Brittle nails are quite common problem. This symptom is not just a cosmetic issue as it may indicate lack of certain vitamins and minerals, or it may even be associated with a number of seemingly unrelated diseases.
Quality of nails decreases with age and fragility is more common. It is just a natural process of aging.
Outer environment factors
Nails become fragile when in frequent contact with water and chemical substances. It is common for jobs as cleaning ladies, cooks, etc.
Deficiency of vitamin C and B vitamins (e.g. vitamin B2 or vitamin B9) causes among other symptoms also increased brittleness of nails. Typical disorders of correct hair and nail formation is expressed by lack of compound known as biotin (so-called vitamin H).
Insufficient supply of nutrients, especially lack of proteins, naturally has an impact on composition and strength of nails. The problem commonly affects women with anorexia nervosa and patients with gastrointestinal malabsorption.
Nail fungal disease
Fungal disease of nails disrupts their correct structure and causes fragility. This problem mainly affects nails of the lower extremities.
Hypothyroidism causes overall impairment of energetic metabolism in the entire body. Even nail tissue is affected and quality of nails deteriorates.
During menopause there is a gradual drop of estrogen levels. Estrogen has complex effect including maintenance of body fluids. Lack of this estrogen changes water metabolism and may degrade nail quality.
Poisoning can happen in overdose by selenium supplements. Trying to treat selenium deficiency can simply cause more harm than good.