Wound healing involves a complex series of events to occur that help with the repair and restoration of skin and other organs. It is well known by surgeons that there are several situations that may cause a patient to have poor wound healing. Smoking is a classic example of this. But being deficient in key nutrients that are required for wound healing and cellular repair can also contribute to poor wound healing.
The process of wound healing happens in three steps. The first step is blood clotting and forming a protective scab. The helps prevent blood loss, and protect the body from infections. The clotting stage requires key nutrients like iron, vitamin K, and protein. These nutrients are not commonly deficient in patients but can be. The second step is the inflammatory stage. During the inflammatory response the wound is again protected against infection and the repair process is started. The last stage is the rebuilding or remolding step. During this phase the damaged tissue is restored. Several nutrients can help during this phase including vitamin C to help with collagen. A prospective randomized trial showed vitamin C significantly helped heal pressure ulcers.1 Other nutrients may be beneficial as well, like vitamins A, C, E, zinc, selenium have roles either as antioxidants or as cofactors to antioxidants.2, 3
At North Shore IV Center we typically recommend Myer’s Cocktails to aid in wound healing. We usually recommend 1 to 2 treatments before surgery and 1 to 2 treatments after surgery for best results. This formula contains vitamin C, B vitamins, and other nutrients that can work synergistically together.
- Taylor TV, Rimmer S, Day B, Butcher J, Dymock IW. Ascorbic acid supplementation in the treatment of pressure-sores. 1974 Sep 7; 2(7880):544-6.
- Barbosa E, Faintuch J, Machado Moreira EA, Gonçalves da Silva VR, Lopes Pereima MJ, Martins Fagundes RL, Filho DW. Supplementation of vitamin E, vitamin C, and zinc attenuates oxidative stress in burned children: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. J Burn Care Res. 2009 Sep-Oct; 30(5):859-66.
- Blass SC, Goost H, Tolba RH, Stoffel-Wagner B, Kabir K, Burger C, Stehle P, Ellinger S. Time to wound closure in trauma patients with disorders in wound healing is shortened by supplements containing antioxidant micronutrients and glutamine: a PRCT. Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug; 31(4):469-75.