Serum biotin and zinc in male androgenetic alopecia

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Oct;18(5):1546-1549. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12865. Epub 2019 Feb 3.


Background: Male androgenetic alopecia (MAGA) is caused by the conversion of the terminal to vellus hair. Zinc is one of the most studied trace elements in hair disorders and biotin is one of the most prescribed supplement for its treatment.

Objectives: The study aimed to evaluate serum zinc and biotin levels in MAGA patients to answer the question if there is a value to add zinc or biotin as a supplements in the MAGA treatment.

Patients and methods: Sixty MAGA patients and 60 age, sex, and body mass index-matched healthy volunteers were included. We measured serum biotin and zinc in all participants.

Results: Zinc (µg/dL) was lower significantly in patients compared to controls (P = 0.01), suboptimal biotin (ng/L) levels were in patients, and within normal values in controls (P = 0.01). A positive significant correlation was found between serum zinc and serum biotin (r = 0.489, P = 0.001). Serum zinc and biotin showed a nonsignificant correlation with age and disease duration. A non-significant relation was obtained between the MAGA grades, and zinc (P = 0.485) and biotin levels (P = 0.367).

Conclusions: Serum zinc showed subnormal value and adding zinc supplement in MAGA treatment is recommended. Serum biotin showed a suboptimal level in MAGA patients that is not correlated with patients' age or disease severity. Biotin supplement in MAGA treatment may add value to hair quality and texture. We recommend future biotin evaluation in serum combined with its metabolites in MAGA patients' urine.

Keywords: androgenetic alopecia; biotin; serum; zinc.