Canker sores are painful mouth irritations that affect millions of Americans at one point or another.
Now, new research from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests that taking regular doses of vitamin B12 nutritional supplements can help prevent the sores, which are officially known as recurrent aphthous stomatisis.
As part of the study, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, researchers looked at the effectiveness of nightly doses of either B12 or a placebo on 58 subjects with canker sores.
Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of those in the vitamin B12 group went into remission by the end of the study, while less than one-third (32 percent) of the placebo group achieved the same result.
Additionally, the duration of canker sore outbreaks, number of ulcers and level of reported pain also decreased among those in the B12 group, compared with the control group.
Lead researcher Dr. Ilia Volkov said that up to 25 percent of the general population suffers from canker sores but “until now there has been no optimal therapeutic approach.”
Although the precise cause of canker sores is unknown, the American Academy of Pediatric Physicians says they may arise due to stress, poor nutrition, allergies and menstrual periods.