Monday, February 16, 2009

Vitamin B12 helps prevent canker sores

The painful condition known as recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), or canker sores, might be prevented by supplementing with vitamin B12 according to research published in the January/February issue of The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. The cause of RAS is unknown, although local trauma and stress have been proposed as the most likely triggers.

Dr Ilia Volko and colleagues at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Calit Health Services in Beer-Sheva, Israel gave 58 men and women with RAS 1,000 micrograms sublingual vitamin B12 or a placebo to be taken before sleep for six months. Blood samples were evaluated for serum vitamin B12 levels at the beginning of the study. Participants were instructed to keep an “Aphthous Ulcers Diary” which was reviewed monthly by the research staff. Duration of aphthous stomatitis episodes, monthly number of ulcers, and pain severity were tracked in each group.
During the last two months of the trial, the average duration of outbreaks, number of ulcers, and pain decreased in the group treated with vitamin B12. By the end of the treatment period, 74 percent of those who received vitamin B12 and 32 percent of those who received the placebo had achieved remission, defined as the absence of aphthous ulcers. No differences were observed in the treatment group between those with varying initial serum vitamin B12 levels. Continue Reading

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