White lines on my fingernails


I’ve always, as long as I can remember, had white lines on my nails. It seemed that as soon as they grew out, new ones would form at the top of the nail. I never really questioned why they were there, they just were. It wasn’t like they were hurting me or anything.

Some people think it’s a zinc deficiency. Some people say it’s trauma. Well, let me tell you: I’ve tried inducing them by hitting my nail multiple times against the table. Didn’t work. Trauma does cause white lines, but you can see the break where the trauma occurred. This is not so with these white lines, they are closed.

The one time in my life that I noticed they were gone was when I went gluten-free and then later phytic-acid free. Those lines in the picture above are actually from a peanut-butter binge I had. That peanut-butter binge ended up giving me a toothache too (which went away when I gave up the nuts and grains). This is why I am a believer in physic acid causing mineral deficiencies, maybe in susceptible people since everyone has their own genetic adaptation to foods. What foods affect some people may not affect another, and some people are better adapted to digest certain foods. When examining the literature to see if phytic acid causes osteoporosis by inhibiting calcium absorption, one study I found concluded that it does not inhibit calcium absorption (1). It was shown to decrease zinc levels though (and who knows what other minerals). Could it be a phytic acid induced zinc deficiency?

One way to know for certain the phytic acid-white nail line connection is if all of us with this problem banded together and performed personal experiments on ourselves to see if the elimination of phytic acid from our diets made them stop appearing. I also would want to see if antibiotic use can affect this, since not everyone gets these lines but most everyone eating a Standard American Diet is eating phytic acid. Normal intestinal flora helps people digest food. I had antibiotics as a little baby. Maybe I don’t have the flora to help me break down the phytic acid?

Feel free to comment if you also have these white lines, or if you have anything to say about them.


1. Thacher, T. D., Aliu, O., Griffin, I. J., Pam, S. D., O’Brien, K.,O., Imade, G. E., & Abrams, S. A. (2009). Meals and dephytinization affect calcium and zinc absorption in nigerian children with Rickets1,2. The Journal of Nutrition, 139(5), 926-32. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/197481246?accountid=14541


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