Supplement Provides Relief From Pressure Ulcers
February 10, 2003
By Audrey Walton, Wounds1 Staff
Pressure ulcers, commonly known as bedsores, have become synonymous with the misery of long-term bedrest. In reality, pressure ulcers represent a significant burden on the national health care system, as well as one of the biggest quality of life issues facing elderly patients today. One of the most promising treatments for these painful sores isn't a drug at all: it's a food supplement, more precisely a protein isolate known as Immunocal. According to Karen Wilkie, Government Programs Director at NuMedTec, "These ulcers have been treated with salves, with surgeries, and with other treatments. But if the body isn't fed properly, they're really at a standstill."
Immunocal was the first food supplement approved for federal reimbursement (Medicare and Medicaid). According to Ms. Wilkie, "It starts with approximately 100 gallons of raw cow's milk, which undergoes a patented process to become only a kilo of powder. It's a safe supplement; it's lactose-free, and it has no side effects." But Immunocal is more than an excellent daily source of protein. Most importantly, it replenishes the glutathione (or GSH) levels of healthy cells. GSH is known as the "master antioxidant" because it is made by the cell itself. Moreover, it recycles other well-known antioxidants, such as Vitamins C and E, to keep them in their active state. It is also necessary for the multiplication of white blood cells. According to Ms. Wilkie, "the bioactive amino acids released by digestion of Immunocal enter the blood stream and pass into the cells to be used for generating GSH. An adequate supply of GSH is essential for the immune system to reach its full potential. Once the immune system is optimized, the body goes after viruses, bacteria, and infections. The sore heals from the inside out."
Research has shown that cell and tissue rebuilding is related to GSH synthesis and energy production. When skin or tissue is subjected to ongoing pressure, however, the result can be a decrease in the patient's levels of GSH. Since the presence of this antioxidant is crucial to the performance of white blood cells, any decrease in GSH will lower the performance of the patient's immune system. When the antioxidant defenses at the site of the pressure or friction are lost, both the skin and the tissue can undergo oxidative damage. This cellular damage can spread quickly, which causes the loss of tissue known as a pressure ulcer. The maintenance of GSH is therefore crucial to both the healing and prevention of these ulcers.
The long-term benefits of Immunocal could extend far beyond the care of patients suffering from pressure ulcers. However, one of its most significant and relevant uses to date remains its potential to accelerate the healing of these painful and prevalent wounds. As Ms. Wilkie comments, "There are a lot of caring people who don't like to see other people in pain. With Immunocal, it's possible to alleviate pain much sooner, while keeping costs much lower in the long run. It's a win-win."
Read more about Immunocal at www.immunocal.com.
Last updated: 10-Feb-03