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Helping Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Posted by Nancy Ray on

According to the most recent (2015) estimate from the American Diabetes Association, 30.3 million Americans (9.4%) have diabetes. Diabetes mellitus has been described as “one of the main threats to human health of the 21st century”. In fact, one important study projects that as many as one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. The most common form, type 2, is a result of insulin resistance in peripheral tissues.

Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders resulting from hyperglycemia and excess inflammation that is caused by defects in either insulin secretion and/or action. It is frequently undiagnosed due to the fact that many symptoms of diabetes are ignored including frequent urination, increased fatigue and irritability. Other early warning signs include certain skin issues. In fact, at least 30% of patients experience some skin complication and patients with diabetes frequently have wounds that are difficult to heal.

Hyperglycemia can result in impaired blood flow through critical small vessels at wound surfaces. Poor circulation decreases oxygen and other vital nutrient flow to the skin tissues making patients with diabetes more susceptible to skin damage, as well as contributing to impaired wound healing. Providing nutrients to skin to help strengthen skin and improve wound healing is critical for patients with diabetes.

Viniferamine® skin and wound care products include topical nutrition that penetrates the epidermis to strengthen skin and help prevent skin damage as well as promote wound healing. Viniferamine® products include beneficial small molecule ingredients including vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants that help decrease inflammation and oxidative stress associated with diabetes-related skin damage and wounds. Viniferamine® Clean N Moist is a gentle cleanser that moisturizes and protects while providing vital nutrition to skin.  Viniferamine® Silicone Barrier protects compromised skin by providing a protective barrier while providing vital nutrition.

Viniferamine® products contain various ingredients that counteract oxidative stress including the potent small molecule polyphenols oleuropein, resveratrol, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from olives, grapes, and green tea, respectively, as well as L-carnosine, melatonin, and L-glutathione. Several of these ingredients also decrease inflammation including oleuropein, resveratrol, EGCG, melatonin, carnosine and L-glutathione. In addition, asiaticoside in titrated extracts of Centella asiatica (TECA), dipotassium glycyrrhizate from licorice, avenanthramides in oats, aloe vera, pathenol and shea butter possess anti-inflammatory activities.

If left untreated, diabetes can result in long-term complications including neuropathy and chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Patients with diabetes have up to a 25% lifetime risk of developing a DFU.  Furthermore, DFUs are the cause of 84% of all diabetes-related lower-leg amputations. DFUs do not follow the orderly process of normal wound healing that requires a well-orchestrated integration of complex biological events including cell migration, cell proliferation, and extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition.

Collagen, the most abundant protein found in tissues including skin, cartilage and ligaments, plays an important role in wound healing due to its ability to provide tensile strength to wounds.  In addition, collagen modulates critical inflammatory and wound healing processes by binding to receptors that activate other molecules involved in tissue remodeling and repair including matrix metalloproteases (MMPs), cytokines and growth factors.

Optimal nutrition is vital for human health, and in fact, every cellular function is nutrition-dependent including those involved in wound healing. Suboptimal nutrition can affect immune function and collagen synthesis.  When optimal skin nutrition cannot be provided by blood circulation due to diabetes-related microvascular compromise or malnutrition related to aging or obesity (frequently associated with diabetes), nutrition should be provided topically.

Nutrient-rich extracts of Centella asiatica (TECA) and aloe vera, found in Viniferamine® skin and wound care products stimulate collagen synthesis and enhance wound healing. Other ingredients found in the products that have also been shown to promote wound healing include oleuropein, L-carnosine, nicotinamide (niacinamide), L-glutathione, asiaticoside and aloe vera.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) plays a vital role in wound healing and is important for maintaining tissue homeostasis and angiogenesis. HA is a structural component of the ECM, a complex interlocking meshwork found outside of skin cells that includes fibrous proteins such as collagen, elastin and fibronectin. HA has been found to be effective for treating DFUs and has been shown to accelerate DFU healing. Viniferamine® products contain ingredients including dipotassium glycyrrhizate and aloe vera that help maintain natural levels of HA. Many of the ingredients contained in the products have been found to specifically promote diabetic wound healing including oleuropein, resveratrol, EGCG, asiaticoside, aloe vera, and L-carnosine.

It’s good to know that Viniferamine® skin and wound care products provide penetrating nutrition to help strengthen skin against skin damage, as well as promote wound healing.  Viniferamine® products also include ingredients that counteract oxidative stress and decrease inflammation.  Moreover, Viniferamine® products include ingredients such as TECA and aloe vera that stimulate collagen synthesis and dipotassium glycyrrhizate that helps maintain hyaluronic acid, which plays an important role in DFU healing.

About the author: Nancy Ray, PhD is the Science Officer at McCord Research. Dr. Ray received her PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics and was a postdoctoral fellow at NIH, Harvard University and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the University of Iowa. She also earned bachelor of science degrees in Chemistry and Microbiology.

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