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Nutrition in Wound Healing

Resource to help raise awareness of the role of nutrition in wound healing

Nutrients - Protein

red meat

Protein is made up of 20 amino acids, which are joined together by chains of peptide bonds. Large chains of protein tend to be broken down in the gastro-intestinal tract and are absorbed as smaller pieces of amino acid. Such amino acids are then used for a number of processes in the body. (Webb, 2002)

Foods high in Protein

Protein can be found in a number of food products.

Those that are high in protein include:

(Todorovic, 2003)

What do you think the body uses protein for? Read on to find out.

Nutrients role in the body

Protein's Role in the body

Protein has a number of important roles in the body. These include:

(Gray and Cooper, 1999, McIlwaine, 2003, McLaren, 1992, Oppenheimer, 2001, Todorovic, 2003)

Due to the important and varied roles that protein has in the body, it is a vital nutrient in wound healing. Protein deficiency is widely held to be a major problem in the malnourished patient and has been linked to an increased risk of pressure ulcers and slow wound healing in a number of studies (Ripley, 2006).

Signs of nutrient deficiency / overdose

Signs of Protein deficiency / overdose

In order to assist in identifying malnutrition and also determine how treatment is progressing, the nurse should be aware of signs of protein deficiency and overdose.

Signs of protein deficiency include: An effect of overdose is:
  • Weight loss.
  • Slow wound healing.
  • Oedema.
  • Sepsis caused by excess production of nitric oxide.

(McLaren 1992, and Todorovic, 2003)

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