What vitamin deficiency causes delayed wound healing?
When it comes to healing wounds, the human body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to properly do its job. Without these essential nutrients, wound healing can slow down or even stall. Zinc, vitamin C, protein, vitamin A and other nutrients are important components in the healing process. Unfortunately, many people do not get enough of these vital vitamins and minerals in their diets, resulting in an increased risk of delayed wound healing.
Nutritional deficiencies such as zinc, vitamin C and protein, can lead to slowed healing in wounds. In December 2014, Podiatry Today noted that when wounds start healing, the body often requires more of these particular nutrients. Vitamin A is also important to the wound healing process, as it helps stimulate tissues at the cellular level. According to the Cleveland Clinic, individuals with inadequate levels of Vitamin A may have difficulty healing from wounds.
Diabetics also have an increased risk of delayed wound healing, as their bodies often struggle to generate enough perfusion and oxygen to the wound. Poor perfusion, neuropathy and decreased immune function can slow the healing process substantially.
Vitamin A deficiency not only impedes wound healing, it is also one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity due to infection. The metabolic effects of Vitamin A can help modulate cell activity and regulate hormones that are important to the healing of tissues. Vitamin A is found in certain foods such as liver, egg yolks, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli and spinach.
Vitamin D is inextricably linked to wound healing, as it aids in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, two important components in the healing of bones and cells. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to increase the risk of mortality and chronic illnesses, infections, autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular conditions.
Along with these vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids are also essential for proper wound healing. High levels of exudate can lead to protein deficits, which will slow healing down over time. Vitamin C also plays a big role in healing wounds by stimulating and increasing the rate of cell turnover.
Vitamin deficiencies can cause delayed wound healing and even lead to infection or scarring. It’s important to have adequate levels of zinc, Vitamin C, protein, Vitamin A and Vitamin D to ensure that you are getting the full effect of healing your wound. Eating healthy, nutrient-rich food and speaking to your doctor can help make sure your body is getting the proper vitamins and minerals to aid in wound healing.