You know what they say about time healing all wounds, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do anything to speed up the process. Using supplements for healing can have a dramatic effect on your recovery time and allow you to get back to your life faster.
We all experience the need to heal at some point. It could be due to injury, surgery, or an illness. Nevertheless, the downtime can be costly. It requires that we stop going to work for some time, or in the case or athletes, stop training. Being able to get back to your feet sooner translates to better quality of life.
Here are some of the best supplements for healing if you’re looking to bounce back after injury sooner than expected.
1. Vitamin K
Vitamin K actually refers to a group of compounds, and not a single substance. The most vital of these vitamins are K1 and K2. The former is found in dark, leafy greens and the latter is usually found in dairy and protein sources such as eggs and meat. Most vitamin K supplements in stores are the K1 variety.
The body needs this compound in blood clotting and bone metabolism, the two processes that are vital for wound healing. As soon as a wound occurs, Vitamin K in the bloodstream triggers the entire blood coagulation process. It’s so important in clotting that many patients are prescribed this vitamin before they undergo surgery. In addition, it enhances food absorption, allowing you to make the most out of the nutrients you’re taking.
It’s crucial that you talk to your doctor if you’re planning to take this before surgery though because prolonged bed rest and the type of surgical procedure may increase occurrence of unwanted clotting.
Healing is vital for survival and it’s a lengthy, multi-cell process that involves many different kinds of cells. Usually, inflammation occurs after wounding. This is the body’s natural response to injury. Then cells are directed to the wound (dermal and epidermal cells, for example, in the case of wounds on the skin). Lastly, the body attempts to restore the barrier.
Calcium is the substance that trigger’s the entire immune response to healing wounds. Calcium makes about 99% of the minerals in the human body. It is required for biological activities not just in the skin but also in other soft tissues.
This mineral is found in every cell of your body, including the blood, skin, and muscles.
Iron deficiency in the body hampers healing due to the lack of oxygen that is needed for metabolic processes. Lack of iron also weakens certain white blood cells’ potency against bacteria
At the cellular level, your body needs energy to function. Your cells use oxygen in the process of converting the food you eat to energy. Iron is a vital part of the hemoglobin, the part of the body that carries oxygen. Iron is also in the myoglobin, which are proteins that are found in the muscles.
The human body constantly monitors the amount of iron in your system. It ends up absorbing more when you need it the most, and less when it has enough in store. If you’re injured, you may need iron to supplement the amount your body lost. This is especially the case when heavy bleeding is experienced.
4. B Complex Vitamins
The 8 vitamins that make up the B complex (B1, niacin, B5, B6, biotin, folic acid and cobalamin) aid in healing because of their role in cellular metabolism and cell proliferation.
B vitamins help your body convert what you eat into energy. Your cells, including those who are part of your immune system and those who will be part of the restoration process, need this energy to function.
B1 or thiamine for example, has the unique capability of producing collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and can be found in your muscles, skin, joints, and tendons. This ability makes it helpful in the process sin which your body repairs damage.
B5 or pantothenic acid, on the other hand, can help with the repair process because it plays a role in the production of fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are the most abundant type of cell in connective tissues. They produce the structural framework for tissues and help produce collagen and other fibers, making them critical for tissue repair.
5. Vitamin A
This vitamin is usually found in plant pigments, which is why carrots have plenty of these. It boosts the immune system and is needed for maintaining healthy cells.
It does not directly affect healing of wounds, but vitamin A deficiency is associated with increased risk of infection and delays in healing, specifically those that were brought by the use of corticosteroids. It is necessary for the proliferation of skin cells because retinol, which is the active form if this vitamin, can bind to cell surface receptors. In addition, it blocks the action of collagenase, a substance that breaks down collagen. This is why some beauty products contain this vitamin.
Copper can combat various bacterial strains, which is why it is particularly effective in dressings and bandages. Copper intake can be just as beneficial for many reasons.
First, it helps your body absorb iron so it indirectly improves your capability to form red blood cells. It also helps in keeping various tissues healthy. These include bones, nerves, and blood vessels. Because it helps to keep your cellular metabolism at optimal levels, it also affects the way your immune system reacts to invaders or injury.
Copper is also required for the activity of many enzyme systems, including the one that is related to strengthening scars. Proper copper intake copper will help with wound resistance and elasticity.
Supplements can be a godsend if you’re recovering from injury. However, do note that there are recommended intakes for each type of supplement. While there are databases that you can access for detailed info, it’s important that you talk to your doctor to find out about the ideal amounts for your situation so you can start properly using supplements for healing.