Like the skin, the fingernails are a reflection of a person's state of health. Low levels of zinc and iron as well as thyroid problems can cause brittle nails. However, brittle nails are often a normal result of aging.
Update Date 5/13/2011
Updated by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.