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Cancer sores

Vitamin B12 Effective Against Canker Sores

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 by: Reuben Chow
Tags: cancer sores, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Canker sores are painful ulcers which appear in our mouths from time to time. And researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have found that taking vitamin B12 every night is a useful way to prevent the occurrence of this problem.

About Canker Sores

Also known as Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS), canker sores can form on the inside of the lips, on the inside of the cheeks, on the gums and even on the tongue. They may look red or covered by a white layer. Women, teenagers and people in their 20s are said to be more susceptible to such sores.

Broadly speaking, conventional medicine has very little to offer for this condition, both in terms of understanding its cause and providing a viable solution. Doctors often prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs, although the truth is that such treatments do not help much. Some possible contributory factors of canker sores include stress, poor nutrition, food allergies as well as hormonal imbalances. Physical trauma, such as through accidental biting of one's own lips, may also be a cause.

Details and Findings of Study

The researchers for the said study had randomly chosen 58 RAS sufferers. For a period of six months, before going to bed, the study subjects either took a 1,000 mcg oral dose of vitamin B12, or they consumed a placebo. They were tested once per month.

It was found that almost three-quarters, or 74% of the intervention group obtained remission from the condition at the end of the study. On the other hand, only 32% of the placebo group experienced the same outcome. This is a significant difference.

Initially, the results seemed to be similar in both groups, with the average duration of canker sore outbreak and the average number of sores each month going down during the first four months. It was, however, in the last two months of the study where the difference in outcome became apparent.

Those who consumed the vitamin reported feeling more comfortable, less pain, fewer outbreaks as well as shorter outbreak durations throughout the study period. Even in the fifth and sixth months of the experiment, the outbreak duration and number of ulcers in this group were significantly lowered, a finding which was independent of the initial levels of vitamin B12 in the blood of the study subjects. Their pain levels dropped significantly, too. However, for the placebo group, while their pain levels dropped in the initial months, they actually felt more pain in the latter months of the study.

Some Suggested Natural Remedies for Canker Sores

According to Dr Ilia Volkov, a primary care physician in the Clalit Health Services, a lecturer in Ben-Gurion University's Department of Family Medicine and the leader of the study, RAS affects as much as 25% of the general population. Some sources even suggest up to half of the population may be affected by the condition.

With canker sores being such a common problem, one or two tips for everyone may be helpful. While the exact causes of canker sores are unclear, it is believed that deficiency in nutrients such as zinc, iron and folic acid (as well as vitamin B12) may be a contributory factor. Green leafy vegetables and whole grains may help.

Many different home remedies are suggested by various sources. Frequently rinsing one's mouth with warm salt water or aloe juice are two suggested remedies. Another touted mouthwash includes the use of sage and chamomile. Baking powder or a paste made from baking powder may also be applied on the sores. The application of raw onions or tea tree oil may help, too.

In addition, herbs like cankerroot and licorice are known folk remedies for canker sores. Further, sucking on zinc lozenges or consuming vitamin C or vitamin B complex supplements may provide relief and hasten healing. Finally, perhaps the simplest way to relieve the pain of such ulcers is through the application of ice.

Sources

Vitamin B12 identified As An Effective Canker Sore Therapy, Study Suggests (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02...)

Canker Sores: What Are They and What Can You Do About Them? (http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home...)

Canker sores (http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/remedy/...)

About the author

Reuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth. His website, All 4 Natural Health, offers a basic guide on natural health information. It details simple, effective and natural ways, such as the use of nutrition, various herbs, herb remedies, supplements and other natural remedies, to deal with various health conditions as well as to attain good health. His other websites also cover topics such as depression help, omega 3 fatty acids, as well as cancer research and information.

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