Among the best vitamins for nails are vitamins B2, B6, B12, pantothentic acid and folacin. These vitamins are also known as riboflavin, pyridoxine, cobalamin, vitamin B3 and folic acid, respectively. It should be remembered that the best vitamins for nails or any other part of the body are only a part of sound nutrition, which requires adequate amounts of all nutrients.
Riboflavin is essential for the normal growth, maintenance and repair of all tissues of the body, which includes the nails. It is one of the vitamins belonging to the B complex family and is richly available in whole heirloom grains such as spelt, kamut and barley. Grains that are not heirloom or that have been degerminated are not good sources of this nutrient. Additional foods that are high in riboflavin and other vitamins for nails are green leafy vegetables such as collard, turnip and mustard greens, as well as nuts. People who are experiencing the specific problem of their nails growing very slowly might be deficient in riboflavin.
Pyridoxine plays a vital role in the metabolism of protein. Metabolism refers to the processes by which a substance is handled in the body. If there is an abnormality affecting metabolism of protein, it can affect the health of the nails, causing them to have stunted growth and to be brittle, weak and yellowish in color. This nutrient also is available in whole heirloom grains, seeds, yellow corn, nuts, bananas and green vegetables. One advantage to eating green leafy vegetables and whole heirloom grains is the consumption of all of these vitamins for nails during a single meal.
All parts of the body, including the nails, are composed of some type of cell. Cobalamin, or vitamin B12, is vital for the normal functioning of all body cells. It also is necessary for normal growth, which is the reproduction of cells. A deficiency in vitamin B12 should be considered a possibility when experiencing problems with the nails, especially if an individual is a vegan. The nutrient is available only in animal products, foods fortified with cobalamin and as a nutritional supplement.
Some of these vitamins for nails might not be included in nutritional supplements formulated for healthy nails. Pantothenic acid, such as pyridoxine, is essential in the metabolism of protein, but it also is needed for the metabolism of fats. Folacin, like cobalamin and riboflavin, must be present in adequate amounts for normal growth. All of these vitamins for nails are richly available in organically grown whole heirloom grains, vegetables and fruits.