The condition of your nails provides insight into your overall health. Your body continuously gives rise to new keratinized nail tissue that forms the nail plate, or the visible nail. The American Academy of Dermatology says that the most common kind of nail problems is nail fungus. This condition affects approximately 12 percent of all Americans. The infection can run in families but everyone is susceptible. Consider a selection of supplements in the forms of oral, capsules and tablets you can take that will reduce the severity or prevent nail fungus. Female nail habits and use of common tools to clean and reshape nails at spas doubles the percent of such infections.


Zinc is an essential trace mineral. It contains antioxidant properties, which is important for protecting your cells and organs from damage that may be caused by free radicals. The mineral helps to treat nail fungus by removing bacteria from the infection, but does not remove it completely. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, white spots on the fingernails may be a indication of a zinc deficiency or an underlying medical condition.

Vitamin B12

vitamin B12 is important for helping to treat nails that are brittle and break easily, which may be a sign of low amounts of vitamin B12 in your body. A vitamin B12 deficiency may cause nail fungus or similar infections as the nails vitamin C.
Vitamin C assists in keeping your nails hydrated and also helps to fight off free radicals, due to its antioxidant properties. low intake of vitamin C can result in brittle and dry fingernails. In addition, it may also contribute to the development of hangnails. Also, the nails may turn very round and turn dark if you do not have enough vitamin B12 in your body.


The B-complex family of vitamins ( eight related water-soluble vitamins ) play a role in the health of your nails. If you suffer from weakened nails as a result of a B-vitamin deficiency, taking a B-vitamin supplement might help harden your nails. General deficiencies in B vitamins can lead to nail ridging, according to Emory University. Without vitamin B, your nail bed cannot properly support nail growth, leading to the development of longitudinal ridges on the nail. This weakens the overall structure of the nail plate, creating soft, breakable nails. Taking a B-complex vitamin can help to fight a general B-vitamin deficiency, hardening nails by preventing nail ridging.

Effect of Folic Acid

Another vitamin particularly important to nail health is folic acid, or vitamin B-9. A failure to consume enough vitamin B-9 can lead to the development of a ridge that runs along the center of the fingernail, according to Emory University. This weakened ridge can easily become damaged, causing nail splitting. Restoring proper folic acid intake by taking a vitamin supplement can support proper nail growth, helping to re-harden the nail plate.

Effect of Biotin

One specific B-vitamin that can have an effect on nail hardness and strength is biotin, also called vitamin H or vitamin B-7. Biotin aids in the maintenance of several keratinized tissues, including your nails, skin and hair. A biotin deficiency can lead to brittle nails, as well as dull and thin hair. Taking a biotin vitamin supplement might help to strengthen brittle nails by thickening to nail plate and preventing damage, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

Other nutrients

Silica, copper and selenium are among important micronutrients that help better nail growth, hardening and prevent nail tissue infections.

Other Possible Causes of Nail Disorders

While B-vitamins can help harden your nails in some cases, they might not treat weakened nails caused by other underlying disorders. Some disorders, such as autoimmune diseases, can interfere with new nail growth, leading to weakened nails. In addition, deficiencies in other nutrients, such as protein or dietary minerals, can also harm nail growth, causing weak nails. If you suffer from very weak nails or other nail disorders, consult a clinical dietician to determine the underlying cause before taking a B- vitamin supplement.

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