Vitamins to Help Cracked Nails

by Catherine Colombo

There are several causes of cracked and split fingernails. Besides physical trauma, cracked and split nails can result from prolonged exposure to water, such as baths, showers, dish washing or swimming. This exposure can break down the cells that keep your fingernails intact, the same with habitually using nail polish and nail polish remover. Cracked fingernails also are caused by vitamin deficiencies. Certain vitamins appear to be crucial in helping fingernails stay healthy and intact.

B12

Not getting enough B12 in your diet can cause your fingernails to dry out, causing them to crack and split. B12 deficiencies can cause your fingernails to become rounded and curved and even cause your nails to change color. You can find B12 as daily supplements in the vitamin aisle. You can also try to add more B12-rich foods, such as eggs, lentils, soy, bananas and spinach, to your diet, .

Vitamin A

According to health site Home-remedies-for-you.com, Vitamin A deficiencies affect your nail health because vitamin A helps the body process protein. Protein is an important presence in your fingernails. Having a low intake of vitamin A may make it difficult for you to process proteins, causing hangnails and brittle nails that crack. Vitamin A contains retinoid, which when deficient can make your nails fragile, soft and weak. You can take a daily multivitamin that contains vitamin A or add certain foods to your diet to make sure your levels are adequate. Vitamin A-rich foods consist of dairy products, mangoes, carrots and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin D

Not consuming enough vitamin D can lead to brittle and dry fingernails. Not having enough vitamin D can decrease how much calcium you absorb in your body, affecting the health of your nails and causing dryness and brittleness. To stop your nails from becoming weak and splitting, try to eat plenty of fruits and raw vegetables, and consider taking vitamin D supplements. Try to eat foods such as broccoli, eggs, milk, dairy products, tuna and whole grains. Make sure you're drinking plenty of water as well!

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

Catherine Colombo is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore. She received her Bachelor of Science in written communications and English language, graduating with honors from Eastern Michigan University. Colombo has participated in publishing, fiction, mixed media and poetry symposiums since 2001.