Nutrition and Skin Ulcers

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 2013 Jan; 16(1):39-49. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32835bc0a1.
Little M. O.


Purpose of review: Skin ulcerations cause significant morbidity and mortality, while driving up healthcare utilization and costs. Interventions to prevent ulcers and improve wound healing times are needed to reduce the burden on patients and healthcare systems. It has been well established that weight loss, protein-calorie malnutrition, and dehydration are risk factors for pressure ulcers. Many nutritional interventions have been studied, with studies being of variable quality and producing mixed results. This review aims to clarify the current evidence and highlights the recent advances in the area of nutrition for the prevention and management of skin ulceration.

Recent findings: Markers for assessing nutritional status will be reviewed first, followed by a discussion on the theoretical benefit of various nutritional interventions on wound healing. Recommendations for nutrient repletion are also included. Finally, the most recent or important literature will be highlighted and the risks and benefits of supplementation are debated. There is mixed evidence for most nutritional interventions, with most studies being of poor quality with variable study designs, lack of control groups, small sample sizes, and short study lengths.

Summary: Long-term randomized trials of individual nutrients and clinically relevant endpoints are needed to definitively show the benefit of additional nutritional supplementation over dietary interventions. Until those studies become available, best evidence suggests the importance of screening for malnutrition, calculating resting energy expenditure and caloric needs, and monitoring dietary intake of essential nutrients.

Information NutriBib

Reference work for leading, current and selected literature in the field of clinical nutrition

Publications on clinical nutrition have grown steadily in recent years and the scientific evidence has been improved by numerous observational as well as intervention studies. Various umbrella organisations, such as the Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (GESKES), the German Society for Nutritional Medicine (DGEM) or the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) publish guidelines on nutrition in various clinical situations at regular intervals. Thus, a large amount of literature is available for evidence-based nutritional medicine.

The NutriBib aims to filter out authoritative publications in the various fields of nutritional medicine and thus to provide an overview of the abundance of literature. A large number of experienced nutrition experts contributed to the selection of relevant sources and allow a broadly based selection. Nevertheless, the literature selection cannot be considered exhaustive. Specific literature can be found by entering search words (using the magnifying glass at the top right) or by searching the table of contents.

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List of abbreviations

DGEM German Society for Nutritional Medicine (German Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährungsmedizin)
GESKES  Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (German Gesellschaft für klinische Ernährung der Schweiz) 
ESPEN European Society of Clinicl Nutrition and Metabolism