The fingernails protect the nerve-rich fingertips from injury. Nails are composed of protein, keratin, and sulfur. The nail bed is the skin on top of which the nails grow. Nails grow from .05 to 1.2 millimeters a week.
Reasons for nail changes or nail abnormalities
Nail changes or abnormalities are often the results of nutritional deficiencies produce the following changes in the nails:
- Lack of vitamin A and calcium causes dryness and brittleness.
- A vitamin B deficiency causes fragility, with horizontal and vertical ridges.
- Insufficient intake of vitamin B12 leads to excessive dryness, very rounded and curved nail ends, and darkened nails.
- Lack of protein, folic acid, and vitamin C causes hangnails. White bands are also an indication of protein deficiency.
- If there is insufficient “friendly” bacteria (lactobacillus) present in the body, fungus forms under and around nails.
- Lack of hydrochloric acid (HCI) contributes to splitting nails.
- “Spoon” nails and/or vertical ridges may indicate iron deficiency.
|Protein (Free form amino acids)||The building materials for new nails. Free-form amino acids are rapidly absorbed and assimilated by the body.|
vitamin A emulsion
|25,000 IU daily
50,000 IU daily
|The body cannot utilize protein without vitamin A. The emulsion form is more readily assimilated.|
|Brewer’s Yeast||As directed on the label.||Contains all the needed nutrients; high in protein|
|Calcium and magnesium and vitamin D||As directed on the label.||Necessary for nail growth|
|Gelatin||As directed on the label||Foundation for nails|
|Iron (Floradix formula)||As directed on the label||Iron deficiency produces “spoon” nails and/or vertical ridges|
|L-Cysteine and L-methionine (amino acids)||As directed on the label||Contains sulfur, which is necessary for skin and nail growth.|
|Silicon (oat straw tea and horsetail)||As directed on the label. Available also in tablet form||Needed for hair, bones, and strong nails|
|Vitamin B complex plus extra riboflavin (b2) and vitamin B12 and folic acid||A Vitamin B deficiency results in strong nails|
|Vitamin C||3,000 mg daily||Hangnails and inflammation of the tissue surrounding the nail (i.e., paronychia) are linked to vitamin C deficiency.|