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Vitamins and Minerals to Treat Brittle Nails


By Staff Writer

Vitmamins and minerals to treat brittle nailsA lack of several vitamins and minerals can contribute to brittle nails. Deficiencies in B vitamins and vitamin A, iron and calcium may contribute to brittle nails. However, there are no studies that conclusively prove that these supplementing with these vitamins and minerals will improve the condition of nails. A lack of vitamin H, known as biotin, may also lead to brittle nails. Two recent studies showed that taking biotin helped improve nail strength. Even though the evidence isn't especially strong, a biotin supplement may be worth trying if your nail condition bothers you. Biotin supplements come in doses of 300 to 1,000 micrograms. Two doses of 1,000 mcg taken with meals are similar to the doses used in these studies. If nausea, cramps, diarrhea or other side effects develop discontinue use.

 

Sources: Hochman, L.G., R.K. Scher, M.S. Meyerson. "Brittle nails: response to daily biotin supplementation," Cutis 51 (1993).Colombo, V.E., F. Gerber, M. Bronhofer, G.L. Floersheim. "Treatment of Brittle fingernails and Onychoschizia with Biotin: Scanning Electron Microscopy," Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 23 (1993).Forbes, G.M., A. Forbes. "Micronutrient Status in Patients Receiving Home Parenteral Nutrition," Nutrition 13 (1997).Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. American Pharmaceutical Association, 1996.Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Avery Publishing Group, 1997.Silverman, H.M., J.A. Romano, G. Elmer. The Vitamin Book. Bantam Books, 1999.Habif, Thomas. Clinical Dermatology. Mosby-Year Book Inc., 1996.Micromedex® Healthcare Series. Thomson Micromedex, 2007.This answer prepared 7/25/2000.This information updated 1/4/2007.

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