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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

Nail-Chewing: is it due to a Calcium Deficiency?

Updated: Feb 28

It is said that the stress was "nail-biting".

Why is it that when under pressure, stress, some people chew their nails?

It is speculated that the nails, a source of minerals such as magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn) and calcium (Ca), are chewed during times of stress or intense concentration if there are insufficient minerals such as Ca to maintain calmness of the central nervous system. When a person is stressed or having to concentrate the demand for a number of minerals goes up and if it is not possible to supply these, the subconscious call for more goes out.

The concentration for these intracellular minerals is a few parts per million, so it is plausible that the tiniest of supplies, such as what may be gained from chewing the nails, is better than getting nothing at all.

If this is the case, how does nail-biting correlate with what we see on the hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA)?

Well, well, surprise, surprise! There is a consistent pattern of low calcium on the HTMA and nail-biting. This is such a consistent pattern that I'll instinctively look at a person's nails if their HTMA has unusually low Ca.

Here is the HTMA of a young man who chews his nails.

HTMA of a nail-biter
Ca should be 60-80, not 31

Read about calcium here:

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