Treating canker sores (aphthous stomatitis) with nutrition

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Author: Melvyn R. Werbach
Date: Dec. 2005
From: Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients(Issue 269)
Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group
Document Type: Article
Length: 987 words

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Vitamin B Complex

Occasional patients are deficient in certain members of the vitamin B complex. Repletion of a deficiency of folic acid, (1) niacin, (2) riboflavin, (3) thiamine, (3) vitamin B6, (3) or vitamin B12, (1) whether based on low serum or erythrocyte levels, is sometimes followed by remission.


Similar to deficiencies of the B complex vitamins, the results of open trials suggest that repletion of an iron deficiency may be beneficial. For example, of a group of 100 affected children, 5 had iron deficiency anemia while another 13 had iron deficiency without anemia. Four of the anemic children received iron supplements. Six months later, 2 of them had a dramatic improvement in the lesions while one other had a slight improvement. All 3 now had normal serum iron levels. Lesions in the fourth child had worsened. However, she had a combination of low iron and low folate levels and both had failed to normalize. (4)

In another study, 23 of a group of 330 patients were found to be deficient in iron, 6 in vitamin B12, 7 in folic acid, and 11 in two or more of these nutrients, for a total of 47 patients (14%). After 33 of the patients with demonstrated deficiencies received 6 months of supplementation, 23 had a complete remission and 11 improved, while 5 showed no changes. (5)


In open trials, zinc sulfate 220 mg daily has been reported to be effective. (6) As with the above nutrients,...

Source Citation

Source Citation
Werbach, Melvyn R. "Treating canker sores (aphthous stomatitis) with nutrition." Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, no. 269, Dec. 2005, pp. 144+. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A139602849