ingredients”
- Lab tested for guaranteed, verified purity
- No capsules: It’s hardly a con, but you should use a milligram scale for exact measurements.
- Powder is slightly less convenient when not in capsules
2. Sports Research Biotin Enhanced With Coconut Oil – a refreshing-to-see supplement bottle that needs no fillers, binders or artificial ingredients to benefit thousands of its users
Sports Research Biotin with Coconut Oil is the second number one on this list. It doesn’t have binders or fillers, only the ingredients needed to make the Non-GMO Project Verified softgels. These softgels are made with tapioca starch. In contrast, many popular vegetable capsules use a synthetic form of gelatin called hypromellose. Other than the 5mg of biotin per softgel, the Other Ingredients in this Sports Research Biotin bottle include Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax and Vegetarian Softgels (Tapioca starch, kosher vegetable glycerin, purified water). Sports Research Biotin with Coconut Oil boasts over 7,000 mostly positive user reviews. Many have reported this biotin as helping them with their hair problems and far more.
Other Ingredients: 4.5
Our Rating: 4.5
Sports Research Biotin is at the top of the list because of its postive reviews and for its added coconut oil that helps with biotin’s absorption.
- Highlight Feature: Enhanced with cold-pressed organic coconut oil to aid absorption.
- Kosher Veggie Softgels used are the only Non-GMO Project Verified softgels (no hypromellose).
- Third-party certifications
- Over 7,000 very happy customer reviews
- Not too many cons with this one
3. Thorne Research Biotin 8 – A trusted brand for high-quality health supplements
Thorne Research is known for their high quality, trustworthy health supplements. They stay away from binders, fillers, lubricants, flow agents and many more unnecessary ingredients many other supplement companies are happy to use as manufacturing aids. Thorne Research Biotin 8 is a water-soluble B Vitamin that you can be sure has been tested for potency and purity. It contains 8mg (8,000mcg) of biotin per capsule. Part of what makes Thorne products so trustworthy is their four-part quality control process. They test their health supplement ingredients before production, again halfway through and then two more times to test the final product and how stable it is after production. This extensive testing and transparency makes Thorne Biotin 8 a great option for any low carb ketogenic diet or biotin needs in general.
Other Ingredients: 4
Our Rating: 4
Thorne Biotin 8 does not contain any unnecessary artificial colors, binders, coatings, disintegrants or fillers. It does contain hypromellose cellulose veggie capsules. Its Other Ingredients include Microcrystalline Cellulose, Leucine, Calcium Laurate and Silicon Dioxide.
- Highlight Feature: Trustworthiness. With a 4.7 out of 5 average star rating from 50 votes, you can see Thorne doesn’t rely on massive review counts to be one of the best biotin supplement manufacturers out there. The reviews they do have are honest. Biotin 8 has helped customers grow thicker hair.
- Formulated by MDs, PhDs, and NDs
- No artificial colors, flavors, fillers or lubricants (i.e. magnesium stearate), or binders
- Uses the D-biotin form of biotin
- At 60 capsules, it’s not the cheapest high-quality option out there, but the 8mg per capsule helps it provide extra value on top of its superior raw ingredients.
- A 5mg capsule size would provide more flexibility for those who prefer using less than 8mg at a time.
4. Pure Encapsulations Hypoallergenic Biotin 8mg – 120 high-quality vegetable capsules with third party lab tested and verified ingredients
Pure Encapsulations Hypoallergenic Biotin 8mg is number four on the list of top 5 biotin supplements. They are another worthy biotin supplement maker that feature third party lab tested raw ingredients for all of their health supplements. Independant third party testing for purity and potency is something I always seek out first when looking into a particular health supplement. Pure Encapsulations Biotin uses the form of biotin called d-biotin. This product comes in both 60 count and 120 count bottle options, both contain the same vegetarian capsules with 8mg biotin. Other Ingredients are hypo-allergenic plant fiber (cellulose), vegetarian capsule (cellulose, water).
Other Ingredients: 4
Our Rating: 4.5
Pure Encapsulations run their product testing through four different third party laboratories: Silliker NeutriSciences Company, Covance, Eurofins, and Advanced Laboratories.
- Highlighted Feature: Price, Value
- Independent Third-party lab tested
- Positive User Reviews
- Great value for the quality
- Trusted brand with verified high quality ingredients
- Not too many cons with Pure Encapsulations Biotin.
5. LifeGarden Naturals Whole Food Biotin – The wild card biotin supplement of the list with plant-based Certified Organic Biotin
LifeGarden Naturals Whole Food Biotin uses Orgen-Bio® certified organic biotin. This biotin is supposedly better because it’s in its natural plant form surrounded by that plant’s (Sesbania) natural co-factors and co-nutrients. The biotin is derived from a standardized extract of Certified Organic Agati (Sesbania) tree. The tree is native to Southeast Asia, where it’s considered a healthy plant to consume. This organic whole food biotin is something you don’t see from most biotin supplement manufacturers. That’s why LifeGarden Naturals Whole Food Biotin is an interesting wild card biotin supplement I wanted to add to this list. It’s not a proven bottle and from what I can see there is no third party lab inspections. However, they are produced in a GMP certified facility. Its capsules are not too potent, at 2,500 mcg each, but this can be viewed as a positive as not everybody wants to take 5, 8 or 10 mg (10,000 mcg) doses of biotin.
Other Ingredients: 4
Our Rating: 3
It’s only “Other Ingredient” is a Non-GMO Cellulose Vegetable capsule. A third party inspection would assure us of its exact raw ingredients and its validated purity.
- Highlighted Feature: Whole Food Plant-Based Certified Organic Biotin (Orgen-Bio®)
- Small dosage per capsule can be viewed as a benefit
- No added colors, binders, fillers or unnecessary ingredients
- Not the most potent biotin supplement
- Lack of review history: It barely has any reviews. So far they’re good, but there is not enough data to judge its effectiveness based off honest reviews.
- Lack of third party inspection. From what I can see, there is none.
- Value: With 0.15 grams of biotin per bottle, does its Orgen-Bio® biotin justify that lack of value compared to others on this list?
THE BEST BIOTIN SUPPLEMENT: Sports Research Biotin with Coconut Oil
I bet you thought that BulkSupplements was number 1 because of their full 5/5 rating, but the convenience, effectiveness and safety of Sports Research Biotin’s kosher veggie softgels give them the slight edge over BulkSupplements Pure Biotin powder on this final winning slot mention.
- FEATURES: Biotin 5000mcg in cold-pressed Organic Coconut Oil
- BENEFITS: May help to support Healthy Hair, Skin and nails in individuals who are deficient.*
- PREMIUM: The Only Non-GMO Project Verified veggie Biotin softgel available
- QUALITY: Manufactured, Packaged, and Bottled in the USA. 3rd Party non-GMO tested by the IGEN program
- MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: All Sports Research (SR) products come with a 90 day Money Back Guarantee.^
A Second Winner?
Because of the lack of binders, fillers, flow agents and the unbelievable value it provides, the second winner and the potential very best biotin supplement option is BulkSupplements Pure Biotin Powder. The “hassle” of dealing with powders for the uninitiated brings this biotin powder product down a tad to be the second winner instead of the sole #1 spot holder. Once accustomed to handling supplement powders, it becomes something you prefer because of the purity.
Following Sports Research and BulkSupplements, the last three biotin supplements are all high-quality options to use alongside your ketogenic diet when looking to avoid any type of keto hair loss from biotin deficiency. The interesting one of the bunch is LifeGarden Naturals and its Orgen-Bio® certified organic Whole Food plant-based biotin.
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