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6 Vital Vitamins and Supplements for Healthy Nails

Your nails are continuously repaired and new cells and tissues are formed. They need nutrients that support their growth and development of new cells and help them in their function. Some vitamins and supplements for healthy nails can be beneficial.

It is known that several medical conditions including nutritional deficiencies can manifest their presentation through nail changes. Several nutrient supplementation and application are found to be effective in brittle nails and improve nail health.1

6 Vital Vitamins and Supplements for Healthy Nails

As a part of good health, you also need to care for your nails. Your nails can show many changes that speak about your health. While a healthy diet with the right nutrients in the right amounts can help, certain vitamins and supplements for healthy nails are popular.

Just like your skin, your nails too reflect your health. Nails that are discolored, ridged, or streaked may mean there is some underlying health concern. Brittle, dry, curled nails may be an indication of unhealthy nails. Changes in the way the nails look, their shape, color, and texture can point toward nutritional deficiencies. In such cases, vitamins and supplements may be useful and can be considered with medical advice.

Here are some of the most helpful vitamins and supplements for healthy nails that have the potential to keep your nails healthy and strong.

  1. Biotin

    This is vitamin B7, also known as Biotin is one of the most effective vitamins and supplements for healthy nails.

    A 2007 review confirmed that supplementation of a 2.5mg dose of Biotin in brittle nails helped subside the complaints.2

    A study states that so far the best-documented evidence of supplements for healthy nails is with Biotin supplementation to treat brittle nail syndrome. It is noted that the beneficial effects usually start after 2 to 3 months of supplementation.1

  2. Vitamin B Complex

    Other B vitamin deficiencies are also associated with nail changes like transverse lines, changes in shape, texture, or color, brownish or bluish discoloration, and hyperpigmentation.1 These are often seen in vitamin B3 and B12, while other B vitamins too play a vital role in maintaining nail health. Vitamin B9 or folate is also important for nail health, as it helps the growth and helps in the development of new cells and tissues. Hence a supplementation with vitamin B complex for healthy nails may be useful, particularly in those having vitamin deficiencies.

    A 2020 study presented a case study confirming the nail changes and blackening of nails due to vitamin B12 deficiency, which was noted on examination. On vitamin B12 supplementation, the condition was reversed while serum B12 levels also normalized.3

  3. Vitamin C

    Known for repair, vitamin C is an important nutrient when it comes to hemorrhages mostly due to trauma. Vitamin C deficiency leads to splinter hemorrhages in the nails, formed by the extravasation of blood vessels in the nail bed.1

    It can also result in slow growth of nails or brittle nails. As vitamin C is essential for the formation of collagen, it helps protects tissue integrity and maintain the shape and strength of nails. Hence, it is considered one of the best vitamins and supplements for healthy nails.

  4. Iron

    As iron plays an important role in hemoglobin and oxygen supply to the body cells, it is also necessary for good nail health. Iron is also one of the most essential nutrients and supplements for healthy nails. The pallor of the nail bed, koilonychia (spoon nails), and brittle nails are often a sign of iron deficiency. Deficiency of iron is a major concern, hence, if suspected skin and nail changes, timely management can help not only to maintain healthy nails but also to improve overall health.4

    Studies have confirmed that extended supplementation with iron can reduce the brittleness of already brittle nails even in patients without obvious iron deficiency.1

  5. Zinc

    Zinc is responsible for cellular processes and the growth and division of cells. Thus it plays an important role in the growth of nails and zinc is necessary to ensure the healthy growth and development of nails. Zinc deficiency can cause nail changes like vertical lines, white spots, or brittle nails.1 Zinc supplementation can help overcome the inadequacies and promote better nail growth.

Other Supplements for Healthy Nails

As nails are constantly growing, nail health is largely dependent on protein intake. Nail changes and impaired nail growth are very common in protein-energy malnutrition, which can harm health as well. While proteins can be obtained through diet, if the growth is affected to a great extent, supplements may be considered.

Water content too adds to the hydration of skin and nails while essential fatty acids are necessary for growth. It is necessary to ensure adequate water intake and fatty acids supplements for healthy nails may be useful.

Minerals like calcium and magnesium are also thought to be associated with nail health. In some cases, with existing nutritional disorders there may be altered levels of calcium and magnesium that could affect nail health. Hence, these may be considered helpful supplements for healthy nails, particularly if there is a deficiency.

Some substances are popularly known to improve nail health, but clear evidence is lacking, hence they are best taken with medical advice and as per the requirement. These include gelatin, cystine, L-methionine, keratin, collagen, pantothenic acid, salt, millet, yeast, chromium, and rhodanates.1

While there is not much evidence about fat-soluble vitamins, some literature reports that Vitamin D deficiency can cause longitudinal melanonychia, which is blackish discoloration. Also, vitamin E has been reported to help reduce nail changes in yellow nail syndrome.1 Hence, in such cases, supplementation may be considered, based on the individual requirement.


For the treatment of brittle nails, including biotin, application of essential fatty acids, and consumption of vitamin C, pyridoxine, iron, vitamin D, calcium, amino acids, and gelatin can have a positive impact.1

Vitamins and supplements for healthy nails can be useful in many cases. Nail changes can also result from underlying health problems that may need medical attention.

Conditions like thyroid problems and certain respiratory illnesses also show nail changes. Hence, if nail problems persist or any other symptoms are associated with it, it is best to seek medical advice.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 9, 2022

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