Nutritional treatment for traumatic brain injury

J Neurotrauma. 2014 Jun 1;31(11):989-99. doi: 10.1089/neu.2013.3234.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant public health concern. On average, 1.7 million persons sustain a TBI annually, and about 5.3 million Americans are living with a TBI-related disability. As the leading cause of death and disability in persons under 45 years old, there is a need for developing evidence-based interventions to reduce morbidity from this injury. So far, despite encouraging preclinical results, almost all neuroprotection trials have failed to show any significant efficacy in the treatment of patients with clinical TBI. The cascade of molecular and cellular changes after TBI involves plasticity in many different neurochemical systems, which represent putative targets for neurotherapeutic interventions. Accordingly, a successful TBI treatment may have to simultaneously attenuate many injury factors. The purpose of this review is to highlight four promising nutritional intervention options that have been identified-omega-3, zinc, vitamin D, and glutamine-and to provide an up-to-date summary regarding their apparent efficacy for affecting TBI.

Keywords: glutamine; omega-3; review; traumatic brain injury; vitamin D; zinc.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use
  • Glutamine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Therapy*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use
  • Zinc / therapeutic use


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Vitamins
  • Glutamine
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc