Biotin and Pregnancy
It is not known if taking biotin supplements during pregnancy is safe. In animal studies involving biotin and pregnancy, high doses of the vitamin increased the risk of miscarriages and inhibited fetal and placental growth. Although research has suggested that pregnant women may have a higher risk for biotin deficiencies, there is not enough evidence to suggest that most pregnant women should take biotin supplements.
An Overview of Biotin and PregnancyBiotin is a vitamin that is important for all humans, including pregnant women. Biotin is also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H. Although most people don't have any trouble getting enough biotin, there has recently been some concern that pregnant women may be at risk for biotin deficiencies.
Am I Getting Enough Biotin During Pregnancy?The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has determined that pregnant women need 30 mcg of biotin per day, the same as any other adult. The IOM recognizes that early research has suggested that pregnant women may be at risk for biotin deficiency, but the IOM has not increased its recommendations (due to the lack of reliable scientific evidence). Biotin deficiencies can cause birth defects in animals, although this has not been demonstrated in humans. There is also some evidence that mild biotin deficiencies may be present in as many as 50 percent of pregnant women.
Very high doses of biotin have been shown to cause problems in pregnant rats. Specifically, biotin inhibited fetal and placental growth and increased the risk of miscarriages. However, there is no real reason to suspect similar problems would occur in humans, especially when biotin is taken in normal doses.
At this point, there is not enough evidence to suggest that most pregnant women should take biotin supplements. Many foods contain biotin, and intestinal flora (bacteria that live in the digestive tract) also produce biotin. Most prenatal vitamins do not contain biotin. If more reliable scientific evidence suggests that biotin supplementation would be beneficial for pregnant women, it is likely that prenatal supplement manufacturers will begin to add biotin to their formulations.