The truth about weak, brittle nails - and two nutrients that can strengthen them

March 14, 2014
Volume 2    |   Issue 11

Do your fingernails break easily? Weak and brittle nails can be frustrating. They can also be painful when a nail breaks low into the cuticle. And they can be embarrassing. You just want to hide them... at meetings... social events... having coffee with friends.

A manicure can cover up the problem. But it's expensive, and it doesn't fix your nails permanently. Wouldn't it be great to have great nails naturally? Well, it really is possible.

That's because fingernails turn brittle with certain diseases, nutritional deficiencies, medications, and trauma to the nails. These are often fairly easy to reverse.

With a few specific nutrients in your diet, you can add strength and flexibility to your nails. You see, when you get to the root of the problem, you can have naturally wonderful fingernails that require minimal care.

In fact, studies have shown that two specific supplements are great for fingernails. In the first study, researchers recruited women with fragile and brittle nails. They examined the effects of various supplements on nail strength. The nutrients included vitamins A and E, B-12, zinc, copper and several others. None of the supplements showed any results - except for two.

In the end, women who took daily doses of 10 ml colloidal silica acid or 2.5 mg biotin had stronger nails.

Colloidal silica acid (aka, silica) is a form of silicon, an essential element that your body produces. In studies, silica appears to support healthy skin. There is also evidence that silica helps improve brittle nails and hair.

In another randomized study, researchers recruited 50 women with sun-damaged facial skin. After 20 weeks, the group taking silica had significant improvements in skin "roughness."  Their hair and nail "brittleness" also improved. The end result was a "significant positive effect," the researchers add.

Biotin is a B vitamin that aids the body's breakdown of fats and other nutrients. Several small studies have suggested that biotin can also help improve brittle nails. One study from Switzerland showed a 25% increase in nail thickness in women who took biotin for six months.

Many foods contain small amounts of biotin - especially leafy green vegetables like Swiss chard. However, pregnancy, diabetes, and other health conditions can deplete the body's biotin reserves. So it's important to get sufficient biotin. And a supplement ensures that you do.

Imagine having strong, wonderful nails in a matter of weeks - nails that don't require expensive manicures to look great. And yet, if you feel like treating yourself, you can still enjoy that mani-pedi.

To your health, naturally,







Sources:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1473-2130.2004.00084.x/abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17763607

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00403-005-0584-6#page-1

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8477615

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