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Does Fish Oil Help Your Nails?

by
author image Sylvie Tremblay, MSc
Sylvie Tremblay holds a Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology and has years of experience as a cancer researcher and neuroscientist. Based in Ontario, Canada, Tremblay is an experienced journalist and blogger specializing in nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, health and biotechnology, as well as real estate, agriculture and clean tech.
Does Fish Oil Help Your Nails?
A close-up of a hand holding a fish oil supplement. Photo Credit solidcolours/iStock/Getty Images

Fish oil supplements have a number of potential health benefits. Supplements can help control inflammation in your tissues and decrease your risk of a number of diseases. The oil contains essential nutrients, including healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins, which can nourish a number of tissues. Taking fish oil might prove beneficial to your nails and help prevent nail disorders.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet help to moisturize your hair and skin, and also help to lubricate and moisturize your nails. As a result, deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids can increase your risk of dry and brittle nails. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation within your nail bed, nourishing and promoting the health of cells that give rise to your nail plate.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an important to maintaining healthy skin, helping to nourish the cuticle -- the skin that surrounds each finger and toe nail. In addition, vitamin A can help to fight psoriasis, a skin condition that leads to nail pitting and crumbling. Consuming even a small amount of fish oil often provides a rich source of vitamin A, to help maintain the health and appearance of your nails.

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Vitamin D

The vitamin D found in fish oil might also contribute to healthy nails, because it helps your body to properly regulate calcium. Calcium makes up an important part of each nail plate, helping provide strength to your nails. A deficiency or disregulation of calcium in your can affect your nails, causing brittleness and breakage. Consuming enough vitamin D helps ensure your body can utilize calcium properly and incorporate an appropriate amount of calcium into your growing nails. Consume fish oil to increase your vitamin D intake and benefit your nails.

Considerations

While the nutrients in fish oil can certainly benefit your nails, never try to treat damaged or broken nails with dietary supplements. Defects in nail growth might indicate a serious disorder, including liver failure, diabetes or heart disease. If you notice a change in the condition of your nails, consult a physician to identify the underlying cause. Your doctor can also recommend a fish oil dosage likely to improve the health of your nails without the risk of nutrient toxicities and harmful side effects.

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