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White lines on nails

edited December 2010 in Health & Beauty

I have always had some white lines on my nails and was told it was a lack of zinc that caused this. Anyway, my diet contains loads of zinc now (I eat lots of mixed nuts as well as veggies) plus I’ve been taking a zinc supplement for a couple months, but the white lines are still there, even toward the bottom part. Any clues?

Comments

  • Carmentina -

    I am pretty sure that white lines on the nails NOT a part of a zinc deficiency. A lot of times the lines show up due to trauma to the nail. Have you banged your nails on something lately? The white lnes have to “grow out”. I remember having a few on my thumb nails and the line took a long time to grow up toward the top of nail where I eventually cut it off. It didn’t bother me though – I always thought of the white spots as my “nail tatoos”. I’m a wacko though. :)

    here is an article about the various things it can be though: http://www.goodhealthmedicine.com/nail-health.html

    You will hear that it is calcium deficiency but I get lots less calicum than I did before than I had lines before and I don’t now.

    I think one of the things that it probably is it exposure to toxins – could you detoxing out through your nails? Possible. The article mentions arsenic toxicity. I also saw on other health sites that said mercury toxins.

  • Thanks for the link. I don’t think it’s the result of trauma since I’ve got 12 of them (just counted!) and don’t remember having banged them. That said, I’m definitly going though some serious detox right now, so it could be that. Maybe I’ll start cutting back on the zinc tabs. Thanks again.

  • I’ve always heard that the white marks were caused by damage to the cuticle from either clipping it or pushing it back too roughly. Or, like queenfluff said, damage to the nail bed. Maybe try applying vit E oil to the cuticle, or something like that. Silica and msm are also good for strengthening nails.

  • I had these very severely as a child and teenager (generally several on every single nail!) and was always baffled by the zinc/calcium deficiency arguments, as supplementing never helped me at all. But the most recent thing I heard (from a palmist, of all things) was that it was excess sugar. That rang a bell with me – the times I’ve had these most were times when bread and sugar were staples of my diet. Detoxing seems like a good bet, too, though.

  • i’ve had these white lines literally my entire life, including now, after almost a year raw. they don’t really bother me. in fact, this one time i went to get a manicure and the lady told me that in her culture white lines on nails is a sign of good luck=P

  • I’m really loving this topic as I have practiced hand analysis for years! Can you tell me Carmentina if the white lines are horizontal or vertical? Are they on all your fingernails or a few fingernails in particular? While its true that long term stress can result in these lines it might also mean an inclination towards constipation/osteoporsis or perhaps something else entirely. Lemme know if you want me to take a gander. ;0)

  • I normally always have some white spots on my nails too, but right now I just checked and I don’t have any weird! But I do have lots of vertical ridges especially on my thumb nails which Ive been told could be a sign of an iron deficiency…Does anyone know if thats true?

  • Ok so there aren’t any ridges, but there are many horizonal lines. Some multiple ones on single nails. I don’t have any nail trauma or cuticle issues at all. This is definitely something I’m interested in, Marichiesa! Any help is welcome.

  • Okay horizontal white lines-got it. which fingers, index? ring? etc…;O) I’m on the case!

  • I was just searching and came up w/ liver dysfunction for horizontal white lines.

  • I’ve heard stress can help cause white lines and spots and such. I don’t know…maybe it’s true? I also heard about the mineral deficiency thing…...I was taking liquid minerals for a while and it helped with my white marks, so there might be some truth with that.

  • Marichiesa, the lines are pretty much on all fingernails. Not huge, but not at all faint. I don’t have any on these nails: left pinkie, right thumb and middle. I’ve been diagnosed anemic once. Maybe I should get more blood work done…

  • Hi Carmentina,

    Thanks for the details. Without seeing your hand as a whole I think that some mineral lack is at play. Yes, zinc can be the culprit but it may also be Vitamin D. Lots of people see an increase in these markings on their nails in the late spring interestingly enough. Basically white lines indicate an overly acidic system ( this is why so many palmists will say that your kidneys/liver are stressed) So as you balance out your body’s alkalinity the lines should lessen. Bear in mind that it takes on average for a healthy person 7-8 months for a nail to grow out completely.

    One other thing you might look at from a health perspective is your circulation. Along with the white lines can you see the moons at all on your nailbeds? If not you may need to get your blood pumping more. All of which will help your organs process minerals and environmental toxins better.

    Hope this helps! Cheers.;0)

  • I always heard that if you did not have the moons on your nails—that it might be mercury toxicity? Maybe from dental fillings? I have all my mercury fillings out and have done some chelation. I have the moons only on my thumbs not the rest of my fingers. I am fairly active but going to try to move a little more and see if it helps!

  • The moons are visible, but I definitely think there might be some mineral and even Vitamin D difficiency. I’ve been getting loads more sun this winter compared to previous years (when I had a 9-5 job), but hopefully this will grow out and never come back. :)

  • I've been doing a lot of research on zinc recently... it may be that even though you are eating plenty of zinc in the nuts and veggies, the copper in the nuts competes with the zinc, so you may actually need more. The ratio of zinc:copper ideally should be 8:1, and nuts are high in BOTH. Zinc is hard to get I'm finding...pumpkin seeds for sure. BYW I DO think that white lines are zinc deficiency... David Wolfe mentioned in an interview that it's been well researched.

  • If You guys are afraid that you aren't getting all of the Vitamins and Minerals You Need You should incorporate Spirulina, Chlorella and Alfalfa into your diet... I use These Everyday... They are loaded with Zinc as well as every other mineral or vitamin you can name... Put me on a Dessert Island with these Three and I'll Live forever... They are Detoxing superfoods as well... I like the Now Brand of these Supplements... And They Taste Great... You can find them at www.IHerb.com ... Use my Referral Code DEW156 for a $5.00 discount off your first purchase... Join the referral Program and get your own Number... Every time some uses you number you get a 4% Commission... This is a great place to get your Cocoa as well... (12oz Organic Powder $6.17)... Great Prices and The More often you buys stuff here the Deeper your discounts get.... Currently I get like 13-15% off my purchases

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