Can Multi-vitamins Help Bad Post-Surgical Inflammation?

multivitamin and inflammation

The academic community has waged a mini-war on supplements for years. Despite that, we continue to see interesting results from well-designed randomized trials. Now a recent study shows that people who took multi-vitamins after a joint replacement had lower bad inflammatory levels. Let’s dig in.

IL6 and 10

You have cytokines in your body that act as chemical messengers between cells. One of these is called IL-6 (Interleukin-6). It’s produced by white blood cells in response to an infection or tissue injury. It’s also a “bad boy” cytokine because it’s one of the drivers of the bad chronic inflammation that kills many Americans each year. It’s also active in different types of arthritis.

If IL-6 is the yang, then IL-10 in the yin. It’s an anti-inflammatory cytokine that is one of the bad inflammation “off switches”.

The IL-6/IL-10 ratio is then basically how much bad inflammation you have relative to the ability to downregulate and end inflammation. Meaning that chronic inflammation that causes disease can’t get a toe hold if there is too much IL-10 around. So the higher this rato, the more likely it is that bad inflammation will predominate.

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The New Research

After knee replacement, it’s known that a high IL-6/IL-10 ratio is not good. Given that many patients who need a knee replacement get arthritis because of long-term chronic inflammation, this excess amount of bad inflammation can mean a prolonged or poor recovery from knee replacement surgery. Hence the researchers wanted to know if a simple Vitamin regime before surgery could change the ratio.

21 people who were undergoing knee replacement were randomly assigned to take a multivitamin versus a placebo every day for 6 weeks prior to surgery. They stopped on the day of surgery. Vitamin D and E levels were monitored before and after the knee replacement surgery. The results?

The patients who took the multivitamins had a blunted IL-6/IL-10 ratio, meaning that they had less bad inflammation after the procedure.

Multi-vitamins and Other Procedures

So do I recommend a multi-vitamin for 6 weeks prior to a knee stem cell procedure? I think, based on this research, that it would be an inexpensive and smart move. We also have a stem cell support formula (more on that in the video below):

Our supplement is focused on helping stem cells do their work and is based on a year’s worth of lab research.

The upshot? This is a simple before procedure multi-vitamin routine that seems to be able to help reduce bad inflammation after a procedure. Hence, I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t want to give it a try!



(1) Barker T, Henriksen VT, Rogers VE, Trawick RH, Momberger NG, Lynn Rasmussen G. Multi-vitamin supplementation blunts the circulating IL-6/IL-10 ratio increase after knee arthroplasty: A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. Cytokine. 2021 Jan 23;140:155435. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2021.155435. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33497870.

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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