Articles, Blog

Best Supplement for Canker Sores

August 25, 2019


“Best Supplement for Canker Sores” Canker sores can be a painful,
recurring inflammatory process of the lining of our mouths. And similar to other chronic
inflammatory conditions, DNA damage due to oxidative stress free
radicals, is thought to play a role. Normally, free radical production
is balanced with antioxidants. However, if the free radical
concentration gets too high, and our antioxidant enzymes and
the antioxidants we get in our diet cannot adequately compensate
for these radicals, the balance is shifted
in a pro-oxidant direction, which can lead to oxidative
damage within our body. OK. So, do those with recurring
canker sores have fewer antioxidants, more oxidation, and more DNA damage? Yes, yes, and yes. More pro-oxidants and more
oxidative stress in their bloodstream, lower antioxidant status,
and more DNA damage, suggesting it might be possible
for antioxidants to help, but you don’t know
until you put it to the test. 16 boys and girls around age 12
with recurring canker sores given a whopping 2 grams
of vitamin C a day. That’s considered the tolerable
upper daily limit for adults before you start getting diarrhea, and
1200 mg may do that in a 12-year-old, but it’s all about risks and benefits. How did they do? 15 out of 16 cut the number of canker
sores they were getting at least in half. In the three months before
they started the vitamin C, they averaged four canker sores, but in the three months they were on it,
they had less than one on average. Then they tried stopping
the C for another three months and the ulcers started coming back. So they added the C back, and
the canker sore rate dropped again. What about applying antioxidants
directly, like a turmeric gel, a gel containing 2% curcumin, the
yellow pigment in the spice turmeric? Swabbed directly onto the
canker sores twice a day, it did seem to significantly
reduce pain intensity and ulcer size
compared to placebo, compared to a gel containing
no active ingredient. But it would be nice to see a
comparison to some active treatment, and from an independent
research group, not funded by the curcumin
gel manufacturer. And here it is. A randomized clinical trial: a generic 2% curcumin gel
versus a prescription steroid gel, and the curcumin worked just as
well, providing strong evidence that it can be used as an effective
and safer alternative to steroids for the treatment of
recurring canker sores. But if you remember, topical honey
beat out the same steroid for both ulcer healing,
compared to the steroid, and pain reduction,
compared to the steroid. So if you’re going to use something
topically, honey seems best, but what if you just want to
swallow something instead, but something that
doesn’t give you diarrhea? 31 patients with recurring canker
sores were split up into two groups, getting either 20 mg of yeast
beta-glucan fiber a day or placebo. That’s the amount found in just
an eighth of a teaspoon of brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast. In the placebo group,
no significant change, whereas in the yeast group,
ulcer severity was cut nearly in half, so that’s something else you can try. If it’s an antioxidant thing, can’t
you just eat a plant-based diet, lots of fruits and vegetables,
and treat it that way? That’s never been put to the test, though a plant-based diet could also make
things worse if one is not ensuring a regular reliable source of vitamin B12
through supplements or fortified foods. For example, a 30-year-old woman with
four years of recurring canker sores, eating so few animal products
and no supplementation she became vitamin B12 deficient
and started feeling weak and tired, numbness and tingling, so they immediately
started her on B12, and thankfully, her B12 deficiency
symptoms got better. But so did her canker sores,
a rapid and complete recovery within weeks of starting B12
after years of suffering. We’ve known B12 deficiency could
lead to canker sores since the ’70s, so much so that a recommendation has
been made to consider B12 deficiency any time you see a patient
with recurring canker sores. In fact, a number of nutrient
deficiencies may do it. If you compare the
lab tests of those with recurrent canker
sores to those without, more than half of the canker
sore group showed evidence of hematinic deficiencies, in other words, blood-forming
nutrient deficiencies, compared to less than 1 in 10
in the non-canker sore group. So we’re talking like iron deficiency
and folate deficiency, in addition to B12 deficiency. So they gave them supplements
and their canker sores improved, especially among those who didn’t have
a family history of canker sore problems. OK, so you could see how vitamin
and mineral supplements might help people who are deficient, but might
a supplement like vitamin B12 help even in people not B12 deficient? Apparently so. As the title says, cyanocobalamin,
the most common form of supplemental B12, may be beneficial in
the treatment of recurrent canker sores even when vitamin B12 levels are normal. They took a group of 72 patients
with frequent canker sores and gave them B12, regardless
of what their levels were, and in 96% of cases they got better, and that was among both those
who started out deficient and those who started out with
regular B12 levels in their blood. But there was no control group, so you don’t know how many
would have gotten better anyway. And they injected the B12, and
injections can have an even greater placebo effect than pills, especially
perhaps with something like B12, which has a striking mad-scientist-
looking ruby red color in the syringe. But there had never been a randomized,
double-blind placebo-controlled trial of oral B12 for canker
sores, until there was. A thousand micrograms of
sublingual B12 a day for 6 months, and it took 5 months, but eventually
the duration of canker outbreaks, the number of ulcers, and the level
of pain were significantly reduced, and again, regardless of the initial
vitamin B12 levels in the blood. So B12 deficient or not, vitamin B12
supplements seemed to help. By the end of the study,
twice as many in the B12 group appeared to have been cured. So vitamin B12 supplements represent
a simple, inexpensive, low-risk, effective treatment, though it appeared
to take months before it starts working, whereas if you apply B12 directly
to the canker sores, a randomized, double-blind placebo-
controlled trial of a B12 ointment applied directly to the canker sores, you can get at least
significant reduction in pain within two days
compared to placebo. And again, it doesn’t matter whether
you’re vitamin B12 deficient or not.

80 Comments

  • Reply BudG September 14, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    First like from India

  • Reply Virginia Wolfe September 14, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    First!

  • Reply Tara Francis September 14, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I used to get sores all the time and i havent had one since going vegan… I didnt even think about it. I dont know if its the good diet or the b12 though. But i dont really care im just happy i dont get em any more!

  • Reply Ellis tar Ceansa September 14, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Great video again!!!!
    Something confused me:- 2:57 – 3:04 … what would give one diarrhoea?

  • Reply Fabi c September 14, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Interesting!. Would that be the same case for cold sores????

  • Reply FlowerGrower Smith September 14, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    First line in the description – I think you mean "canker" sores, not cancer sores..

  • Reply Raw Recovery September 14, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    SLS free toothpaste is a must for anyone who gets canker sores regularly!!

  • Reply Quoth TheRaven September 14, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Dr. You have no idea how relevant this is to my life right now. Thanks a tonne!

  • Reply Eelke Aptroot September 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    So B12 is the miracle vitamin after all…

  • Reply swaggastronomer September 14, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    How do i counteract sleep inertia?

  • Reply Kelly J September 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Oxidative stress plays a role in EVERYTHING, everybody knows that now.

  • Reply Kelly J September 14, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Can you please make a video regarding the controversy surrounding b12 injections that people are talking about these days?

  • Reply Kelly J September 14, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    2 days is about as long as it takes for a canker sore to heal on its own anyway, so taking 2 days for a b12 ointment to stop the pain seems ridiculous.

  • Reply Pharmacie M&R AD FRATRES September 14, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    bonjours; permet moi de publier vos videos sur ma chaine ….Pharmacie M&R AD FRATRES…..

  • Reply haku September 14, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    conclusion: applying vitamin B12 directly on canker sores seems to help within 2 days; blood levels of vitamin B12 doesn't seem to matter.

  • Reply bubblesncavalier September 14, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Can somebody please tell me is a canker sore the same as a cold sore?

  • Reply Idylchatter September 14, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    As it is in neurodegenerative diseases, dementia, AZ, and others where the mitochondria are being taken out by excess ROS and their own waste products. PQQ and MItoQ are advisable in those conditions. Curcumin is also advisable in neurodegenerative conditions as well.

  • Reply EK Unknown September 14, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    What about lysine supplementation? I have personally hear case reports of it reducing the duration severity of shingles outbreaks and cold sores.

  • Reply Daniele Galati September 14, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    So mega-doses of vitamin C in pills ARE beneficial after all. In other videos you said otherwise.

  • Reply Emma T September 14, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    I remember taking vitamin c in the form of ascorbic acid used to give me mouth ulcers.

  • Reply Iron Wolf Man September 14, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I always bite my damn lip by accident 😭

  • Reply Iron Wolf Man September 14, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Which B12?

  • Reply Ryan Finchum September 14, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    i've had the best success with Lysine supplementation…it is an amino acid that vegans can become deficient in, too, so i take 1g a day in powder form…i also try to avoid Arginine rich foods, such as chocolate and cashews…
    in my experience, it's all about the balance between Lysine and Arginine…too much Arginine and you tend to get sores more easily…supplementing Lysine helps to balance things out…i've also been told it is antiviral so that would help to control the virus that causes the sores…

  • Reply Blake A. E. September 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you for this video Dr. Greger! I recently became vegan, switched my toothpaste to non-SLS and started taking b12 all around the same time so I guess I'll never know which it was that helped. All I know is I'm glad to be canker sore free!

  • Reply K S September 14, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Applying a paste of powdered wheat grass juice and water helps heal the cankersore quickly.

  • Reply Some Guy September 14, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Clove oil always got rid of them for me within a day or 2 max, and numb the pain at the same time. One down side is the very strong smell, but it works very well. But since being vegan for the past 2 years I haven't has a single one.

  • Reply Laura Iriarte September 14, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you 🙏🏽!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Z September 14, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    hahaha, this is so funny. I used to have Canker Sore since kid and the old traditional way is simply to rub salt on it. A few CS outbreak later, they simply surrender. it cost next to nothing, except that you have to accept the sharp pain.

  • Reply julie September 14, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Pure aloe vera gel applied directly on the sore also works wonders to heal them quickly!

  • Reply Mark Walshin September 14, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    I do have canker sores a lot, especially during my menstrual cycle when my body and my gums are swollen/ bloated. Dr. G, in the last year I began taking less B12 because you said I could use a larger dose just once a week. I guess I should up my B12 intake again.

  • Reply Bruce Wiest September 14, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    My whole family suffers from "canker" or "cold" sores, or "fever blisters" but for years was able to keep them at bay for over 90% of the time by taking 1000 mg of vitamin C twice per day. I quit taking vitamins many years ago now and find that if I eat at least 1/2 of an orange every day, I get the same protective effect. I am not a vegan but keep my meat portions to under 6 oz. per meal. I thought these were caused by the herpes 2 virus.

  • Reply R Defender2 September 14, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Dip Q-tip into nail polish remover and apply to sore, gone within 24 hours.

  • Reply Matthew Tao September 14, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Another reason to take B12! Thanks, Dr. Greger!

  • Reply TheVeganChristian! September 14, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    I’ve had reoccurent cankersores since I wad 15 and now I’m 24. Thank you for this

    (I only get them for the most part if I bite my mouth though)

  • Reply dighyfveirfuveifbuv September 14, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Just in time; I got my first canker sore last week.

  • Reply Der Wandersmann September 14, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    What is it with those people?!? This guy @ 4:18 has titles more than twice as long as his name – overcompensation much? And I’m sorry but „B.L.A.M.“ @ 4:25 as a first name abbreviation must be some kind of a joke.

  • Reply onefour14 September 14, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    excellent

  • Reply gdcat777 September 14, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Didn't he report on a study for honey as a treatment for these sores?

  • Reply Greengirl Gardenseveryday84 September 14, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    I used to get canker sores all the time when I was vegetarian…once I went vegan they disappeared completely 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • Reply 4 September 14, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Just bought a B12 sublingual spray supplement and cleaned up my canker sores in a week.

  • Reply Plants4ever September 14, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Canker sores are just one thing among a whole host of other problems I used to have which I completely forgot about! This video reminded me that I’m on the right path now for 2 years avoiding all animal derived foods!

  • Reply LegacyEvoAce September 14, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    This video explains so much Haha was wondering why I stopped getting them, would get them every so often through our my life. Changed my diet last year and they are gone.

  • Reply Leigh K September 15, 2018 at 12:22 am

    My 13 yr old has been suffering for months. Braces are really aggravating it even more. We ordered Canker Boy supplement but haven't rcvd it yet.
    I'm going to try b12 topically tonight.

  • Reply Deals togo September 15, 2018 at 1:06 am

    NB: Linus Pauling said he took 18 grams of Vitamin C supplements a day in his book about vitamin C It sounds like a very high dose, yes? . I put a tea bag on mine and that seems to help.

  • Reply Lisa Pham September 15, 2018 at 1:35 am

    Gotu kola is my go-to for cankor sores. I prefer it as a drink because the freshly juiced iced gotu kola drink is more palatable. It relieves pain immediately and I usually recover within 3 to 7 days. If it's really bad I try to chew on the leaves and try to keep the chew on the cankor sores, though it's not as tasty as the drink.

  • Reply George Caldes September 15, 2018 at 2:18 am

    I swear by raw onion as a way to knock out the pain and any secondary infection. Raw ginger root helps too.

  • Reply Van Allen September 15, 2018 at 3:52 am

    Grab a belt. Put a pinch of Alum on your finger. Apply to canker sore. Scream bloody murder and bite down on the belt in agony. 12 hours later…. no more canker sore.

  • Reply l September 15, 2018 at 4:36 am

    I used to get them every other month bad. I didn't make the correlation they went away when I moved away from meat as much.
    I also use carmex lip stuff every night before bed which I assumed was the reason they went away, but maybe not.

  • Reply bjarczyk September 15, 2018 at 5:17 am

    I've been suffering from canker sores most of my life and really appreciate this research. I have found that the closer I eat to eating completely whole foods plant-based, the better. This is a nice reminder to stay dialed.

  • Reply Dan September 15, 2018 at 7:36 am

    I have anecdotal evidence that methylcobalamine works better than other form for my canker sore. Can different form be different?

  • Reply Kairos September 15, 2018 at 8:00 am

    6 years vegan, 6 years with 0 sores.

  • Reply Emilia C September 15, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I wouldn’t take cyanocobalamin
    Methylcobalamin is a better form of B12

  • Reply Marc Fredette September 15, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    That's why I didn't have them for… I don't remember, some years for sure

  • Reply Banana Bandana September 15, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Supplements are poison.
    Everything we are taught is fake like the low cholesterol agenda to turn humans into brainless cattle when our brain shrinks.

  • Reply bennygreen1 September 15, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    My canker sores vanished when I started using an electric tooth brush. SLS free tooth paste helped prior to this but I realized that my canker sores correlated with times that I slipped with my manual toothbrush and damaged the lining of the mouth.

  • Reply Turbo Esther September 15, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Can you have/take too much B-12?

  • Reply sooooooooDark September 15, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    cancer sores = table sugar, starches, cheap salt, convenience food
    aka everything that clogs ur transverse colon so that ur head lymph cant filter

    stahp cooking right naw,or ull end up ex vegan sooner or later cuz starch is the devil

  • Reply Keithan Diep September 15, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    I soaked a b12 tablet in my mouth and pain relief was instant

  • Reply Andre Vasconcelos September 15, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    Dr Greger, could you make a video about SIBO pleasee ?

  • Reply Bettina Vogel September 16, 2018 at 4:44 am

    So what about sores in the gastrointestinal tract – like crohns disease – sure curcumin and an high B12 intake will help (?) – seems to be logical.
    So I take now – after this video
    1. antioxidance
    2. Curcumin
    3. B12

  • Reply AlyssaLGervais September 16, 2018 at 5:30 am

    I should point out that birth control pills can cause your body to not absorb B vitamins which was one of the factors for me. Being vegan, getting off BC, and taking vitamins has all helped but not totally gotten rid of them.

  • Reply Lady Stog September 16, 2018 at 10:59 am

    This is amazing! I just wish vitamin b12 supplements wouldn't make me break out like crazy 🙁

  • Reply Kat September 16, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Idk if it was the fluoride or SLS or whatever but switching to a herbal toothpaste has done wonders. I recommend Himalaya to everyone! It's also the rare kind of herbal ones that actually cleans your teeth completely and gives you that fresh feeling like normal toothpaste does, just without your gums bleeding or infections 😀

  • Reply Cure Herpes With Melanie September 16, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    B 12 is always helpful. It does not matter if you are vegan or not. Thanks for a great video

  • Reply Emily BH September 17, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Why do we have to buy the conclusion of the scientists when they don't even mention the fruit and vegetables the lady was eating or not eating that may have impacted her adrenals and Vit B 12? I think the whole Vit B12 thing is a FAD and by taking Vitamin B12 you are telling your body not to produce it. Since it isn't a plant, it will only stimulate and later enervate.
    If man made vitamin supplements are crucial to our health, why have they only been around for 40 years or so (and not 40 million)?

  • Reply Dr. Carp September 17, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Another good video!

  • Reply KGBz September 18, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Vitamin c is the best

  • Reply nanomyou5 September 18, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    How about stopping with foods that cause canker sores to begin with? BTW, Vitamin C bowel tolerance is completely dependent on what is the anti-oxidant need of the body. On some days it is 1-2g for me, on others it is 10-15g… Even Linus Pauling noted this.

  • Reply Cummings Family September 19, 2018 at 10:59 am

    I wonder what a mixture of turmeric & honey would do for a topical solution, along with a vitamin c and b12 supplement.

  • Reply Gypsy Soul September 26, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    How much b12 should we be getting on a weekly basis? The injectable b12! Thank you in advance.

  • Reply maggie422 September 26, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    The link for honey goes to gluten related canker sores.

  • Reply pastukas October 18, 2018 at 5:33 am

    Or you can simply ditch the dairy

  • Reply Andrew Downey October 22, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    I've been doing some research on mouth ulcers (canker sores) and came across an interesting human clinical trial which you can read here. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27418192

    From what I can understand these clinical trials were done on patients in Japan with severe canker sores (oral mucositis) as a result of radiation therapy. They were given a lozenge containing zinc L-carnosine twice a day. The research concluded that the lozenge was highly effective for treatment and prevention of oral mucositis. Hope this is helps!

  • Reply Holistically Lizzie October 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    So interesting. My husband used to get these all the time. He’s been taking a B12 supplement for a while (as he’s now 90% plant based) and sure enough he hardly gets an outbreak anymore!

  • Reply Copisetic 1 October 24, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Colloidal silver restores RNA and works very well on canker sores. It is also anti viral and antibacterial.

  • Reply WisdomTooth November 12, 2018 at 6:21 am

    I don't really take B12 but i think i've had one in the last 5 years since going mostly plant based and i think that time i ate a lot of junk/processed food and wasn't as active in exercise and spending less time outside in the sun. Before plant-based i used to get them few times a year.

  • Reply Javier delaCamara December 5, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Saw citrus foods can cause it too.

  • Reply viktorvaldemar March 23, 2019 at 6:48 am

    I also used to get very painfull Canker sores often, but after going plant-based 4 years ago I've only had 1 sore in 4 years

  • Reply Lloyd Christmas May 17, 2019 at 3:23 am

    More excellent information. Thanks Dr. Greger.

  • Reply annasearightmusic August 3, 2019 at 11:25 am

    I knew that lack of b12 was linked to mouth ulcers!!!!! Until now I had no proof so this is fascinating to see. I suffered with them terribly all through childhood and into adulthood. I’d get them monthly and they would get so big and painful. When I went vegetarian they subsided a bit and when I went vegan they were still there so I was so confused…but when I started supplementing with b12 they got so much better and it’s been ages since I’ve had one now!!! Thank you veganism for leading me to b12…thank you dr Gregor for the facts!!

  • Leave a Reply