Recurrent mouth ulcers and vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 treatment, which is simple, inexpensive, and low-risk, seems to be effective for patients suffering from recurrent mouth ulcers,(aka: aphthous stomatitis or RAS for short), regardless of the serum vitamin B12 level.

According to lead researcher Dr. Ilia Volkov, “the frequency of RAS is as much as 25 percent in the general population, however, until now, there has been no optimal therapeutic approach.”

Dr.Volkov is a primary care physician in the Clalit Health Services and lecturer in Ben-Gurion University’s Department of Family Medicine in its Faculty of Health Sciences.

The researchers tested the effect of vitamin B12 on 58 randomly selected RAS patients who received either a dose of 1,000 mcg of B12 by mouth at bedtime or a placebo, and were tested monthly for six months. Approximately three quarters (74 percent) of the patients of the treated group and only a third (32 percent) of the control group achieved remission at the end of the study.

Recurrent aphthous stomatitis is a common phenomenon in Primary Medicine. Frequency of the phenomenon can be as high as 25% of the general population and the recurrence of the problem can be up to 50%. Different approaches for treatment are described: treatment with various natural vitamins, local ointments , disinfectant agents for local treatment , local antibiotic ointments , NSAID, local cortisone-steroids , and even medication on the basis of immune-depressants of the immune system and systematic steroids .

According to the research, “The average outbreak duration and the average number of ulcers per month decreased in both groups during the first four months of the trial. However, the duration of outbreaks, the number of ulcers, and the level of pain were reduced significantly at five and six months of treatment with vitamin B12, regardless of initial vitamin B12 levels in the blood. During the last month of treatment a significant number of participants in the intervention group reached ‘no aphthous ulcers status’ (74.1% vs 32.0%; P < .01).”

The treated patients expressed greater comfort, reported less pain, fewer ulcers, and shorter outbreaks during the six months while among the control group the average pain level decreased during the first half of the period but increased during the second half.

I can get you a copy of the original paper, for personal use, if you email me at Hadley Wood.

For those wishing to try the B12 supplement please see this link for a 1000 mcg supplement.

Interestingly, vitamin B12 is currently undergoing clinical trials in then US. The study is following the classic double blind placebo controlled approach using the 1000 mcg dose of B12 reported in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine article outlined above.

Anyone who has used B12 for mouth ulcers please leave a note below regarding your experiences…

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