The process of tissue damage and repair happens continuously throughout our lives from the day we are born forward. Most of the time this dynamic process happens in the in our bodies without us ever knowing it is going on. Think about the last time you stubbed your toe, felt the pain, and decided it wasn’t too bad, went back to what you were doing and forgot about it. That simple toe trauma, or larger injuries like wounds, diabetic ulcers, infections, and even surgery will go through stages of healing.
Stage 1: Inflammation
The first stage is the inflammatory process. Cells were damaged by the trauma. Some degree of bleeding occurs. These damaged cells release chemicals called prostaglandins and cytokines that mediate pain, tell blood vessels in the area to open up and become leaky, and call for immune system cells to move to the area. This process is natural and allows the body to protect an injury, clean up the damaged cells, and make way for new cells to grow and repair the damage. When blood vessels become leaky, fluid comes out of the blood vessels through their walls and causes swelling. When cytokines call for immunes cells they release powerful enzymes and free radicals that damage even more healthy tissue in the area. This process of inflammation is natural, is required immediately after any injury, and should last no more than the first 72 hours after injury.
If an injury or wound is exposed to any form of stress, strain, or further trauma, this chemical inflammatory process will not shut off and tissue or wound healing will not occur. That is why strained tendons and ligaments must be rested. That is why all pressure must be removed from wounds. That is why infections must be treated. When all stress is removed from injured tissue, the inflammatory process will shut off and the next stage, wound repair will begin.
Stage 2: Wound Repair, Tissue Healing, Tissue Proliferation
Healing requires new healthy cells and tissues to be created. Tissues don’t just magically appear however. The surrounding cell structures must reproduce and create this new tissue. In order for this to happen massive amounts of building blocks must be supplied. Your cells must generate huge amounts of energy. The estimated amount of energy each cell must produce is 10 times the amount it otherwise would need just to live. Cells can only convert the food we eat into energy if it also has 10 times the amount of cellular chemicals that are required to run the process. You guessed it. I am talking about vitamins. Trying to heal an injury without all the right building blocks and all the right supplementary nutrients is like trying to run a restaurant with ingredients to make the dishes they serve. It is not going to happen.
Your body wants to heal. In order for this to happen, we must protect it from all stress and nourish it just as if it was a newborn baby. The following is a recommended supplement regimen to feed your healing tissues.
Generic Supplement Recommendations
Life Extension Product List
John C. Marzano DPM