Just Ask Terry

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My nails seem to break easy and they have faint vertical lines.


Q. Hello Terry, “My nails seem to break easy and they have faint vertical lines. My doctor doesn’t seem concerned, but it bothers me as my nails used to be much healthier. What can I take to help my nails?” — Kristie L., Nashua, NH

A. Dear Kristie, The first thing that comes to mind is that you may be lacking the mineral silica. Many people never think about silica when it comes to nails, hair, and bone health, but it 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. But silica is lost at an even greater rate than these other essential minerals.

I prefer using an organic silica obtained from the above-ground parts of the spring horsetail (Equisetum arvense) plant. Because silica is poorly absorbed, you also want to look for a product that contains bioflavonoids and lipids – these help to enhance absorption and provide optimal benefits. 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. I would take 1600 mg of horsetail (standardized to 40 mg of silica) per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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