ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Fingernail Growth Rate and Macroelement Levels Determined by ICP-OES in Healthy Chinese College Students
Zhi-Wei Wu1, Jia-Ying Xu2, Yang Jiao2, Sai-Jun Fan2, Ka He3, Li-Qiang Qin1
 
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1Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Soochow University,
Renai Road199, Suzhou 215123, China
2Department of Tumor Radiobiology, School of Radiation Medicine and Protection, Soochow University,
Renai Road199, Suzhou 215123, China
3Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health and School of Medicine,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7461, USA
 
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2012;21(4):1067–1070
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ABSTRACT
To determine the growth rate and element contents of fingernails in young adults, 109 apparently healthy college students were recruited for determination. As a result, the average growth rate of the left thumb was 3.14±0.63 mm/month with significantly faster rates in male and taller participants. The concentrations for Ca, Na, P, K, and Mg were 701.1±274.8 μg/g, 452.3±353.9 μg/g, 331.6±119.7 μg/g, 241.6±142.7 μg/g, and 111.1±43.5 μg/g, respectively. In general, the nail element levels were positively associated with growth rate. In conclusion, fingernail growth rate and the distribution of elements in fingernails are useful for assessing physical development and nutritional status.
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