Saturday, March 05, 2011

Vitamins and Wound Healing: Conventional Wisdom is Just Plain Dumb!

When you or someone in your care gets hurt badly enough to cause temporary disability, actions alone can not be the optimum treatment. My daughter recently sprained her wrist badly. She was prescribed RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Not a word on nutrition. I don't know the answer. Really - I don't have any data indicating what is the best treatment for wound healing, and I'm sure it varies alot depending on the wound. There are lots of ways of getting hurt. I'm certain, however, that nutrition can help. For years I've recommended vitamin C and niacin for wound healing. But when I took on the task of helping my daughter, I came back from the grocery store with lots of supplements: calcium/magnesium/zinc, chondroitin/glucosamine, vitamin C, B-50 B-complex, and niacin. There were many others that indicated they might be helpful for healing. Many of these products were developed to support wounded joints, and have staffs of physician researchers standing behind them. The idea that nothing - just RICE - is optimal and that none of these supplements are helpful is one that no thinking scientist would stand behind. At the turn of the 20th century, most colleges still did not accept the atomic theory. Once trained, many adults will never change their minds. They simply have to die. Many of today's physicians will never change their ways - no matter the evidence. They'll just have to retire. Until they do, you'll get the treatment they learned years ago and you will not benefit from recent research.

This situation makes me crazy. No one really stands behind today's standard of care, but no one is acting to develop a new standard of care. So - if you want to treat a wound with supplements, you're on your own. This situation is not stable. It will change. But too late for those suffering now.



At 10:29 AM, Blogger Bobber said...

Very well said Steve. One of the things that woke me up to this is some years ago when I had burned my arm. A friend who was visiting suggested that I go to a store that sells plants, get an Aloe Vera plant and chop off a section and put the juice on my burn. I was surprised and amazed at the magical effect the next day! Since then I have used Aloe Vera on many wounds and experienced incredible healing. I have tried commercial products which advertise Aloe Vera content but the results have not been the same. After experiencing this I started to wonder why doctors or pharmacists would not recommend using this simple and inexpensive way to treat burns and wounds.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Steve said...


You're awesome. The internet is truly revolutionary. Without it, we would never have been connected. Aloe Vera was the furthest thing from my mind when I wrote this column. Now I'm going to go and get some next time I have a burn that needs it.

And, for that matter, I'll have to say that I LOVE AMERICA!!. Where else could I live with the comfort of knowing that when I need an Aloe Vera plant, by golly, I'll just drive down the street and get one!! Who cares what the physicians and pharmacists think. Anything that isn't illegal is out there at an affordable price. So - Bobber, among other things the battle is for our children's minds. I think I'm doing OK.

Thanks for your fantastic comment.


At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Fiona said...

It is interesting that if you have coeliac disease (which prevents you from absorbing all the nutrients your body needs and usually leads to low vitamin levels especially vitamin D - where you don't have enough of the precursors needed to make vitamin D) then wound healing can be very slow!
When my son was diagnosed and was also recommended to take strong vitamin D supplements, his wounds healed very quickly. Previously he could have a scar for weeks or months instead of days.

Arnica is also thought to be good for healing and is recommended by my doctor but I can't say I have noticed much difference.


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