Diet enrichment with a specific essential free amino acid mixture improves healing of undressed wounds in aged rats

Exp Gerontol. 2017 Oct 1;96:138-145. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2017.06.020. Epub 2017 Jun 29.


Chronic wounds are a major, often underestimated, health problem for the elderly. Standard wound care products are not usually manufactured to meet the increased demand of nutrients by skin cells in order to regenerate new tissue and accelerate healing. This work was therefore undertaken to establish whether wound healing could be accelerated by nutritional supplementation with a specific mixture tailored to human need of essential amino acids (EAAs) without topical medication. To this end, using a skin full-thickness excisional model in aged rats, we compared the closure dynamics of undressing wounds in animals fed an EAAs-enriched diet or standard diet. We assessed the degree of fibrosis and inflammation, as well as relevant signaling molecules such as COL1A1, iNOS and TGFβ1. The results showed wound healing was accelerated in EAAs-fed rats, which was accompanied by reduced inflammation and changes in TGFβ1 and COL1A1 expression. Collectively, our findings indicate that dietary supplementation with balanced EAAs diet could serve as a strategy to accelerate wound healing without inducing fibrosis and could therefore be a simple but pivotal therapeutic approach in human also.

Keywords: Aging; Amino acids; Rat; Skin; Wound healing.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Amino Acids, Essential / administration & dosage*
  • Amino Acids, Essential / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Collagen / physiology
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism
  • Collagen Type I, alpha 1 Chain
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drinking Behavior / physiology
  • Eating / physiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Amino Acids, Essential
  • Biomarkers
  • Collagen Type I
  • Collagen Type I, alpha 1 Chain
  • Tgfb1 protein, rat
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Collagen
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, rat