Biotin and MS

Extensive research has failed to prove biotin’s effectiveness. In the past, several studies indicated that high-dose biotin could improve the EDSS index. Biotin is an enzyme that belongs to the B vitamins group. It is often referred to as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H. Biotin is an essential component of the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates metabolism, and is necessary for the production of cellular energy. 

Several small studies in the past have found that increased biotin consumption of 5,000 to 10,000 mg may help reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis without any significant side effects.
For example, a study published in 2016 found that people with multiple sclerosis who took high doses of biotin reported pain reduction while improving energy levels.
A French study published in 2015 has shown that people with multiple sclerosis receiving biotin reported an improved vision. Scientists in Canada have also documented improved vision and reduced paralysis. In another study, 91 percent of participants demonstrated clinical improvement.

However, other studies have failed to show a positive relationship between biotin and the improvement of MS symptoms.
For example, a 2017 study was unable to show long-term improvement. Moreover, symptoms of one-third of the participants even worsened. In a 2018 study, people living with advanced multiple sclerosis (SPMS) received high doses of biotin. The participants reported seizures and flare-ups. As a result, in December 2017, the European Medicines Commission (EMA) concluded that available research data is insufficient to substantiate biotin’s efficacy and safety for MS, resulting in banned high-dose biotin marketing for MS treatment in Europe.

A new controlled clinical trial was conducted with 178 MS patients. The results of the study were published recently and indicated no significant improvement in the EDSS indices, nor was there any improvement in gait velocity or the number of active lesions. At baseline, the mean age of the patients was 52.0 ± 9.4 years, the mean EDSS value was 6.1 ± 1.3, and the mean duration of illness was 16.9 ± 9.5 years. After 12 months of high-dose biotin, only 3.8% of patients showed an EDSS improvement. For the other signs, for most participants in the trial, the value remained stable or significantly increased. Overall, 47.4% of patients described stability, 25% described worsening of symptoms, and only 27.6% felt an improvement. Of the 178 participants, only 74 patients (41.6%) underwent MRI during the trial year, and in 20 of them (27%), new lesions were found, and in 8 patients (10.8%) exacerbated lesions. Four patients, out of total of 178 participants (2.2%), experienced seizures. In conclusion, this study showed that high-dose biotin was not associated with an improvement in the disability of people living with multiple sclerosis.

However, this information should not be considered as a recommendation or dis-recommendation for high-dose biotin. In any case, before starting or stopping taking biotin, you should consult a qualified medical practitioner.

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