Nutrition and Wound Healing: An Overview Focusing on the Beneficial Effects of Curcumin

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Mar 5;20(5):1119. doi: 10.3390/ijms20051119.


Wound healing implicates several biological and molecular events, such as coagulation, inflammation, migration-proliferation, and remodeling. Here, we provide an overview of the effects of malnutrition and specific nutrients on this process, focusing on the beneficial effects of curcumin. We have summarized that protein loss may negatively affect the whole immune process, while adequate intake of carbohydrates is necessary for fibroblast migration during the proliferative phase. Beyond micronutrients, arginine and glutamine, vitamin A, B, C, and D, zinc, and iron are essential for inflammatory process and synthesis of collagen. Notably, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin might reduce the expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 (IL-1) and restore the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and antioxidant activity. Since curcumin induces apoptosis of inflammatory cells during the early phase of wound healing, it could also accelerate the healing process by shortening the inflammatory phase. Moreover, curcumin might facilitate collagen synthesis, fibroblasts migration, and differentiation. Although curcumin could be considered as a wound healing agent, especially if topically administered, further research in wound patients is recommended to achieve appropriate nutritional approaches for wound management.

Keywords: amino-acids; curcumin; diet; macronutrients; micronutrients; minerals; nutrition; vitamins; wound; wound healing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Antioxidants
  • Curcumin