|December 7, 2023

How Biotin Benefits Healthy Nail Growth

By Molly Apel
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy

How Biotin Benefits Healthy Nail Growth

  • Biotin, or vitamin B7, supports healthy nail growth and strong, thick nails.
  •  You can find biotin in everything from eggs to beef liver to avocados.
  • Supplementing with biotin will give your body the building blocks it needs to support healthy nail growth.

You’ve seen the beauty products promoting something called biotin for thick, healthy nails. But what is biotin, and how does it work? Turns out, if you’re tired of dealing with brittle nails that break easily, biotin might be your new best friend. Read on to learn how it works and how to get more of it.

What is biotin?

A close-up of healthy nails

Biotin, or vitamin B7, is part of the B vitamin family. In Germany, they call it vitamin H for its connection with “haut and haar” (this is German for “skin and hair”).

Of all the B vitamins, biotin is especially important for building thicker nails. Do your nails chip, tear, split or otherwise break before they reach any length? You might benefit from a biotin supplement.

Can biotin help build healthier nails?

Biotin is a key player in fingernail development, and studies have shown that biotin supplements can help support healthy nail growth.

In one study, 32 women with varying nail strength took a biotin supplement for up to 15 months. Results found that the nail thickness of participants with brittle nails increased 25%.[1]

In another study, 45 participants with brittle nails were given a biotin supplement for 5.5 months and 91% of them experienced firmer, harder nails.[2] In a third study, 63% of participants who took a biotin supplement for up to 15 months experienced stronger, less brittle nails.[3]

This evidence suggests that biotin might be the solution for nails that look naturally healthy and feel strong—no manicure required.

Foods that contain biotin

Avocado and eggs

While biotin is absorbed from the food we eat, there aren’t any particular foods we can eat for a big biotin boost. Biotin is found in trace amounts in many foods, including:

  • Beef liver
  • Eggs (cooked)
  • Salmon
  • Avocados
  • Mushrooms
  • Pork
  • Sweet potato
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Cauliflower

Here’s a crazy fact: Our own bodies generate biotin. Bacteria in our intestines are continually producing a trace supply of biotin to bolster our daily needs.[4]

Related: Eat These 5 Foods for Radiant Skin

Should I take a biotin supplement?

Most people get enough biotin in the food they eat. The recommended adequate intake for adults is 30mcg.[5]If you feel like you might be biotin deficient, check with your doctor.

When you supplement with extra biotin, you help ensure you’re giving your body enough nutrients to support healthy nails—especially if you already struggle with brittle nail growth.

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