If you have heard the saying that ‘your hands can tell your age,’ then I’m sure you also know the one that says ‘your fingernails can say a lot about your health.’
A change in the appearance, texture, or shape of your nails can indicate nutrient deficiencies. If your nails are not growing or taking long to grow, it could mean you’re lacking vitamins and need to improve your diet or add a supplement. Supplements with biotin, b vitamins, iron, and magnesium, can support optimal nail growth.
Adequate vitamins, minerals, and proper nutrient intake help support the growth, formation, and strength of new nail cells. If you are interested in what supplements are best to improve the health and development of your nails, continue reading.
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Nail Growth and Nutrition
The nail beds at the tip of your fingers are producing nail tissue. New nail plate cells grow, pushing forward by continuous cell reproduction. They slowly harden until they’re entirely keratinised; the newly formed nail is then guided along the nail grooves.
Like general human growth, including hair, bones, teeth, etc., the entire process is a natural process of the human body. These processes slow down or develop problems if the body doesn’t have enough nutrition to keep the cells healthy.
A rich nutrient-dense diet is the best way to achieve healthy, shiny, and strong nail growth.
Can supplements impact nail growth?
Many supplements are marketed for nail strength and growing nails, but scientific evidence is lacking in this aspect. Biotinis the only type shown to have a possible impact.
However, it is essential to remember that any vitamin, mineral, or other nutrient deficiencies can negatively affect your nail health.
Food is the best way to get your nutrition, but sometimes there is a lack of certain nutrients in your diet, and supplements can help to fill that gap and meet your nutritional needs.
When your health is on track and you receive the correct nutrition value your diet needs, your overall health will improve, including your nail growth.
Important nutrients that help with nail growth
Biotin is a B-complex vitamin known as B7, coenzyme R, and vitamin H. It promotes healthy cell growth and aids in the metabolism of protein-building amino acids. These amino acids are essential for nail growth.
A recent study shows that biotin-rich supplements can help strengthen brittle fingernails.
Biotin deficiency is quite rare, and the NHS suggests that up to 0.9mg per day in supplement form is unlikely to cause harm.
Biotin is found in egg yolks, organ meats, nuts and cauliflower.
Additional B Vitamins
Apart from biotin, other B vitamins are also important for healthy nail growth. Vitamin B12 helps with iron absorption and the development of red blood cells.
A vitamin B12 deficiency can result in entirely blue nails, bluish-black pigments with wavy longitudinal dark streaks, and a brownish pigmentation.
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is important for nail growth and health by contributing to the red blood cell formation and development of new cells.
A folate deficiency can cause a pigment change on your nails and also make them rigid and brittle.
The adult requirement for vitamin B9 is 200 mcg per day.
Vitamin B12 and folate have a role in red blood cell production and oxygen transportation to the developing nail cells.
Dark green vegetables are rich in folate, and vitamin B12 is found in animal food such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy.
Iron makes up the centre of red blood cells. The red blood cells carry oxygen to every cell in your body, including your nail cells. A lack of iron means that the oxygen does not get transported adequately to your cells.
Iron deficiency can lead to vertical ridges, and your nails may concave.
The recommended amount for iron varies for age and gender, but young to middle-aged women typically require more than men until they reach menopause.
Iron is found in animal food such as meat, fish, eggs, and also plant foods such as dark leafy greens.
Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that gives your tissues their shape, strength, and integrity.It is a vital part of the development of your nails. Vitamin C deficiency can result in brittle nails and slowed nail growth.
Your body cannot produce vitamin C, and because it is an essential nutrient, the recommended amount per day is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, and so are bell peppers and tomatoes.
Zinc is required for many reactions in your body, which includes the growth and division of cells. Nails are made up of cells that grow and divide rapidly. Due to this fast production, a steady supply of zinc is required to promote the healthy growth of nails.
Zinc deficiency can lead to degeneration of your nail plate and cause white spots on your nails.
The recommended amount for zinc per day is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women.
Animal proteins are rich sources of zinc. Soy, chickpeas, nuts, and seeds also contain zinc.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 helps to lubricate and moisturise your nails, which is what gives them a shiny appearance.
These fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in your nail bed, which can nourish and promote the health of cells. A lack of omega 3 fatty acids can lead to dry, brittle nails and slowed nail growth.
Fatty fish like salmon are rich in omega 3s. You can also find them in walnuts, soy, eggs, and chia seeds.
Primarily, nails are made up of a fibrous structural protein called keratin. Your nails get their strength and resilience from this keratin, and it also protects your nails from damage or stress.
The keratin you see is actually dead because nails are formed by dead cells, which your body sheds as new cells push up from the root underneath.
A protein-rich diet is essential for boosting keratin production and creating solid nails. A low protein intake can cause weak, brittle nails.
Protein is found in animal foods and also soy, lentils, and beans.
A lack of magnesium can lead to vertical ridges and slowed nail growth.
The recommended amount per day is 400 mg for men and 310 mg for women.
Whole grains, dark leafy veggies, and some nuts are a rich source of magnesium.
Choose the correct supplements
The above vitamins and nutrients are some of the main factors that go into healthy nail growth. Supplements containing a blend of these substances are likely to provide the best results for overall health and nail growth.
Always consult your doctor before starting supplements, particularly if you have any medical conditions which could be causing problems with your nail growth. Supplements should be used alongside a healthy, balanced lifestyle and are not a substitute for food.
The best nail growth Supplements UK
From all the nail growth supplements we’ve tried, these are the best we’ve found available in the UK:
1. Horbaach – Hair, Skin & Nails
Horbaach is a hair, skin, and nails supplement containing biotin, zinc, and selenium. Additionally, it has vitamin C and a range of B vitamins, folic acid, vitamin E, D3, and more. It is GMP Certified (Good Manufacturing Practices). It contains 120 tablets, and the dosage is one tablet per day for adults.
Solgar is a skin, nails, and hair formula for the building of collagen. It contains vitamin C and is suitable for vegans. It is sugar, salt, and starch-free. It also contains zinc, copper, OptiMSM, silica (from red algae), and amino acids. It is a “Gold Standard” for excellence. There are 120 tablets, and the daily dosage is two tablets.
3. The Sweet Science Co. – Hair, Skin, & Nails Gummies
The Sweet Science Co. offers these gummy vitamins for women who find swallowing tablets difficult. It’s infused with biotin, vitamin D3, and B12. It contains 60 gummies for a one-month supply and comes in a tasty blackcurrant flavour. These yummy gummies are packaged in the UK in ISO Licensed Facilities.
This Biotin supplement is an all-natural formula with the entire vitamin B7 activity to support healthy hair, nails, and skin. It is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It is one of the more affordable supplements because the fancy packaging has been cut out. There are 120 tablets, and you only need one a day.
Chewy Vites are gummy vitamins for adults and contain extra-strength biotin. It includes zinc, selenium, vitamin A, C, and niacin which all contribute to the healthy growth of nails. Chewy Vites are made with real fruit juice. It contains 60 yummy gummies, which is a two-month supply.
MaxMedix is a gummy biotin supplement for men and women containing vitamin C, vitamin D, B complex, vitamin E, and zinc. It has a natural raspberry and blueberry flavour. It is made in the UK through a strict GMP manufacturing process. The daily dosage is two gummies, and there are 60 included.
This is a high-strength supplement that contains biotin and zinc for hair, skin, and nails. It has a six-month supply of 180 capsules, and you need 1 per day. It is made in the UK and is suitable for vegans.
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