Just Ask Terry

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My nails seem to be cracking and are more brittle than normal.

Q. Dear Terry, “My nails seem to be cracking and are more brittle than normal. I haven’t changed my diet recently. Is there something that might be missing from my diet?” — Shirley P., Vancouver, WA

A. Dear Shirley, 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.

Nails grow at a rate of about one eighth 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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