Biotin (also known as Vitamin B7) is a nutrient known to interact with several blood tests including thyroid function, heart attacks, prostate, parathyroid, cortisol, sex hormones and Vitamin D if taken above recommended daily values. Supplements containing high levels of biotin include some multivitamins and formulas for hair/skin/nails, diabetic/glucose control, multiple sclerosis, and biotinidase deficiency.

3 manufacturers of COVID-19 antibody tests (also known as Ig or immunoglobulin tests, generally used to indicate past infection) report that their tests utilize biotin (Elecsys by Roche; Atellica, ADVIA Centaur and Dimension EXL by Siemens; New York SARS-CoV Microsphere by Wadsworth Center), which means high biotin intake may falsify test results. These tests already have widely-ranging and debatable positive and negative predictive values; Naturopathic Alliance is unaware of any controls regarding biotin used in the sampling for these tests.

Note: This news should not be misinterpreted as a reason to doubt the high case numbers in some places like the southern U.S. A very different test (the PCR test) is what is used most commonly for diagnosis of current COVID-19 infections. 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE:

  • Research suggests eliminating high doses of biotin (supplements and injections) for a 1 week period before a blood draw is adequate. Talk to your integrative healthcare provider before making any changes to medications or supplements.

BLOG POST AUTHOR

Sean Hesler, ND lives and practices in Gilbert, AZ. He is a founding member of the Naturopathic Alliance.