Lab clinicians now urged to ask if patients are using the supplement
The popularity of beauty supplement biotin can’t be denied, but neither can the reality that users have seen increased interference within their medical testing.
As a result, last week’s Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine contained an item offering advice to healthcare providers on ensuring biotin users receive accurate medical testing and diagnoses.
Statistics indicate that back in 1998, some 20 percent of Americans consumed biotin-containing supplements. Experts strongly suspect the number has only risen since that time, thanks in part to the heavy marketing of biotin for its hair and nail-enhancing effects.
Thus, the timing for such advice was perfect, especially with beach and prom season just around the corner.
Biotin, however, is also a key ingredient in one popular clinical testing method that labs use to detect conditions ranging from heart disease to prostate cancer and others. The competing sources of biotin can mix to cause false reading on tests, leading to excessive or inappropriate treatments that can cause potential harm to a patient.
The affected clinical testing method, known as the immunoassay, is affected to differing degrees in each laboratory. Thus, further studies will be conducted to determine appropriate measures going forward.
SOURCE: PR Newswire