Just Ask Terry

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My nails have been splitting and cracking for the past few years.

Q. Greetings Terry, “My nails have been splitting and cracking for the past few years. I used to get a lot of manicures and think I might have damaged my nails in the process. Are there things I can try and do to naturally fix this problem?” — Willow K., East Providence, RI

A. Dear Willow, The first thing that comes to mind is that you may be lacking the mineral silica. For issues that primarily affect the nails and hair, silica is one of the most important minerals we need. Silica is found throughout the body; however, the highest concentrations occur in connective tissues, such as nails, skin, hair, and teeth, which are especially dependent on silica for strength and resilience. It’s also a major building block of collagen, which helps keep skin supple and blood vessels strong. As the body ages, it tends to undergo a steady loss of minerals. Some of these minerals are well known, like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Silica is lost at an even greater rate than these other essential minerals.

I prefer an organic silica obtained from the above-ground parts of the spring horsetail (Equisetum arvense) plant. Silica tends to be poorly absorbed, so look for a product that is clinically studied, extremely soluble, and virtually 100% bioavailable. I recommend finding a horsetail extract that provides 40 mg of silica daily. I would take silica twice daily.

Nails grow at a rate of about 1/8th of an inch per month, so please be patient as it can take several months to notice a difference.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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