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Nutrition in Wound Healing

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

Nutrients - Vitamin C


Vitamin C (otherwise known as ascorbic acid) is a crystalline sugar (Halstead, 1993). It is a water soluble substance that humans can't synthesise.

As with vitamin B, because vitamin C is water soluble the body is unable to store large amounts of the vitamin, and any excess tends to be excreted through the kidneys. Due to this, a regular supply of the vitamin is required in order to ensure that the body doesn't become deficient (Webb, 2002).

Foods high in Vitamin C series

Foods that contain vitamin C include:

(Kemp, 2001, Halstead, 1993)

Vitamin C is required for a number of functions within the body that affects wound healing. Write down what you think these are, then proceed to see if you were right.

Nutrients role in the body

Vitamin C's Role in the body

Vitamin C has a number of important roles within the body that affect wound healing. These include:

(Hallberg, Sandstrom and Aggett, 1993, McIlwaine, 2003, Todorovic, 2003)

Research by Good, Burns and Walker (1992) linked vitamin C deficiency to increased risk of pressure ulcers.

Signs of nutrient deficiency / overdose

Signs of Vitamin C deficiency / overdose

Due mainly though not exclusively to impaired synthesis of collagen, a large variety of serious signs of deficiency may be apparent. These include:

Signs of vitamin C deficiency include: Signs of vitamin C overdose include:
  • Loose teeth.
  • Haemorrhage.
  • Impaired wound healing.
  • Breakdown of old scars.
  • Bruising.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Heart failure.
  • Exacerbation of iron overload.
  • Risk of kidney stones.
  • Diarrhoea.

(Halsted, 1993)

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