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Treatment with supplementary arginine, vitamin C and zinc in patients with pressure ulcers: A randomised controlled trial *

Background & Aims
Nutrients putatively implicated in pressure ulcer healing were evaluated in a clinical setting.

Methods
Sixteen inpatients with a stage 2, 3 or 4 pressure ulcer randomised to receive daily a standard hospital diet; a standard diet plus two high-protein/energy supplements; or a standard diet plus two high-protein/energy supplements containing additional arginine (9 g), vitamin C (500 mg) and zinc (30 mg). Nutritional status measurements (dietary, anthropometric and biochemical) and pressure ulcer size and severity (by PUSH tool; Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing; 0=completely healed, 17=greatest severity) were measured weekly for 3 weeks.

Results
Patients’ age and BMI ranges were 37–92 years and 16.4–28.1 kg/m2, respectively. Baseline PUSH scores were similar between groups (8.7±0.5). Only patients receiving additional arginine, vitamin C and zinc demonstrated a clinically significant improvement in pressure ulcer healing (9.4±1.2 vs. 2.6±0.6; baseline and week 3, respectively; P<0.01). All patient groups presented with low serum albumin and zinc and elevated C-reactive protein. There were no significant changes in biochemical markers, oral dietary intake or weight in any group.

Conclusions
In this small set of patients, supplementary arginine, vitamin C and zinc significantly improved the rate of pressure ulcer healing. The results need to be confirmed in a larger study.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 09-04-2009
Authors: Katherine J. Desnevesa, Bree E. Todorovicb, Ann Cassara and Timothy C. Croweb
Source: Clinical Nutrition Volume 24, Issue 6, December 2005, Pages 979-987