Calcium deposits often appear as white dots or smears on the fingernail surface. A person whose fingernails are cloaked with these spots should find ways to increase his daily calcium intake. Calcium is responsible for building strong bones, teeth and fingernails. Those with calcium deficiencies may notice their nails are flexible, weak and easily torn. Find ways to ingest calcium throughout the day to improve absorption, rather than taking in large amounts of your daily requirement all at once.
Examine your current diet. High-calcium foods and drinks include milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, salmon, broccoli and ice cream -- all of which make excellent additions to your daily diet. Also available are products fortified with calcium such as orange juice, soy milk and cereals. Adults ages 19 to 70 require 1,000 mg of calcium per day. After age 70, the average person requires about 1,200 mg of calcium per day.
Look for food sources rich in Vitamin D. A lack of Vitamin D can disrupt the body's absorption of calcium, leading to calcium deposits in fingernails. Egg yolks, fortified milk, liver and saltwater fish can contribute to the 600 International Units (IU) needed in a person's daily diet. Spending 10 to 15 minutes per day in the sunlight can also cause the body to produce the Vitamin D it needs.
Minimize protein and sodium in your diet. Healthy adults require no more than 2,300 mg of sodium and usually no more than 45 to 60 grams of protein per day, depending on gender, age and overall health. Excessive amounts of protein and sodium in your diet can cause the body to excrete calcium.
Take supplements that contain calcium. Keep in mind how much calcium you already get from the foods you eat during the day. Excessive calcium intake can lead to fatigue, aging skin, weakened kidneys and calcium stones. When the body's calcium stores are sufficient, calcium deposits should gradually disappear from fingernails.
Tips & Warnings
- See a doctor if you have adjusted your diet to increase Vitamin D and calcium, and to reduce excessive sodium or protein intakes, but calcium deposits remain. The deposits can be a sign of celiac disease or other conditions that affect nutrition absorption.