Evidence-Based Nutritional Interventions in Wound Care

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2021 Jul 1;148(1):226-238. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000008061.


Background: The role of nutritional intervention in wound care has been a topic of controversy. Although the efficacy of macronutrient supplementation has been well described, there is a paucity of evidence and no official recommendation regarding the use of vitamins and minerals to optimize wound healing. This is the first review of vitamin and mineral wound intervention that systematically summarizes the literature using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and distills the evidence by wound type.

Methods: In this comprehensive review, the authors outline the nutrients and delivery methods used in the identified studies, analyze reported treatment outcomes, summarize nutrient effectiveness, and propose evidence-based conclusions to improve wound healing outcomes and enhance the consistency of nutritional intervention in wound care.

Results: Thirty-six studies with a combined total of 2339 patients investigated the use of oral, topical, or intravenous vitamin and/or mineral supplementation for treatment of the following wound types: burn wounds (n = 3), pressure ulcers (n = 7), diabetic ulcers (n = 4), venous ulcers (n = 7), digital ulcers (n = 1), skin incisions (n = 9), hypertrophic scars (n = 4), and sinonasal wounds (n = 1). Improved outcomes were reported in patients with burn wounds receiving vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, D, and E and zinc, calcium, copper, magnesium, selenium, and zinc; patients with pressure ulcers receiving vitamin C and zinc; patients with diabetic ulcers receiving vitamin A, B9, D, and E; patients with venous ulcers receiving zinc; and patients with hypertrophic scars receiving vitamin E.

Conclusions: Based on the high-level data provided in this review, the use of specific nutritional interventions may improve the outcome of certain wound types. Further investigation is warranted to draw definitive conclusions.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Burns / therapy*
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Support / methods*
  • Paranasal Sinuses / injuries*
  • Skin Ulcer / therapy*
  • Trace Elements / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage
  • Wound Healing


  • Trace Elements
  • Vitamins