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Nutritional Supplements Can Improve Pressure Ulcer Healing

Eight weeks of formula enriched with arginine, zinc, and antioxidants linked to improved healing

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For malnourished adult patients, specific nutritional supplements (arginine, zinc, and antioxidants) are associated with improved pressure ulcer healing, according to a study published in the Feb. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Emanuele Cereda, M.D., Ph.D., from the Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Policlinico San Matteo in Pavia, Italy, and colleagues examined whether supplementation with arginine, zinc, and antioxidants within a high-calorie, high-protein formula improves pressure ulcer healing. Two hundred adult malnourished patients with stage II, III, and IV pressure ulcers were randomized to eight weeks of an energy-dense, protein-rich formula enriched with arginine, zinc, and antioxidants or to an equal volume of isocaloric, isonitrogenous formula.

The researchers observed a greater reduction in pressure ulcer area with supplementation with enriched formula compared with control formula (mean reduction, 60.9 versus 45.2 percent; adjusted mean difference, 18.7 percent; P = 0.017). At eight weeks, there was a more frequent reduction in area of 40 percent or greater (odds ratio, 1.98; P = 0.018). There were no differences noted in other secondary end points.

"Among malnourished patients with pressure ulcers, eight weeks of supplementation with an oral nutritional formula enriched with arginine, zinc, and antioxidants improved pressure ulcer healing," the authors write.

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