A daily supplement of collagen peptides could help strengthen nails. [Photo: Bigstock]

Collagen supplement helps strengthen nails

22 August, 2017

Natural Health News — If you suffer from brittle or cracked nails, a daily supplement of collagen peptides could help.

A small trial of 25 healthy women found that daily supplementation with a bioactive collagen peptide powder dissolved in water (Verisol) boosted the growth of fingernails by 12%, and reduce the frequency of broken nails by 42%. The supplement was also associated with significant clinical improvements in brittle nails.

The findings were published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Supplemental help 

What you need to know

» Collagen supplements have fallen in and out of fashion as a way of improving nail health.

» New formulations may mean that collagen supplements are more fully available to the body and may help with nails that break or split easily.

» In a new study, using bioactive collagen peptides taken daily for 6 months, fingernail growth was enhanced and the frequency of broken nail was reduced by 42%.

While nutrition undoubtedly has an effect on nail health, just as it does on skin and hair health, there is only a very small amount of research into supplements and their potential benefits for nails.

Some preliminary studies suggest improvement in brittle nails supplementing with 10 to 30 mL daily of colloidal silicon (silicic acid, trademarked Silicol) or 10 mg daily of orthosilicic acid.

A small, but controlled, study among women with brittle nails also found that a daily dose of 2,500 mcg of biotin for 6 to 9 months increased nail thickness by 25% and reduced the tendency of nails to split. Biotin does not, however, further strengthen healthy nails.

For the women taking the collagen in the current study, results showed that almost 90% of the women reported improvement four weeks post-treatment. Eight percent of the women also said that the collagen supplements improved their nails’ appearance, and that were completely satisfied with the performance of the supplements.

“To the best of our knowledge,” the researchers from Brazil and German write “no data have been reported regarding the effects of [bioactive collagen peptides] intake on nails, and the present study is the first clinical trial demonstrating the efficacy of a specific dosage (2.5 g/d) of Verisol on nail growth and brittle nails syndrome.”


Nutricosmetics or beauty-from-within is an important concept for many women and a growing market for beauty businesses. Collagen supplements have come in and out of fashion but new research, much of it coming out of Collagen Research Institute in Montreal, Canada and Keil, Germany suggests new formulations some promise in other areas of beauty.

A 2013 study reported statistically significant improvements in skin elasticity, while another in 2014 found significant reductions in wrinkles and increased dermal collagen synthesis.

“When administered orally, [bioactive collagen peptides] are absorbed in the form of small collagen peptides and free amino acids,” wrote the researchers. “Free amino acids provide building blocks for the formation of dermal extracellular matrix proteins and for the epidermal structure, whereas collagen peptides act as bioactive messengers, activating different signalling pathways and stimulating dermal and epidermal metabolism.

“Hence, clinical improvements in brittle nails symptoms observed in the present study may not only be a consequence of the protein intake, but also due to the stimulatory effects of specific collagen peptides on epidermal and dermal metabolism.”