Healthy eating is an important part of hair growth and that’s why supplements like Nutrafol remain popular out there. However, behind this popularity is a topic that very few people are willing to talk about i.e., the side effects of Nutrafol.
Like any other dietary supplement, this hair supplement is made up of a list of ingredients some of which you might fall in love with and others which you might even be allergic to.
Let’s take a look at some of the less known harmful effects of taking Nutrafol. And by the way how safe are pregnant women when taking it? Here are the details.
Nutrafol Hair Supplement & Its Potential Side Effects
Nutrafol’s list of ingredients comprises a wide range of natural herbs and powders. However, even though most of them are widely considered safe, a few of them may trigger some harmful effects especially if one is allergic to them or in the event of an over-dose. Let’s shed light on those.
Biotin – Oily Skin and Acne Breakouts
The FDA does not provide a recommended dietary allowance for biotin. However, leading publications such as Mayo Clinic recommend 30 to 100mcg daily recommended intake for it.
Seeing as Nutrafol has 3000mcg per dose, we theorize that this creates a high likelihood of experiencing the side effects of excessive Biotin intake.
Some of those include acne breakouts and skin oiliness. The reason for this is that, excessive biotin intake can prevent your body from absorbing crucial nutrients that typically counteract the effects of acne.
For example, Biotin is absorbed through the same pathways as Vitamin B5, therefore, taking excessive quantities of it can theoretically reduce the absorption of this crucial vitamin.
L-Cysteine – Stomach Cramps and Irritated GI
Two peer-reviewed studies (this & this) published on the National Library of Medicine website note that excessive consumption of L-Cysteine led to focal erosion in the stomach mucosa. This is normally characterized by ulcer-like symptoms which may include:
- A burning sensation in stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Mild nausea.
L-Cysteine forms a key part of the Nutrafol Proprietary blend which comprises 530 mg of assorted ingredients.
As it is a blend, we cannot tell exactly how much of the ingredient is in the product. Anecdotal reviews, however, seem to suggest that Nutrafol does indeed cause stomach cramps. A coincidence?
Iodine from Organic Kelp – Elevated Risk of Autoimmune Thyroiditis
Organic Kelp (Laminaria Digitata) is a rich source of iodine. And while largely safe, it can cause thyroid diseases in some people. So, it might be ideal to talk to a doctor prior to using Nutrafol especially if you have been diagnosed with hyper- or hypothyroidism in the past.
Note that the levels of iodine in Nutrafol are relatively low but can still cause a problem in people who have already been having issues with thyroid hormone production.
Marine Collagen – Bloating and Feeling Full
The marine collagen ingredient is found in the Nutrafol core formula and forms a key part of the product’s hair and nail strengthening benefits. However, as beneficial as it is, it can lead to a number of digestive side effects such as bloating, feelings of fullness, and even heartburn in some cases.
However, these side effects are rare and the ingredient appears to be safe for most people.
Is It Safe to Take Nutrafol When Pregnant?
You should avoid taking over-the-counter supplements if you are pregnant without first-seeking permission from your doctor.
That said, Nutrafol has a postpartum-specific OB-GYN developed product that you can use as part of your recovery formula during the first year of giving birth.
This alternative formula is packed with breast-feeding safe ingredients like theanine, DHA omega 3s, and Nettle among others.
Anecdotal Claims about the Nutrafol Side Effects
Anecdotes are experiences based on individual observations. As such, they can be biased or even downright misleading. They also tend to vary from one person to another and this is exactly the case with some of the harmful effects reported about Nutrafol so far.
For instance, one Amazon user (@mellamia) complained of tinnitus and unpleasant sensations at the jaw area after using Nutrafol.
Another Amazon user (@Yo) said that they experienced facial hair growth particularly on their forehead, cheek bones, and the neck. We could not verify these claims and no photos were attached by the user.
There was also one Connie Soper on Amazon who claimed that they experienced depressive symptoms after taking Nutrafol. It is not clear whether the user had pre-existing depressive symptoms judging from their post.
Much as it is a well-made product, Nutrafol has got its fair share of claimed side effects. The negative effects tend to vary from one person to the next – with most people not experiencing them at all.