Fungus 411

The Scoop on Supplements

Nancy Peters
June 23, 2022

Magical pills or overhyped placebo products?

If you’re like me, you’ve fallen victim to the promises of various supplements. And these days, there seems to be a pill or a powder for everything. From reduction of grey hair to prenatal, the plethora of brands and online companies have made supplements as easy to access as a swipe of an iPhone.

But how do you know what’s legitimate from empty promises? The FDA does not approve supplements, so it’s hard to know who to trust and what to believe. More on that later.

It all started with a desire to rehab my poor nails from years of a bi-weekly gel manicure addiction. I decided to take a break and live with my naked nails, which were weak, brittle, peeling and turning white and chalky. I showed my mom and she thought I might have contacted nail fungus so I started to research anything I could learn about nail fungus. That’s how I found Caratin Rx’s site and I’m so glad I did. The Caratin Rx doctor called me to discuss my case and confirmed that I did indeed have nail fungus which had been hidden under my gel manicure for years. He prescribed me The Topical treatment.

I wondered what else I could do to rehab my nails. I don’t love taking pills, so I wanted to do my research before committing. Here’s what I learned.

The secret to healthy and strong nails is to build them from the inside out. You want a supplement that will provide the widest range of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. The body then incorporates these nutrients in a series of complex biochemical and physiological processes which result in healthier nails.

Weak and brittle nails can respond to Biotin supplementation, also known as vitamin B7. It is one of the family of B vitamins which is found in foods like eggs, nuts, milk, avocados, and bananas. A characteristic of all B vitamins is that they are water soluble, which means your body does not store them. For this reason, you must consume them daily and they are safe to take as supplement because any excess is simply discarded through your urine.

What’s the evidence?

Because biotin is not a patentable prescription product, you'll never find a drug company to invest in large-scale clinical trials. But there are several small studies that suggest that even people with normal biotin levels will see fragile nails benefit from supplementation. The one thing to watch out for is that biotin can cause blood tests to return inaccurate results - for example tests for heart damage (troponin), thyroid function, and parathyroid function among others. So, always tell your doctors what supplements you're taking – including biotin. And if you do get a blood test, stop biotin supplements a week ahead of time.

Stepping back, Biotin is a common supplement. I saw an entire aisle of it at Costco the other day. So, what makes a certain brand’s better than others? It comes down to 2 main things: the ingredients and the source.

First let’s talk ingredients.

In addition to Biotin, The Supplement’s ingredients include in addition to biotin, zinc, vitamin C, and copper which are all essential for the synthesis and repair of collagen which is important for healthy, strong, vibrant nails and skin. Zinc has been shown to be helpful for cell growth, repair, and function. Powerful antioxidants vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium help protect against harmful UV light damage and other sources of oxidative or free radical damage. The body uses copper everywhere – from collagen synthesis to overall cellular health. The Supplement also includes horsetail extract (actually a plant), which provides silica, an important structural component of skin, hair, and nails in the form of orthosilicic acid.

Now let’s talk about the source.

There are millions of supplements on the market. They do not require a prescription and because the FDA does not approve supplements, there are few guardrails around the purity of ingredients or quality of manufacturing. Caratin Rx uses the same pharmaceutical source that supplies their prescription products. As an FDA regulated company, they have a trustworthy supply chain and validated ingredients. This means you get exactly the ingredients in the label, and you do not get adulterants.

After this deep dive discussion, I was sold on the additive benefits of The Supplement in my routine for fungus-free nails. I can’t wait to no longer deal with my nails splitting, breaking and peeling. It was super easy to add to my account and gets shipped to me monthly with my topical prescription. I’ve found the pills easy to swallow which is a huge plus!

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