Can I Improve My Diet To Help Fracture Healing?
There is no requirement to take anything as long as you are on a normal balanced diet. Supplements can be discussed at the clinic, with your physician or at the pharmacy. While they can provide additional support, diet supplements can never replace a balanced diet.
Fracture healing requires energy so it is okay to increase your calorific intake, including carbohydrates. Beware, with less mobility, some patients are prone to putting on excess weight!
Proteins are the building blocks of the body so be sure to eat enough of it. This includes meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and beans. This is particularly relevant in the elderly who frequently have a low protein status thus requiring a longer bone healing time. In turn the proteins that the body makes are called amino acids, some of which are very important for bone healing. These include lysine, arginine, glycine, cystine, proline and glutamine. Some of these help transport calcium into the regenerating bone. Fresh fruit and vegetables are high in antioxidants. Canned or boiled vegetables have a reduced antioxidant content.
Dairy foods are high in calcium. Growing bones as well as healing bones need calcium. Other minerals important in fracture healing are Zinc, Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Silicon. While proteins are the building blocks, these minerals are the building tools!
Antioxidants and Vitamins
Antioxidants including vitamins E and C, lycopene, and alpha-lipoic acid have been shown to improve bone healing. They suppress the free radicals that are released by the damaged tissue at the time of the fracture. Vitamin C also helps suppress the inflammatory process and form bone collagen. Vitamin D has many functions, one of which is the regulation of body calcium and phosphorus. As well as dietary sources, part of this is generated in the skin in individuals with adequate exposure to sunlight. Once activated, vitamin D facilitates absorption of calcium from the intestine.