Human Lipoic Acid Use: Is Supplemental Biotin Necessary?

May 24, 2013 Consumer Blog By


Several companies selling R-lipoic acid or alpha lipoic acid claim it is essential to take supplemental biotin with lipoic acid products. Why doesn’t GeroNova add biotin to their products?


Scientists, doctors and companies making claims for the necessity of supplemental biotin with lipoic acid use made this determination after reading the frequently cited conclusions of a single study issuing strong warnings to lipoic acid users with inherited carboxylase (the biotin-dependent enzymes) deficiencies. This was then inappropriately extrapolated to the general lipoic acid using public.

This study did NOT recommend supplemental biotin either for people with or without carboxylase deficiencies. The authors used a rat model that is not readily extrapolated to humans, based their conclusions on a reporting error in lipoic acid pharmacokinetic (PK) data and did not take into consideration the differences in dosage forms, routes of administration and the differences between lipoic acid and biotin PK in rats and humans. The questionable methodology and conclusions of this study raise questions concerning its relevance to humans.

Although regular users of lipoic acid products MIGHT benefit from supplemental biotin, but it is probably wiser to consume biotin at a different time than lipoic acid to insure optimal absorption of both nutrients. It has been demonstrated by several groups of researchers in this and other studies that lipoic acid, biotin and pantothenic acid utilize at least one of the same transport systems and co-administration results in competition for uptake in various model systems. This finding challenges the wisdom of combining lipoic acid and biotin in the same oral dosage form or even consuming the two nutrients concurrently.


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