Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
noel

Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by noel » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:43 am

When I first started the Classical Guitar about 3 years ago, my nails were very weak and thin. I was worried about whether I could even try and play with nails. But then my teacher gave me a formula for strengthening my nails. Now I know that some people are sceptical when it comes to vitamins, but for me, my nails are now strong and tough. Here is his "formula":

1) Vitamin C - 1000 mg a day
2) B Complex - 100 mg daily
3) Beta-Carotene - 6-12 mg daily
4) Evening Primrose Oil - 500-100 mg daily

He also recommended an oil for rubbing on the nails to keep them from getting too dry. Mind you, I found that once I started his vitamin regimen, my nails didnt crack anymore.

Hope this helps,

Noel

eales

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by eales » Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:57 am

That's interesting Noel. I do have doubts about the Vit C part of it since my understanding is that the average person only needs about 60mg daily and the rest would just be excreted.

May I ask how much practice you were doing over this time, on average?

The reason I'm asking is I have a tentative theory about pressure on the nail bed and its effect on nail growth. I'm wondering if playing has a massaging effect on the nails.
When I was at college [40 years ago! :? ] my nails were not too bad - and my diet although good wasn't especially high in protein, we ate hardly any meat either, but I did do a lot of practice. Since then I've had so much splitting and peeling and I wonder if it's more to do with getting hardly any time to practice and certainly not four hours a day.

just a thought.

noel

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by noel » Sun May 04, 2008 1:31 pm

It is a good theory, but I am not so sure. I noticed that all of my nails (hand and foot) have become tougher since I started taking these. I personally believe it is the beta-carotene that does most of the strengthening. You are probably right about the vitamin C, but I have read a lot of reports about the benefits of a higher vitamin C dose.

Well, if it is being excreted out, the only thing it is harming is my pocketbook.

Noel

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Vesuvio
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Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by Vesuvio » Sun May 04, 2008 2:17 pm

Hello Eales,
eales wrote:...The reason I'm asking is I have a tentative theory about pressure on the nail bed and its effect on nail growth. I'm wondering if playing has a massaging effect on the nails...
That is very interesting! I use Onymyrrhe on my nails and have done for ages. My nails are better than they have ever been, but I have wondered if it is the Onymyrrhe or simply the effects of the massaging of the nail bed—perhaps stimulating blood flow to the area,

Best wishes, V
"There are only two things worth aiming for, good music and a clean conscience." Paul Hindemith

Rick-in-Annapolis
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:22 am
Location: Annapolis, MD (USA)

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by Rick-in-Annapolis » Mon May 05, 2008 10:26 am

I too wonder about the effect of massaging the nails. One thought I
had (and I now think I'll try it) is to massage Onymyrrhe onto the nails
of my right hand and Vaseline Intensive care lotion onto the nails of
my left hand... and after a few months see if there is any noticeable
difference!

If there's no difference maybe I'll start buying Intensive care lotion
by the barrel, re-package it in 3/4 ounce bottles, and market it
to guitarists as a "miracle" nail-care product :-)

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Tim522
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Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by Tim522 » Mon May 05, 2008 10:42 am

I take 1tsp. of Cod liver Oil a day (Chase it down with some O.J.). It keeps my nails soft and strong.

Bobber

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by Bobber » Thu May 08, 2008 6:20 pm

Whenever vitamin C is discussed, you can be sure someone will bring up excretion and associate it with some low number (typically a government RDA). But how do you think aspirin or any other medication gets removed from your body? What if you are thirsty and you take a large drink of water? Do you notice that not too long afterward you have to urinate? Does this mean you drank too much water?

There is a field of study called pharmacokinetics. Experts in this field are able to determine proper dosages of medications based on how long the desired substance is sustained in the blood stream. This is why your medicine will have directions such as how much and how often to take it. You see, things don't just get excreted like flushing your toilet, it takes time. The exact time is determined by studying and observing things under different conditions.

Vitamin C happens to have a very short half life in the human blood stream, typically 30 minutes under normal circumstances. Under adverse circumstances it can actually be much less (so actually more can be used). I actually take about 4 to 6 grams (that's 4000 to 6000 mg) per day. But I don't take it all at once. I spread it out through the whole day. I do this because the half life is so short.

Vitamin C is involved with the body's creation of keratin, a protein which is used in fingernails, hair, skin, and many other things. I have been taking lots of vitamin C for several years and I have also notice that my nails appear to be much healthier as a result.

If you would like to learn more about vitamin C, I recommend this excellent book.

noel

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by noel » Fri May 09, 2008 3:51 pm

i had read something to that effect about Vitamin C but did not have the sources nearby. Thanks for coming to the rescue!!

Noel

jdhunt

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by jdhunt » Fri May 09, 2008 4:17 pm

One cavaet, if you smoke, you may not want to take beta-carotene, as studies have indicated that it increases the risk of lung cancer, prostate cancer and death.

xdevils666x

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by xdevils666x » Sat May 10, 2008 2:25 pm

hey guys. well for me, my nails are pretty strong. well, I'm not sure whether its due to the healthy dose of fruits and vegetables I'm taking daily. i also drink a glass of milk everyday. So i hope this helps you guys, and btw, i don't rub oil on my fingernails.

flat3rd

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by flat3rd » Sat May 17, 2008 5:06 pm

I've also heard that Vitamin E has a good deal to do with nail strength. Has anyone else heard this?

avoz

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by avoz » Sat May 17, 2008 5:32 pm

Like Eales and Vesuvio I have assumed that stimulation of the nail roots must be beneficial as mine withstand occasional playing of a friend's Martin D45 (albeit without trying too hard to achieve a Rossini-like fortissimo). I have never used proprietary nailcare products but for many years have maintained length and smoothness of nails by using a pebble (always in my pocket with a few bawbees) at least once a day, a tip given by the late Terry Usher. By trial and error I found the optimum abrasive quality and when out walking along a beach or path I always have my gaze directed downwards in search
of the perfect specimen. However, I have never bumped into any guitarists. :D

ken

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by ken » Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:56 am

Biotin which is a B vitamin produces nail and hair cells.

Hunt-man

Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by Hunt-man » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:03 am

What about calcium? I thought that was the key for nail growth.

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KevinCollins
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Re: Vitamins... for those with thin, weak nails

Post by KevinCollins » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:43 pm

I have thin nails and, as I have "matured", they have become even thinner, began splitting down the middle. My dermatologist said there really is nothing they can do about it. But his partner suggested massive doses of biotion (as noted above) and vitamin E, topically. Having always had to worry about my nails, this was really nothing new.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is the circulation to the fingertips. The nails are the last place in the body to get blood. If, for any reason, blood is needed elsewhere, the nails are the first to lose circulation. The benefit of putting oil on the nails, as I understand it, is the massaging, i.e. the increased circulation it causes.

And keep your hands out of water. I have gloves everywhere.

Also, lanolin hand-lotion is good. When I lived in Aspen, with 4% humidity, I lived by the stuff.

Cheers,

Kevin
Kevin Collins, Amherst, Mass, USA All rights reserved.

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