Going through surgery of any kind is a very scary ordeal, and understandably you will want to get back to full strength as quickly as possible. Your body starts the healing process the second you sustain any sort of wound, but is there a way to speed up that healing process by what you put into your body?
The Healing Process of a Wound
As we all know, the skin acts as a protective barrier for our bodies, and when that skin barrier is broken it is classified as a wound; whether that be from a small scrape or from surgery.
John Hopkins Medicine defines the 4 stages of healing as haemostasis, inflammation, growth/rebuilding, and finally strengthening [ii]. During haemostasis and inflammation, the blood cells break the skin barrier and clump together, forming a protective layer that stops further bleeding. Oxygen and nutrients then allow the repair process to begin [ii].
Even though the body is hard at work during those final two stages, there are multiple scientific studies that indicate certain vitamins and nutrients can help to speed up recovery; especially zinc and vitamin D.
Vitamins and Nutrients that Aid Recovery
How Vitamin D Aids Wound Recovery
Vitamin D is a powerful nutrient that offers a variety of health benefits. We recently enhanced our dosage of Vegan Vitamin D3 on the back of new insightful scientific studies, which state that an increased dosage can lead to improvements in a person’s T-cell count and could act as a combatant to cancer and Covid symptoms [xiv].
Vitamin D can play a role in the body’s T-cell count and when increasing the recommended daily dosage, studies have found that this count gets bigger [xi]. T-cells act almost like the body's army in that they track down and fight off infections and inflammation. You can read our blog post all about the importance of T-cells here.
You can read an entire blog post on our Vegan Vitamin D3, some of its strongest health benefits and links to the scientific studies on the above claims here.
It’s easy to understand why supplementation of vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular, but did you know that this ingredient can play a role in wound recovery?
During those 4 stages of wound healing, your body is using a range of different cell types. Vitamin D is a necessary ingredient for the body to regulate these cells and can also aid the production of epidermal and platelet growth factors which can result in speeding up the healing process [xiii].
There are plenty of other studies out there that point towards the same conclusions. One study looking specifically into vitamin D supplementation in patients with fractures indicated that this multi-functioning vitamin can improve and ensure optimum recovery when it was combined alongside a balanced diet and exercise [iv]. The study also went on to state that vitamin D is likely to cause a reduced risk of new fractures in patients too.
Vitamin D is also referred to as an “essential” ingredient for maintaining bone health and can be used as an effective strategy for aiding the healing process in fracture patients [v].
Another study that looked at the effects of vitamin D on wound healing, found that after the 12-week mark patients had a significant reduction in ulcer length and it played a key role in recovery due to causing an improvement to glycaemic control [vi].
How Zinc Aids Wound Recovery
When looking at natural ingredients that can aid wound recovery, vitamin D isn't the only one that stands out. There are multiple studies looking into zinc’s effects and how this could also help on a variety of levels.
When supplementing zinc into your diet, a study that investigated patients with foot ulcers over a 12-week period found that zinc could play a role in which they recovered. The results highlighted how zinc could reduce the ulcer size and affect the metabolic profile [ix].
Zinc can also affect the size of ulcers in patients. Another study looking into patients over the age of 65 concluded that zinc could improve the healing process whilst also reducing the time it takes to recover [x]. Zinc is able to help wound healing due to how it plays a role in our cells and regulates every phase of the recovery process. Zinc can help to aid membrane repair and manage oxidative stress, tissue repair, scar formation, coagulation, inflammation and immune defence [i]
There are also other studies that define zinc as a cofactor for cell membrane repair, growth and supporting the immune system [viii].
But it is not just about supplementing zinc into your diet, but also making sure your body isn't deficient in this ingredient too. One study found that patients who were deficient in zinc could see a slower rate at which their wound would heal [vii]. If you are recovering from surgery and you think that you are deficient in zinc, then please consult your local GP.
Additional Ingredients That Aid Wound Recovery
Outside of vitamin D and zinc, there are other natural supplements that can help to improve bodily functions, strengthen bone health, aid cell growth, and support the health of blood flow through the arteries such as vitamin E.
This multipurpose vitamin is well-known for its antioxidant properties that help protect your cells from inflammation and free radicals, but a study into vitamin E supplementation identified that this ingredient could have a positive impact on “influencing wound healing” too [iii] [xii].
How to Add These Vitamins into Your Diet!
If you are looking to speed up wound healing or the recovery process post-surgery, then please consult your local GP. You can also supplement other treatments and remedies into your diet that may help to combat the symptoms and side effects.
You can add zinc, vitamin E and vitamin D to your very own personalised gummy nutrient today at Nourished. Each of our delicious gummies packs 7-high-impact ingredients into a single stack. You can take our short consultation to get a personalised recommendation or create your own gummy from our lab.
Want To Learn More?
If you would like to read more of the studies, claims and references cited in this article then please visit the links below and click the link here: