Nutrition, anabolism, and the wound healing process: an overview

Eplasty. 2009;9:e9. Epub 2009 Feb 3.


Objective: To develop a clear, concise, and up-to-date treatise on the role of anabolism from nutrition in wound healing. Special emphasis was to be placed on the effect of the stress response to wounding and its effect.

Methods: A compilation of both the most important and most recent reports in the literature was used to also develop the review. The review was divided into sections to emphasize specific nutrition concepts of importance.

Results: General and specific concepts were developed from this material. Topics included body composition and lean body mass, principles of macronutritional utilization, the stress response to wounding, nutritional assessment, nutritional support, and use of anabolic agents.

Conclusions: We found that nutrition is a critical component in all the wound healing processes. The stress response to injury and any preexistent protein-energy malnutrition will alter this response, impeding healing and leading to potential severe morbidity. A decrease in lean body mass is of particular concern as this component is responsible for all protein synthesis necessary for healing. Nutritional assessment and support needs to be well orchestrated and precise. The use of anabolic agents can significantly increase overall lean mass synthesis and directly or indirectly improves healing by increasing protein synthesis.