Nutritional Supplements for Critically Ill Patients: Efficient Tools to Improve Wound Healing

Reference work entry


Critically ill patients frequently suffer from acute wounds which result from trauma, burns, elective surgery due to cancer, and from pressure ulcer due to long-term immobilization. Several nutrients which play a physiologic role for wound healing (arginine, glutamine, several micronutrients, long-chain n-3 fatty acids, and nucleotides) are key nutrients of dietary supplements which should improve wound healing. An overview on commercially available supplements for oral and enteral application is given. However, their efficacy on wound healing remains unclear. Thus, this chapter should summarize the results of randomized controlled trials which investigated the effect of nutritional supplements on wound healing in critically ill patients. For the formulation of recommendations on the use of specific nutritional supplements to improve wound healing in critical care, guidelines of medical societies on the overall outcome of several supplements are also considered as well as protocols on clinical practice.


Zinc Glutathione Selenium Proline Arginine 

List of Abbreviations


Nitric oxide


Oral nutritional supplements


Randomized controlled trials


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Food, Nutrition and Hospitality SciencesHochschule Niederrhein, University of Applied SciencesMönchengladbachGermany

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