Purpose: To increase the rate of healing following surgery and to minimize
scar and adhesion formation.
Nutrients that promote healing include vitamin C, copper, vitamin A, and
B-complex vitamins. Nutrients that reduce scar formation or adhesions
include vitamin E and flavonoids. Vitamin E alone inhibited wound healing
in one study, but that effect was reversed by addition of vitamin A. In
another study, vitamin E alone accelerated wound healing.
Individuals who follow this program typically heal much faster than
normal, with less pain and swelling and fewer complications.
Suggested Program (begin 2-4 weeks prior to surgery and continue for 4-6
weeks after surgery):
Enzymes work best when taken on an empty stomach. The rest of the
supplements should be taken with food.
- High-potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula.
Additional supplements. Note: the dosages of the following may be reduced
according to the amounts present in the multiple vitamin and mineral
- Vitamin C, 1,000mg, 2-3 times a day.
- Vitamin E, 400 IU/day.
- Vitamin A, 25,000 IU/day.
- Zinc (picolinate or citrate), 30-50 mg/day.
- Copper, 2-3 mg/day.
- Flavonoids (choose one):
- Citrus bioflavonoids, 500-1,000 mg, 2-3 times a day.
- "Herbal Flavonoids" (Enzymatic Therapy; contains flavonoids from
various fruit skins), 2-3 capsules per day.
- Centella asiatica (standardized to contain 40% asiaticoside),
30 mg, 1-2 capsules twice daily.
- Proteolytic enzymes are recommended to reduce inflammation and
swelling at the surgical site and to promote reabsorption of fibrin and
other tissue debris. Choices include (choose one):
- Pancreatin, 1,400 mg, 2-3 capsules, 3 times a day. (between meals)
- Bromelain (2,000 mcu/g), 250 mg, 2-3 capsules, 3 times a day. (between
Proteolytic Enzymes may be started 1-2 days before surgery or immediately
after surgery and should be continued for 4-7 days after surgery. The
dosage may be reduced by half after the third postoperative day.
by Alan R. Gaby, M.D. and Jonathan V. Wright, M.D.