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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
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GR8 Supplements for Healthier Nails

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Most of us look at our bare nails with worry. Without our non-toxic nail polish, we’re left with white spots, blue hues, and brittleness that not only bring down your nail game but are also signals that something important about your health is in trouble.

Beyond strengthening nail polishes and regenerating cuticle oils and balms, our nails need some TLC. To start, there are nail-strengthening foods we should all include in our diets. Then, supplements come in.

Do Nail Supplements Even Work?

They do, but not for everyone. In reality, supplements are meant for those struggling with health concerns that interfere with their ability to absorb certain nutrients.

In the case of nails health, we’re talking about those struggling with low levels of iron, vitamins B, and magnesium, for example. Various studies back up the benefits of supplemental biotin, helping nail regrowth. However, all patients had an underlying pathology for damaged hair and nails. Those without medical conditions that interfere with nail growth may not see any difference.

Signs Your Nails Need Some Extra Attention

Having healthy nails is all about avoiding the wrong things, and doing what you can to ensure you’re taking good sources of nutrients. You can eat for your nails, but the previous recommendations are available in supplement form as well.

Be aware of these signs that your nails might need some extra love via supplementation.

  • Bluish appearance
  • Pale or whiteness
  • Ridges or rippling on the surface
  • Yellowing
  • White marks or spots
sliced tomatoes next to a pile of different healthy nuts
Image by Shutterstock
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Biotin

Take if you’re trying to regenerate your nails.

  • Promotes nail growth
  • Take for at least 4 months to see benefits
  • 2,000 – 3,000 micrograms per day
A variety of foods rich in zinc including liver, seafood, and nuts
Image by Shutterstock
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Zinc

Take if your nails have spot discolorations or if your nails split often.

  • Prevents spots of discoloration
  • Take for at least 2 months to see benefits
  • 11 and 8 milligrams for men and women respectively
Sliced grapefruit and limes next to un-sliced lemons and limes
Image by Shutterstock
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Vitamin C

Take if you have brittle nails and notice slowed nail growth.

  • Promotes nail growth and overall health
  • Avoid long-term supplementation
  • 90 and 75 milligrams for men and women respectively
2 iron supplement pills held int he palm of a hand
Image by Mia Studio / Shutterstock
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Iron

Take if you notice your nails concave or “spoon.”

  • Promotes keratin production
  • Take for at least 2 months to see benefits
  • 8 and 18 milligrams for men and women respectively
A variety of healthy foods rich in magnesium such as oats, beans, and spinach
Image by artem evdokimov / Shutterstock
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Magnesium

Take if you notice vertical ridges in your nails.

  • Promotes protein synthesis for nail growth
  • Take for at least 6 months to see results
  • 400 and 310 milligrams for men and women respectively
A variety of healthy foods rich in vitamin b12 such as salmon, cheese, and oats
Image by bitt24 / Shutterstock
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Vitamin B12

Take if your nails have bluish-black pigments with wavy longitudinal dark streaks and brownish pigmentation.

  • Supports iron absorption to keep nails strong
  • Take for at least 6 months to see results
  • 1 – 25 micrograms per day
omega 3 vitamins
Image by Yevhen Roshchyn / Shutterstock
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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Take for a moisturized, shiny appearance.

  • Reduces inflammation in the nail bed
  • Prevents dry, brittle nails
  • Maintains health of nail cells
  • 250–500 mg minimum per day


plate of food rich in vitamin b
Image by Ekaterina Markelova / Shutterstock
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Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

Take for nail growth and stronger nails.

  • Assists with cell regeneration
  • Promotes growth
  • Improves surface quality of nail
  • 400 mg per day

Note: There is not sufficient scientific evidence to support that folic acid alone improves nail health.

plate of calcium rich foods
Image by Oleksandra Naumenko / Shutterstock
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Calcium

Take if your nails are weak and brittle, or have short, white marks.

  • Promotes regular growth
  • Helps with nail chipping
  • Treats hypocalcemia
  • 1,200 - 1,500 mg per day


chocolate protein powder
Image by Nick Starichenko / Shutterstock
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Protein Powder

Take for overall health of nails.


vitamin e oil in a bottle
Image by Olha Kozachenko / Shutterstock
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Vitamin E

Take if your nails are yellowing.

  • Assist health of nail bed
  • Improve strength
  • Prevent further yellowing
  • Apply oil topically


plate of foods containing vitamin a
Image by Elena Hramova / Shutterstock
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Vitamin A

Take for hydration and strength.

  • Stimulate nail growth
  • Assist with health of cuticles
  • Good source of beta-carotene

Note: There is not sufficient scientific evidence to support that vitamin A alone improves nail health. We need more research to prove it.

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Geraldine
GR8NESS Writer
Geraldine is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about self care, clean makeup and beauty, mental health, and relationships – as well as natural remedies and fitness. She’s a coffee enthusiast with Venezuelan roots, a former ballerina, and the sunscreen patrol. Most of the time, you can find her working on her skincare routine or trying a new dance workout.
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