Dark Fingernails and Vitamin Deficiency


Vitamins are one of the most essential elements of the human body. They are required by the human body to carry out various metabolic and other life processes. Usually, the food we eat provides ample quantities of vitamins to the body. Having a vitamin-sufficient diet is extremely important to maintain the balance of vitamins and other vital elements in the human body.

What is called vitamin deficiency?

But due to various reasons, sometimes the number of vitamins that the human body gets from a specific diet may seem inadequate and it can lead to an absence of vitamins in the human body in the long term. This is what is called vitamin deficiency. Vitamin deficiency could be of numerous reasons like metabolic disorders, diet problems, genetic disorders and symptoms like dark fingernails etc. 

dark fingernail

What do dark fingernails indicate?

Among countless symptoms of vitamin deficiency like mouth ulcers, hair loss, etc., One of the most prominent symptoms is dark fingernails. Changes in the color of skin and nails are often considered one of the easiest ways to diagnose nutritional and vitamin deficiencies in the medical world. The absence of several vitamins can cause heavy pigmentation on the fingernails.

What causes dark fingernails?

Folate, the water-soluble form of vitamin B9 is one of those vitamins, whose absence can cause dark fingernails in the patient along with many other severe symptoms. Vitamin B12 is another vitamin, whose absence is responsible for dark or brown fingernails. It causes discoloration to toenails too. Biotin or B-complex vitamin is another vitamin that can cause pigmented fingernails on its deficiency.

Why nail color change to dark purple, blue, brown or gray?

The symptom need not always be black fingernails, rather, it could change the color of the patient’s fingernails into blue, brown, gray, blueish black, or black. It could also bring strings or dark marks on the fingernails too. There are even instances in which these deficiencies can cause brittle and rigid fingernails, leading the nails to get broken easily.

How to prevent vitamin deficiency and its symptoms?

This kind of Vitamin deficiency and the resultant dark fingernails can be avoided by adding sufficient vitamins to your diet. The concept of fortified food or the food that is enriched and customized according to the vitamin and mineral requirements of each person is something that can be tried to combat vitamin deficiency. Adding the relevant vitamin-providing food items to your staple food can also be considered.

Where can vitamin B9 found?

Vitamin B9, a vitamin that is inevitable for the healthy growth of nails can be found mostly in green vegetables, nuts, meat, fish, dairy, etc. A healthy human has to be supplied with about 400 mcg of Vitamin B9 per day and this should be maintained by resorting to its natural sources.

How to protect nails from being brittle?

Biotin also boosts the healthy growth of nails and other cells. It also provides strength to the fingernails and protects them from being brittle. The most common natural sources of biotin are nuts, liver, dairy, seeds, etc.

Vitamin B12 helps red blood cells in the absorption of iron. Both vitamin B12 and iron are extremely inevitable for healthier nails. It is advised by medical professionals that 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 should be consumed by an adult individual every day. You can find vitamin B12 in poultry products, dairy products, fish, meat, etc.


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