Do you have a stubborn wound that is not healing? Are you having surgery and want to recover faster? Nutrition is a key part of the wound healing process that is often neglected and overlooked by healthcare providers. The wound healing process is very intricate. There are several processes involved in the rebuilding of the extracellular matrix and the formation of new blood vessels to help heal a wound. Having key vitamins, minerals, herbs, and cofactors may optimize healing while potentially reducing infections and minimizing scarring from surgery.
It’s well known that food is medicine, but many people unfortunately lack a well balanced diet. Research clearly indicates that a proper diet can improve your energy, and improve wound healing. The body needs specific vitamins for surgery recovery and wound healing, like vitamin C, vitamin A, and zinc. Besides these common vitamins, there are more popular mainstream supplements being used by clinicians to aid in wound healing and surgery recovery.
Let’s discuss the best nutrients and vitamins for wound healing according to pharmacists, wound care specialists and surgeons.
Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that can be found in our food. Some foods that have this vitamin are strawberries, broccoli, oranges, and orange juice. Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble vitamin. It is an electron donor for various enzymes and a cofactor in collagen synthesis. Research shows that ascorbic acid works in all phases of wound healing including the formation of collagen and the immunologic system. The recommended dose of ascorbic acid daily is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women, but for wound healing aim to get 500 milligrams daily.
Vitamin A also known as retinol is a fat-soluble vitamin that we obtain from food like sweet potato, beef liver, and carrots. Retinol is known for its ability to stimulate epithelial growth, fibroblasts, granulation tissue, angiogenesis, collagen synthesis, epithelialization, and fibroplasia all important steps in wound and tissue repair. It activites connective tissue production, this is one of the reasons why it is important to not be deficient before surgery. According to research, deficiency in this vitamin is seen more during infections. By correcting the deficiency, it can reduce the morbidity and mortality when suffering from an infectious disease. The daily recommended dose for men is 900 micrograms and 700 micrograms for women. activites
Zinc is a fat-soluble mineral found in foods like meat, beans, lentils, and nuts. Zinc works in every stage of wound healing by supporting the immune system and cell growth. Research concludes that a deficiency in this mineral can cause a delay in wound healing, immunologic dysfunction, and in some cases impairment of the sensory systems. The recommended daily dose for men is 11 milligrams and 8 milligrams for women
Bromelain is a protein digesting enzyme that comes from different sources like pineapple. We can find bromelain in food such as ginger, asparagus, and kiwifruit. It is known to help with inflammation and pain due to blood clots. The recommended dose ranges from 80 – 300 milligrams and can be taken up to three times per day.
L-Arginine is a synthetic amino acid that makes proteins. We can obtain this amino acid in the food we eat like fish, read meat, and poultry. It works by depositing collagen in wounds. Research suggests that this amino acid enhances wound healing. The common dosage ranges from 2-3 grams up to three times per day.
L-Glutamine is a synthetic amino acid that makes proteins. This can be found in such as chicken, fish, beans, and dairy. With the help of this amino acid sugar, nitrogen and other amino acids are created. It is used for many different things like injuries, burns, and surgeries. The nitrogen created by this amino acid helps wounds after surgery or trauma. The recommended dose is 5 milligrams per day.
Turmeric is a spice that gets its name from the plant it originated from. This spice is used as a natural remedy to treat many inflammatory conditions like arthritis, plus it also has antioxidant, radical scavenger, and antimicrobial characteristics. Research suggests that curcumin stimulates the production of the growth factors involved in the wound healing process and accelerates wound restoration. The recommended dose ranges from 500-2,000 milligrams per day.
Chlorella is an algae and as opposed to the other supplements discussed, chlorella has to be taken as a supplement due to it being hard to digest. When chlorella is extracted from the algae it is converted to chlorella growth factor. When this is taken, it promotes wound healing. This is used to treat a variety of conditions like fibromyalgia, wound healing, and the immune system. The recommended dose is 3-4 grams per day.
Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract is a derivative from grape seeds. It works by adding in oxidative stress, inflammation, and tissue damage. Grape seed extract is Used for a variety of things such as promoting circulation, collagen levels, aids in wound healing and physical appearance of the wound. This extract is also being researched to be used in topical creams and ointment to help with different types of wounds. The recommended daily dose ranges from 100-800 milligrams.
Calendula is a plant based supplement; the plant produces a flower, and this is what is used as a supplement. It is known to be involved in helping in tissue growth and decrease inflammation. Calendula increases blood flow to the wound site, thereby providing the oxygen and nutrients essential to tissue regeneration, which can reduce scarring. Calendula also has antifungal and antibacterial properties that make it useful in healing wounds. The recommended daily dose is 4-8 grams.
Take away message for the best vitamins for wound healing
Whew, that’s a big list of vitamins and nutrients to absorb, no pun intended. All the vitamins discussed can be found over-the-counter and a prescription is not needed. It is important to not exceed the recommended dose due to a possibility of toxicity. If you are looking for a complete all in one formula, then consider WoundVite the most comprehensive surgery recovery and wound care supplement on the market. WoundVite is an all-natural supplement that has 18 different pharmaceutical-grade vitamins, minerals, herbs and supplements – each researched backed in clinical studies. It’s made in the USA, in an FDA-registered facility, and follows Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines to ensure their products are of the highest quality and purity. As with most supplements check with your physician before starting to avoid any interactions.