Did you know magnesium can help strengthen weak nails? So if you are suffering from weak, brittle nails then you should definitely look into magnesium as a remedy as this mineral is packed full of many health benefits.
Magnesium is a mineral that is responsible for numerous bodily functions such as bone health, regulation of blood pressure, blood sugar level, reduced risk of heart disease and protein synthesis. It can be found in many different food sources such as nuts, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and wholemeal bread as well as fortified foods and cereals.
This is because magnesium can aid in the breakdown of calcium deposits brought on by hard water and can promote hair growth thus being a great supplement for healthy hair. Moreover, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, magnesium can aid in treating conditions that cause the skin to feel dry and itchy such as eczema. Although magnesium is a fantastic mineral to consume for healthy skin and hair, this article will concentrate on the role magnesium plays for healthy, strong nails.
How does magnesium affect nails?
Our fingernails are a good indicator of our general health and unhealthy nails that are weak and brittle may be an indicator of health issues and mineral deficiencies. Thus, it is important that our nail beds are regularly producing new nail tissue growth as this is a good sign that there is an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. Any deficiencies in minerals and vitamins can be indicated by weak, brittle nails as well as a difference in the texture and appearance of the nail bed.
It should come as no surprise that magnesium aids in the development and maintenance of healthy, strong nails given its role in protein synthesis, which is essential for nail growth. A deficiency in magnesium can also cause visible vertical ridges in your nail bed which is not ideal and may cause an unpleasant appearance and texture to the nail bed. Magnesium is also essential for protein synthesis which promotes nail tissue growth thus contributing to healthy and strong nails.
Although magnesium deficiency can cause nail ridges, a biotin deficiency can also be indicated by ridges on the nail bed as well as brittle nails. Biotin, also referred to as B7, is important for cell signalling which is essential for the production and development of healthy, strong nails.1
Omega 3 deficiency may also increase your chances of getting weak and brittle nails. Fatty fish, which are rich in omega 3, can hydrate the nail beds thus promoting stronger nails as well as moisturising the hair and skin. Fish oil is also a great supplementation to take to ensure you are receiving adequate omega 3.
Which magnesium is best for nails?
There are many different magnesium supplements that come in many forms and each serve different benefits to your health. Magnesium in its citrate, aspartate, glycinate and forms are better absorbed by the body compared to magnesium oxide and magnesium sulphate.2 Thus, it is worthwhile looking at magnesium supplements that are more easily absorbed by the body to increase magnesium intake.
Magnesium can also be found in numerous forms such as tablets, sprays, capsules, drinks and powders so it is completely up to individual preference. Tablets are typically the most cost effective way to increase magnesium, however a magnesium spray can be absorbed into the bloodstream faster. Magnesium in a powder form is more easily absorbed and is good for the digestive system as it is required to be mixed into a liquid such as water.
Magnesium chloride hexahydrate is available in a spray form and can easily be sprayed directly onto the skin for fast and efficient absorption. This form of magnesium can also contribute towards normal functioning of bones, teeth and energy. Magnesium gluconate is also a great form of magnesium for individuals with low magnesium levels in the blood.
If you are looking to take magnesium for your nails then there are plenty of options available to increase magnesium levels which will have a positive effect on your nails as well as contributing towards many bodily health benefits including healthy skin, hair, teeth and bones.
How much magnesium should I take for nails
Although magnesium is a great mineral, it is important you don’t exceed the recommended dosage. The NHS recommends that the quantity of magnesium you require is 300 mg daily for males aged 19 to 64 years and 270 mg daily for females, aged 19 to 64 years.
Recent statistics have also found that 16% of men and 11% of women are magnesium deficient. This is assumed to be a result of people eating more processed meals so it is advised to increase your magnesium intake by ingesting a magnesium rich diet and keeping a balanced diet. You can also take supplementations which are also very beneficial and can increase magnesium intake in the body.
Side effects and other concerns
Although magnesium is a great mineral with many health benefits, taking too much magnesium may cause health problems so it is advised not to exceed the recommended limit. Some effects of taking a high dose of magnesium include diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramping.
Magnesium toxicity can also occur when a very high dose of around 5000 mg/day of magnesium is consumed. Symptoms of magnesium toxicity include breathing difficulties, vomiting, hypotension and urinary retention. It is crucial to remember that people with kidney failure have a higher risk of developing magnesium toxicity or other health issues from taking an excessive amount of the mineral since their bodies are less able to excrete excess magnesium. However, even for healthy individuals, magnesium should still be used with caution.
Because they might hinder absorption, a variety of drugs have the potential to interact with magnesium supplements or impact magnesium status. Thus, some manufacturers advise separating administration by several hours. Magnesium-containing antacids may also harm enteric coatings intended to stop stomach breakdown.3 Some drugs that may interact include bisphosphonates, diuretics, and antibiotics such as tetracycline and doxycycline. Thus, you should seek advice from a healthcare professional if you are taking other medication.
Magnesium is an all round great supplement that has many health benefits for healthy bones, teeth and of course, strong nails. Due to its role in protein synthesis, magnesium promotes the growth of healthy nails and can reduce the appearance of weak, brittle nails.
A deficiency in magnesium can also cause vertical ridges on the nail bed, thus it is important that you are getting enough magnesium. Magnesium levels in the body can be increased by consuming a magnesium rich diet, such as green leafy vegetables or taking supplementations. However, it is important that you do not consume more than the recommended limit of magnesium as there could be unpleasant side effects such as diarrhoea and nausea.
This article explored the benefits of magnesium for health and strong nails and it is clear to see that there are many advantageous health benefits of consuming magnesium. There are also a wide range of magnesium supplementations available which makes it easier to increase your magnesium intake.
- National Institute of Health. Biotin. [Internet]. 2022. [Cited 2023 Feb]. Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/
- Allure. A Supplementary Guide to Supplements. [Internet]. 2018. [Cited 2023 Feb]. Available from: https://www.allure.com/story/magnesium-supplements-benefits
- BNF. Magnesium Interactions. [Internet]. 2023. [Cited 2023 Feb]. Available from: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/interactions/magnesium/