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Do any of you ever get brittle and breaking nails? I get them every once in awhile and I think it's when I may not be getting enough protein. I think I should increase my soy bev. intake for starters. I'm not underweight by any means but I may be needing something more in my diet. I've been taking a multivitamin daily for a week or so. I had forgotten to take it for quite awhile. Appreciate any ideas.
 

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Several friends recommended taking biotin and primrose oil supplements for strong, healthy hair and nails.<br><br><br><br>
I take both (when I don't forget - I'm terrible with medicine) and have stronger nails now than I ever have......
 

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Nails are made up mostly of protein, I think. I think it's keratin. Same kind of protein that hair and the outside (dead) layer of skin are made of, I think. People have recommended eating gelatin to improve the strength of nails, because it is a similar protein, made from the nails and skin, etcetera, of animals. However I don't think there is any evidence that it is any better for your nails than any other protein, animal or vegetable. We break proteins into their constituent amino acids, and then reassemble them. Since the same amino acids figure in different kinds of proteins, it shouldn't make any difference what kind of protein you get, as long as you get all the dietarily essential amino acids. I don't think you need the dea amino acids in "balanced" ratios, either -- just as long as you get enough of all of them. So yes i think a protein deficiency can contribute to cracking nails. I think calcium may be involved, in small amounts, as well as other micronutrients. For some reason my finger nails are excellent, but my toenails tend to be rubbery or something. When I was younger they used to be strong like my fingernails. I think it must be due to wearing socks and shoes. My fingernails are as strong as ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You know, I cut my finger nails down to the point you can hardly see the white. I keep them short to play guitar. Anyhow, once in a blue moon I'll go a few week without playing. And my nails are so much thicker since I've been cutting them. The way I see it, nails are in layers. I think that by constantly cutting my nails all the layers are the same length and therefore are stronger. Sounds good to me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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i like to keep mine a little long. i've been told before that my nails are so nice i must not do any work or chores. but my nails are just very strong, always have been. i break one now and then, usually takes a good whack on a counter or something to break them though.<br><br>
but you're right, if i don't cut or file them for a good while, the ends peel and split and my nails get weak. that's when they break the most, so as soon as i see the end starting to split i'll cut them down and they're good as new. they're short right now, but even when they're short they look long cause my nail bed extends past the end of my finger plus i have really skinny fingers which makes them seem longer than they are.<br><br><br><br>
not sure what it is that makes nails strong, but i think i remember hearing about keratin too, i guess i get enough of it or whatever else it may be. i do however get white spots on my nails sometimes, and if i get lazy with my eating habits for a few weeks they get ridges.
 

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Are you vegan or veg?<br><br><br><br>
When I was vegan I was seriously lacking something that was causing the same problem, and I couldn't figure out what it was. IN the end it only got better after I went back to being vegetarian- so I imagine it had something to do with my calcium levels. My hair got all dull and icky looking too.<br><br><br><br>
(Not dissing veganism- just saying I didn't manage it right myself...)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I filed and cut some of my nails and they look better. Some were ripping off to the skin-that hurts. My toe nails were like sawdust when I cut them the other day-just fell apart. Strange. I am presently lactoovo or ovolacto...not sure how that goes. Funny thing is, though, I now prefer soy bev. over milk and don't buy a lot of milk any more. If I can't get to the health store I get milk on rare occasions. I should keep a count on how many grams of protein I'm getting. I think vegetarians need more protein, something like 60 grams a day. I've been eating more bread than anything lately and not enough protein. I'm going to get a calcium supplement when I get to the discount store. I could use it with the joint problems I have now, too.
 

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calcium is best paired with magnesium i'm told, for absorption or something. i take a cal-mag supplement when i feel i need it, along with a multi vitamin-mineral.<br><br><br><br>
bread does have some protein. just try to use spreads that aren't empty calories. like use nut butters instead of butter or margarine or whatever. and buy bulk nuts to snack on instead of chips and other junk. i find when i crave something starchy like chips, peanuts make a good substitution.<br><br>
um but drink water with the calcium supplements, at least a full glass.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My whole life I had nails that broke and peeled. I started taking MSM and now my nails are very strong. I actually have to cut them now and I never did before. It is suppose to help your skin, nails, hair and connective tissues.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
MSM is a form of Sulfur that our bodies need. I started taking it for joint pain. It worked really well. I found it in veg caps too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for more ideas. I will get a calcium supplement with mag. and maybe check out the msm, too. I try to by the peanut butter that is made from pure peanuts and nothing else. It's pretty good, the brand I found. I bought potato chips today and they didn't do much for me. I think I will try getting the preferable snacks at the healthfood store. They have fresh nuts there. I know they have protein and a very good kind of fat.
 

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My nails have been breaking a lot lately too. Its sooooo annoying! I'm vegetarian, not vegan, so I'm trying to figure out whats causing it.
 

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As I mentioned above, I think low protein intake can cause nails to be soft, or brittle. It doesn't really matter if one food has "complete" protein because you can eat several different kinds of food, and between any 2 of them, you are likely to get "complete" protein. You don't have to eat them on the same day.
 
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