22nd April 2021
The Best Vitamins for Wound Healing and Surgery RecoveryDr. Devan Patel, PharmD
Falls, burns, and scrapes – it happens to everyone. Whether you suffered from a traumatic accident, suffered a small cut to the skin, or underwent a large surgery, our bodies naturally heal these wounds and repair our living tissue. It’s a complex and incredible system.
Depending on the severity of the wound, it can take months to a few years to complete the healing process. Besides pain and discomfort, open and untreated wounds are more prone to infection and can lead to nasty scars. However, with the proper nutrients and vitamins, your tissue can repair and replenish itself at a faster rate.
Below, we will review the healing process, discuss why vitamins may help, and tell you about some of the best vitamins that you can take for wound healing and surgery recovery.
Stages of Wound Healing
Besides the severity of the wound, other underlying health conditions can prolong wound healing. In particular, a lack of blood circulation results in poor recovery. This is because blood transports the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and oxygen that a wounded area requires to repair its tissue. Conditions like diabetes where blood sugar levels are high, inhibit the damaged tissue from receiving important vitamins for wound healing.
There are a variety of nutrients and vitamins that play an active role in each stage of wound recovery. Here’s what each phase in wound healing entails:
Hemostasis Phase- The purpose of the first stage is to prevent excess blood from leaving the blood through the formation of blood clots, constricting blood vessels, etc.
Inflammatory Phase- This phase focuses on destroying any bacteria and unwanted particles in the wound area to prevent infections.
Proliferative Phase - This phase focuses on filling up the wound and repairing the skin. New blood vessels and tissue must be formed in this area.
Maturation Phase- The last phase is the longest and it focuses on strengthening the skin in the area.
How Do Vitamins Aid in Wound Healing and Surgery Recovery?
As stated above, you need certain vitamins to allow each phase in wound healing to properly function. Luckily if you do have underlying health issues that make it difficult for your wounds to recover, there are many vitamin supplements out there that can counteract it.
You can consume these ingredients through food or pill supplements – the choice is yours. Below are 8 active minerals, amino acids and vitamins that help accelerate the wound healing and surgery recovery process.
You’ll almost always hear about vitamin C as the most important vitamin for wound healing among professionals. It’s abundant in many citrus fruits like lemons and oranges.
Vitamin C plays an extremely important role in the 3rd phase of wound healing. This is because it is responsible for the secretion and creation of collagen. Collagen helps strengthen and bind skin cells together, which allows tissue to quickly repair itself.
A few surgeons even recommend vitamin C supplements to their patients after a plastic surgery procedure to quicken the healing process. With a combination of a few other vitamins, some surgeons found that vitamin C and other supplements speed up the wound healing process by 17%.
Vitamin A is another essential source for wound healing. Within all stages of wound healing, vitamin A stimulates the growth of necessary cells and parts needed to repair blood vessels and tissues.
For example, it aids in the development of epithelial cells. Epithelial cells make up the outer layer of your skin and organs. It also aids in the 2nd phase of wound healing by preventing infection to the wounded area.
Iron plays two different yet important roles within the process of wound healing. Firstly, the formation of red blood cells requires iron. Adequate consumption of iron ensures that your body has enough blood supply for the wound to recover.
Secondly, iron aids in collagen formation as well. This ensures skin cells are properly bound together.
This amino acid plays a role in the 2nd stage of wound healing. It decreases the chances of any infections occurring in the wounded area. In the 3rd stage, cells require L-glutamine to divide thereby increasing the number of skin cells. While the current research points this out, more studies need to be performed to strengthen the role it plays in wound recovery.
A few scientific studies published have noted that L-glutamine only helps with the wound healing process if there has been a significant tissue loss.
Zinc works in every stage of wound healing by supporting the immune system and cell growth. Several skin cell processes require zinc to proceed. As such, it plays an important role in the first 3 stages of wound healing.
For example in the 2nd phase, it helps activate the immune defense against foreign bacteria. As for stage 3, it helps with the formation of skin cells needed to develop the new layer of skin.
This amino acid increases the amount of blood that is received in your limbs. As such, if you have a wound in your arm or leg, consuming L-arginine can increase blood circulation in that area.
Additionally, it helps stimulate growth hormones within your body. These growth hormones help increase the number of skin cells and collagen that your body produces which may speed up the process of wound healing. There have also been studies that show that l-arginine helps with the healing of fractures and effectively treats patients who have diabetes.
We’re all familiar with turmeric – the yellow-orange ingredient that is responsible for the delicious flavor in many beloved dishes. Curcumin which is the largest component of turmeric may play a large role in wound healing. Known for its antibacterial properties, turmeric may assist in preventing infections to a wounded area.
It also plays a role in the 1st stage of wound healing which allows blood clots to form quicker in the area. This prevents blood loss right at the moment of impaction.
Grape Seed Extract
The grape seed extract is another component that may speed up the recovery of wounds. Besides wound recovery, this extract is very rich in vitamins and antioxidants which have many health benefits.
In a recent study performed on mice, grape seed extract helped repair the damaged blood vessels which speeded up the wound recovery process. Furthermore, the extract contains free radicals which helped form connective skin tissue. While more studies are needed to uncover the benefits of grape seed extract, the current research shows some promising signs.
Sources for these vitamins
The power that a simple nutrient or vitamin has within wound healing is undeniable and quite frankly, extraordinary. Better yet there are tons of minerals and vitamins for wound healing you can choose from.
The vitamins and ingredients mentioned above are extremely important, especially if you suffer from diabetes or other health conditions that affect and prolong the recovery times of wounds. While many foods contain these vitamins, nothing beats the convenience of an all-in-one supplement. A supplement like WoundVite is an excellent source of all the vitamins and minerals needed to treat your wounds.
Made in the USA, this supplement contains all the 8 ingredients mentioned above and more, that ultimately aid in speedy wound recovery. As always, make sure to contact your doctor to ensure that it’s safe to consume this supplement.
The human body is an amazing organism. While our bodies can heal wounds on their own, we can always give our system that extra boost. With the proper vitamins and nutrition, our bodies can quickly heal and repair our wounds at a faster and miraculous rate.