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Nutrition. 1998 Mar;14(3):266-9.

Dietary peptides improve wound healing following surgery.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1009, USA.


To determine if peptide-based enteral diets improve wound healing when compared to amino acid-based diets, a prospective randomized study was conducted using 38 male Sprague-Dawley rats. Following placement of a standardized abdominal wound, 20 animals were randomized to an isonitrogenous peptide-based (PEP) versus amino acid-based diet (AA) for 10 d. In addition, 18 animals were randomized to an amino acid-based diet supplemented with the peptide carnosine (CARN) or its constituent amino acids (Control). Diets were administered through small bowel feeding tubes. Wound bursting pressure was significantly higher in the PEP animals compared to the AA animals (179+/-9 versus 138+/-12 mmHg; P=0.02). In addition, wound bursting pressure was significantly greater in the CARN animals compared to the Control animals (143+/-10 versus 116+/-8 mmHg; P=0.005). Peptide-based enteral diets improve wound healing when compared to nonpeptide generating amino acid-based diets. We also conclude that the dietary peptide carnosine represents a dietary peptide that improves wound healing when administered as part of a complete enteral formula. This effect on wound healing may be clinically relevant because carnosine is not found in most enteral formulas.

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