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Nutrition and Wound Healing

By aquarius27 Dec 15, 2010 797 Words
Nirmala JodhanDr. Michael DiMaio


Nutrition And Wound Healing

Nutrition plays a significant role in wound healing since it enables optimal healing

to occur. Proper nutrition enhances the body’s ability to regain its balance. Because of

children’s susceptibility to wounds, parents need to understand the basic process of

wound healing and the role of nutrition in wound care. Wound healing takes place

through three interrelated phases: inflammatory; the proliferate stage; and the process of

remodeling. Each stage of wound healing is marked by different nutritional needs.

Problems with wound healing is explained by three main reasons: inadequate nutrition

and diet lacking in vitamins and minerals; infection; and problems with organ function.

Well nourished individuals experience rapid and improved wound healing. Parents can

promote wound healing by ensuring their children have adequate and appropriate

nutrition made up of appropriate calories and nutrients.

All wounds and their healing results in new demands on the body which call for good

nutrition. The family’s diet need to be rich in protein, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamin A

and C, as well as a variety of minerals. Of these, proteins is especially important because

“protein deficiency contributes to poor healing rates, with reduced collagen and increased

wound dehiscene.” the most needed minerals include iron, cooper and zinc; iron is

especially notable since it assist with resistance to infection. The value of zinc is that it

plays an important part in rebuilding the wound matrix and scare tissue. According to

(Anonymous 1999), researches with the National Institute of Nutrition have observed that

vitamin C plays a strong role in wound healing. Six ounce of orange juice daily provides

the adequate amount of vitamin C which allows the cells to conduct their biochemical

reactions, including wound healing. A balanced amount is important because excess can

cause nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Another means to obtain the required

amount of vitamin C is eating fruits and vegetables daily that are rich in this vitamin.

In the inflammation stage of wound healing, the blood vessel constrict and

coagulation begins. It is during this stage that the body uses nutrients to promote healing

and to restore damaged immune function. During the proliferative stage new tissues and

blood vessel develop and wound scar is formed. In the remodeling phase, wound edges

move and scar strengthens (Leininger, 2002). Proper wound healing demands adequate

perfusion, oxygenation, and blood flow. The essential elements is tissue perfusion since

it enables oxygen to enter the healing tissue.

Nutrients consist of polyunsaturated fatty acids and amino acids, glutamine,

arginine, and nucleotides (Nelson, 2003). Fatty acids fight against inflammation and also

help with wound healing. Dietary protein is a source of energy; lack of protein will result

in a slow rate of healing. The mineral vitamin K is essential for blood clotting as well for

preventing infection (Nelson, 2003). Calories and protein allow for a good nitrogen

balance. Good nutrition provides the increased energy that is required by the healing

wound as a result of inflammation and cellular activity. The main source of energy for

healing is glucose (Nelson, 2003). Other source of vitamin is found in B1 and

manganese. Parents must be aware that overfeeding or providing too many calories will

cause metabolic stress.

All individuals must have adequate calories and protein for metabolic support. It

is very important to establish a well balanced diet and good nutrition status. Proper

nutritional support will provide the calories and nutrients needed for wound healing

(Leininger, 2002). It is not he quantity of food consumed that is important for wound

healing but the quality. Food such as oily fish will help in the reduction of inflammation

and the also serve to improve immune function. These type of foods promote wound

healing as well (Nelson, 2003). Another point is that exercise has to be combined with

proper nutrition. The rationale is that exercise leads to improved circulation which, in

turn, allows the blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the wound. Proper nutrition

plays an essential role in wound healing. The rate of healing for wounds depends on the

patients nutritional status. Wound healing proceeds through three stages, each one with

its special nutritional requirements. Problems with wound healing occur primarily of

inadequate nutrition and a lack of vitamins and minerals in family diet. wound healing

requires certain calories and nutrients, and specific foods are known to promote wound

healing. Effective wound healing can therefore be prepared for in advance through

careful nutritional choices.


Anonymous (1999) making a case for vitamin C. Tufts University Health & Nutritional

Letter, 17 (4), 3.

Leininger , S. (2002). The role of nutrition in wound healing. Critical Care Nursing

Quarterly, 25 (1), 13-22.

Nelson , E.A. (2003) Nutrition for optimum wound healing

Nursing Standards, 18 (6), 55.

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