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Nutrition in Wound Healing

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

Nutrients - Zinc


Zinc can be found in a number of food products, though its digestion is complicated as other food products (such as phytic acid, which is in wholegrain cereals) can reduce its absorption.

Food products that are good sources of zinc include:

(Hallberg, Sandstrom and Aggett, 1993)

Nutrients role in the body

Zinc's Role in the body

Zinc has a number of roles within the body. These include:

(Hallberg, Sandstrom and Aggett, 1993)

Due to zinc being required for a number of important functions within the body, zinc deficiency has a number of detrimental effects on the body and should be rectified.

Signs of nutrient deficiency / overdose

Signs of Zinc deficiency / overdose

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

Signs of zinc deficiency include: Zinc overdose is relatively rare, however overdose of zinc can cause:
  • Slow wound healing.
  • Reduced wound bed strength.
  • Skin ulceration.
  • Reduced immunity to infections.
  • Hair loss.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Fever.
  • Lethargy.

(Hallberg, Sandstrom and Aggett, 1993, and Kemp, 2001)

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