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Protein supplement may speed bedsore healing (press release)

Monday, July 31, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: health news, Natural News, nutrition


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A liquid protein supplement may help heal the bedsores that often develop in sick or disabled, and especially elderly, patients, researchers have found.

Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, are a common problem among nursing home residents and other individuals whose health keeps them confined to a bed or wheelchair. They occur when sustained pressure cuts off blood flow to certain areas of the body, damaging the skin and underlying tissue.

Malnutrition can make people more vulnerable to bedsores, and nutritional supplements are already recommended to help prevent and treat the skin wounds.

But there has been a lack of evidence from controlled clinical trials on how well protein supplements promote bedsore healing, according to the authors of the new study, led by Dr. S. Kwon Lee, president of Northeast Surgical Associates of Ohio, in Independence.

Their study included 89 nursing home residents in four states who were treated for moderate to advanced bedsores. The patients were randomly assigned to receive standard care or standard care plus a liquid protein supplement three times a day for eight weeks.

The supplement, sold as Pro-Stat, is concentrated to provide a large protein dose in a small serving -- 15 grams of protein in an ounce of liquid.

After eight weeks, Lee's team found, patients who'd taken the supplement were healing at roughly twice the rate of those on standard care.

The findings appear in the journal Advances in Skin & Wound Care. The maker of Pro-State, Medical Nutrition USA, Inc. in Englewood, New Jersey, funded the research.

According to Lee, an easily digested, concentrated liquid protein can make it easier for nursing home residents to get the nutrition they need to promote wound healing.

"Data have long suggested that high-protein diets improve the healing of pressure ulcers," the researcher said in a statement, "but specific evidence until now has been weak regarding how much protein, and in what form, is most effective."

According to Lee, one reason for the supplement's benefits may be its high levels of certain amino acids -- arginine, glutamine and glycine -- that have been shown to promote wound healing.


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