The Science Behind Biotin

There is very little scientific evidence to support the use of biotin in treatment of any health condition, including brittle nails and hair loss. What's more, the National Institutes of Health warns that biotin appears to be ineffective for treatment of seborrheic dermatitis.

However, some research suggests that consuming biotin in combination with chromium picolinate may be of some benefit to people with diabetes.

For instance, a 2008 study from Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews found that taking a chromium picolinate/biotin combination in addition to prescription anti-diabetic medication may help improve blood sugar control in overweight or obese people with type 2 diabetes. The study involved 447 diabetes patients, each of whom was assigned to receive either chromium picolinate with biotin or a placebo for 90 days (along with their diabetes medicine). By the study's end, those who'd taken the chromium picolinate/biotin showed a significantly greater improvement in blood sugar levels (compared to members of the placebo group).

Additionally, a 2006 study from Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics found that four weeks of taking chromium picolinate with biotin (in combination with diabetes medicine) helped improve blood sugar levels in diabetes patients. Involving 43 people with poorly controlled diabetes, the study also found that the chromium picolinate/biotin supplements helped reduce cholesterol levels.

Since both of these studies tested the use of biotin in combination in chromium picolinate, it's not known whether biotin alone might produce similar results.