Purpose of review: This review evaluates the efficacy of vitamin supplementations for prevention and treatment of pressure ulcer and surgical wounds on the basis of recent clinical intervention studies.
Recent findings: Intervention studies show that an energy and protein-rich oral nutritional supplement providing high doses of vitamin C and zinc in combination with arginine may prevent the development of pressure ulcers. This measure seems to improve the healing of pressure ulcer, which is questionable for vitamin C alone. For surgical wounds, data from randomized controlled studies are scarce, but results on the use of vitamin C in combination with pantothenic acid are promising.
Summary: Considerable evidence suggests that supplementation of vitamin C together with zinc by an oral nutritional supplement rich in energy, protein and arginine may be an efficient tool for pressure ulcer healing in contrast to single vitamin C. The evidence for prevention of pressure ulcer by such an oral nutritional supplement is comparably low. This fits also for single vitamin C supplementation in the healing of surgical wounds. Further, well designed and well powered studies on the benefit of antioxidant vitamins for wound healing within a diet providing adequate energy and protein are necessary.