Senior man taking wound healing supplements

15 Effective Wound Healing Supplements To Speed Your Recovery

Recovering from a surgery or injury is an uphill battle that requires proper rest, nutrition, and protection of the healing area. You’re here because you want your wound to heal more quickly, and wound healing supplements can help. 

The longer a wound takes to heal, the more difficult your life becomes, and the higher the likelihood that your wound will get infected or cause complications. Wound healing supplements are one way to speed up the healing process.

Supplements to promote wound healing like essential vitamins, trace minerals, and collagen protein can cut your recovery time by up to 20%. Of course, this supplementation should be done under the guidance of a medical health professional.

So what are the best wound healing supplements, and what can they do to help you recover?

In this article, we’re going to share 15 of the best supplements for wound healing. We’ll also dive into why medical professionals use these supplements, and share a few natural sources so you can easily add them to your diet.

But before we dive into the best wound healing supplements, let’s quickly discuss why proper nutrition is so important for your healing process. 

Woman making nutritious meals and taking wound healing supplements to support recovery

Is nutrition important in wound healing?

Nutrition for wound healing should be part of every recovery plan. The foods you eat are essential to the way your body functions. This is especially true when you’re recovering from a wound, since your body is literally rebuilding itself from scratch. 

A complete rebuild of muscle tissue, skin tissue, nerves, and blood vessels takes an enormous amount of resources. But where do the materials come from? 

The food you eat is where your body gets all its materials and energy. That’s why nutrition and wound healing are so closely interlinked. For instance, medical nutrition therapy is enormously helpful in treating diabetes, heart disease, and, of course, healing wounds. 

The broadest way to approach nutrition for wound healing is simply to make sure you’re getting a well-rounded diet. And if you really want to focus on incorporating nutrients to support wound healing, there are a few you need more than anything.

Woman holding a wound healing supplement

15 wound healing supplements to improve your recovery time

Here are the top wound healing supplements that can help you get back on your feet in record time:

1. Collagen protein 

Collagen protein is what your body uses to knit your wounds back together. So, simply speaking, if you don’t have enough collagen stores in your body, it’s going to be difficult to heal your wounds effectively. 

Collagen is a protein that the body makes naturally. In fact, it’s the most abundant protein in the human body. Unfortunately, our collagen production starts to slow down every year after we hit our mid-20s. 

You can find collagen in bone broth, meat, fish, and eggs. That being said, it’s difficult to get enough collagen for wound healing from food alone, which is why a daily collagen supplement is recommended. 

2. L-arginine 

Collagen wound healing is a natural process in the human body, which calls upon many compounds, including L-arginine. So, if you want to further support collagen wound healing, one of the wound healing supplements you should try is L-arginine. 

L-arginine is an amino acid that is necessary for aiding in the production and repair of tissue. It is also converted into nitric oxide, which helps the body maintain a positive nitrogen balance. This aids in collagen formation by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the wound.

L-arginine is naturally found in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. However, occasionally, a person’s need for L-arginine may exceed their ability to consume it naturally. If that’s the case, supplementing with L-arginine may be beneficial.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, plays a vital role in many of your body functions – including wound healing. As much as 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C may help anyone with an open wound heal faster. 

Vitamin C intake is vital to an effective wound healing diet because of its role as a cofactor in collagen synthesis. Vitamin C and collagen work hand-in-hand to build new skin tissue and close up the wound site.  

As an antioxidant, vitamin C also helps protect cells from free radicals that may cause heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. 

If you want to incorporate vitamin C as one of the wound healing supplements in your diet, sun-dried tomatoes, citrus fruits, and dark green vegetables are all great sources of this powerful vitamin.

4. Vitamin D

Next on our list of wound healing supplements is vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin commonly found in food and produced through skin exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.

In its active form, vitamin D can aid in healing bone fractures, burn injuries, and diabetic foot ulcers.

Vitamin D is mostly generated from skin exposure to sunlight, and if you live in an area with little sun, or have a genetic vitamin D deficiency, you may benefit from vitamin D supplements. You can also find vitamin D in eggs, fatty fish, cod liver, and beef liver. 

5. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is popular among consumers that want to prevent scars and heal wounds, earning it a spot on our list of wound healing supplements. 

Most medical professionals recommend using vitamin E on the skin after an injury has healed and new skin has formed. Do not use any supplements on an open wound unless it is recommended by your doctor. 

The wound healing supplements on our list are generally meant to be taken orally. Consult with a doctor to determine if vitamin E or any of these potential wound healing supplements can help you topically vs orally. 

In terms of your diet, nuts and seeds are the best sources of Vitamin E, with the highest concentration found in almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

6. Zinc

Zinc is required for the activation of over 300 enzymes. One of these enzymes, superoxide dismutase, helps break down potentially harmful oxygen molecules in cells. Many other enzymes rely on zinc as a cofactor. 

A deficiency in these enzymes can delay the wound healing process. This is why many regard Zinc as one of the best supplements for wound healing.

Zinc is essential in many other processes too, including cell membrane stabilization, carbohydrate metabolism, and the mobilization of essential vitamins. Similar to vitamin C, zinc decreases oxidative stress and levels of specific inflammatory proteins. 

Zinc plays a crucial role in both collagen formation and immune system function. This means when you don’t have enough zinc, your body can’t form new tissue or avoid infection as well.

Zinc’s powerful positive influence on wound healing is most pronounced when it’s taken in combination with protein and vitamin C. In one study, this combination reduced the size of pressure ulcers by as much as 57%.

The best sources of zinc include seafood like oysters, crab, and mussels, as well as pork, mushrooms, kale, and legumes.

7. Copper

Copper, an essential trace element, makes our list of wound healing supplements because of its role in numerous healing processes. For example, copper is a necessary cofactor for the formation of new blood cells

Better blood flow usually means better wound healing since the blood brings fresh nutrients and oxygen to the wound.

Copper is also linked to improved elasticity and resistance in wounds. Its increased presence during the first few days of wound healing makes it a formidable presence in the wound healing process.

Although copper deficiency is rare, it may present itself in people with celiac disease or people with a genetic malabsorption syndrome. For this reason, doctors may prescribe copper in a regiment of wound healing supplements.

8. Iron

Iron plays many key roles in the wound healing process, including oxygen transport to cells, the formation of hemoglobin and collagen, mitochondrial respiration, and the breaking down of free radicals. 

Unlike copper deficiency, iron deficiency is much more common, resulting in hypoxia, inflammation, and skin infections. 

Luckily, iron naturally occurs in animal proteins, seafood, and poultry. Ask your doctor before incorporating wound healing supplements like iron into your diet.

9. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an essential fat-soluble micronutrient. One of its roles in the body is controlling the inflammatory response. It’s also involved in epidermal turnover, which helps protect the skin during the wound healing process.

Low levels of vitamin A are linked to slower wound healing and a higher susceptibility to infection. Many doctors consider vitamin A as one of their go-to wound healing supplements to reduce swelling after plastic surgery because it promotes collagen production.

Much like vitamin C, vitamin A is key in collagen synthesis. Vitamin A is important at all stages of wound healing, since one of its main functions in the body is to stimulate wound healing

When including vitamin A as one of your supplements for wound healing, you should speak with a healthcare professional first. You’ll also want to make sure it’s part of a larger plan of nutrition for wound healing. 

Good sources of vitamin A include beef liver, milk, leafy greens, and eggs.

10. Vitamin B complex

Vitamin B complex is a supplement comprised of eight water-soluble B vitamins:

Water-soluble means that the vitamins dissolve in water, and the body doesn’t store them. Instead, they are transported to the body’s tissues in intracellular fluids.

So what do these eight vitamins have in common regarding wound healing? B vitamins play a role in cell proliferation, which increases the number of cells. The faster this process takes place, the faster wounds can heal.

Supplementing with vitamin B complex can be especially beneficial for people that choose to exclude animal products from their diet, as eggs, dairy, and fish are the main sources of B vitamins.

11. Vitamin K

Vitamin K is known as the “blood-clotting vitamin,” and its assistance in producing 4 of the 13 proteins needed for blood clotting makes it a valuable piece in the coagulation process.

Vitamin K is actually representative of two fat-soluble vitamins, K1 and K2, found naturally in plant foods like dark leafy greens, as well as eggs and dairy.

12. Calcium

Did you know that 99% of the body’s mineral content is calcium? Most often associated with healthy teeth and bones, Calcium also plays a role in blood clotting. Calcium is so essential to the human body that it comprises almost 2% of it. 

Following skin injury, calcium concentration in the epidermis increases, acting as a barrier while the wound heals. This is why calcium has made it onto our list of wound healing supplements.

The foods highest in calcium include tofu, milk, spinach, black eyed peas, and trout.

13. Selenium

Selenium is a chemical element that acts as an antioxidant, helping lower inflammation and boost the immune system. Selenium is of increased importance to people with diabetes, who can use the element to accelerate the wound healing process.

Inadequate selenium levels are linked to immunosuppression, emphasizing the importance of getting adequate selenium from the diet. Selenium is naturally found in poultry, lean meats, nuts, seeds, and shellfish. 

14. Magnesium

Magnesium is a chemical element that acts as a cofactor for over 300 enzymatic processes, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, and collagen synthesis. Due to its analgesic effect, magnesium also eliminates the pain sensation caused by wounds.

Many people, especially athletes, are deficient in magnesium because they lose a lot through sweat. Moreover, the average person doesn’t get enough magnesium through their diet, and a deficiency can aggravate the inflammatory response and slow tissue regeneration. 

The best natural sources of magnesium include nuts, hemp seeds, whole grains, greens, and dark chocolate. Magnesium is also safe to supplement in some forms when dietary needs aren’t met.

15. Bromelain

Bromelain, an enzyme found only in pineapple, has been found to reduce post-surgical swelling, bruising, and pain. Bromelain has both internal and external anti-inflammatory properties, and can trigger the body to make swelling and pain-fighting substances. 

Man advised to take knee wound healing supplements for speedy recovery

Speed through recovery with the best supplements for wound healing

To help your healing process most, it’s important to incorporate a mix of foods and supplements found on this list. If you can only choose one of the wound healing supplements on this list though, let it be collagen! 

Collagen protein is directly used in the wound healing process to build new tissue fibers. It’s crucial to provide your body with ample collagen in order to speed up the healing process. 

If you want to make sure you are getting the most wound healing benefits out of your collagen supplement, the best collagen products are hydrolyzed. This means they have gone through the chemical process of hydrolysis to break the molecules into easily digestible pieces. 

You should also make sure your supplement comes from a trusted source, as most supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA. If you can, buy a medical-grade collagen supplement.

Medical-grade collagen is FDA-regulated and tested and overseen by medical professionals. It is the go-to liquid protein for wound healing for many doctors.

 Doctors have used medical-grade collagen products:

  • As preventative wound healing supplements
  • To accelerate wound healing in diabetics
  • To decrease post-surgery recovery times
  • To promote healthy joints
  • And much, much more… 

ProT Gold’s medical-grade collagen has undergone the process of hydrolysis more than once to break the molecules down to 1% of their original size. This makes the supplements fully absorbable in just 15 minutes or less – so you can enjoy all the healing benefits of collagen. 

Woman drinking ProT Gold - the best supplement for wound healing

FAQs about wound healing supplements

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about wound healing supplements:

What lifestyle factors affect wound healing?

Age plays a crucial role in wound healing. Older individuals may heal more slowly due to reduced cellular turnover, lower collagen production, and diminished immune function. 

Smoking also impairs healing by constricting blood vessels and decreasing oxygen supply to tissues. 

A balanced diet filled with minerals, vitamins, and protein supports optimal healing, while poor nutrition can hinder the process. 

Pre-existing conditions like diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune disorders may increase the risk of complications and delay healing. 

Additionally, stress levels, alcohol consumption, and physical activity also impact wound healing, highlighting the importance of overall health in the recovery process. Wound healing supplements may be able to help if any of these factors apply. 

What should I take to speed up wound healing?

Consider incorporating a liquid collagen supplement into your diet and recovery routine to accelerate wound healing. Liquid collagen provides essential amino acids crucial for tissue repair. 

Pair your wound healing supplements with a balanced vitamin C, zinc, and protein diet for optimal results. Hydration also helps maintain a moist wound environment, aiding in faster recovery. Keep the wound clean and shielded from infection while using the supplement. 

Liquid collagen is one of the best wound healing supplements due to its ability to support skin regeneration. For comprehensive healing support, prioritize rest and stress management alongside supplementation. Always consult a healthcare professional for tailored advice.

ProT Gold collagen wound healing supplement

What is the best vitamin for tissue repair?

Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins for tissue repair. It's a potent antioxidant crucial for collagen synthesis, accelerating wound healing. 

Adequate vitamin C intake promotes the formation of new connective tissue and accelerates the healing process. Incorporating vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers into your diet is essential. 

Vitamin C supplements, alongside some of the other best supplements for wound healing, like collagen, can further enhance tissue repair. 

What should I avoid during wound healing?

During wound healing, avoid certain activities and substances to facilitate optimal recovery, including: 

  • Smoking: constricts blood vessels, hindering oxygen delivery and impeding healing.

  • Alcohol: can impair immune function and delay healing.

  • Picking at or excessively touching the wound: prevents infection and disruption of the healing process.

  • Excessive moisture or friction: can slow healing and increase the risk of complications.

  • Unhealthy foods: maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients to support tissue repair, as well as taking wound healing supplements.