Vitamin B12 For Canker Sores – Almost Too Good to be True
Did you hear the one about the guy who took a bunch of Vitamin B12 for canker sores?
So far in my canker sore journey, I have tested a number of supplements: Folic Acid, Astaxanthin, Iron, and Vitamin B12. And without a doubt, Vitamin B12 for canker sores has worked better than anything I have ever tried.
Which should frankly come as no surprise. Many studies over the years have confirmed B12’s effect on canker sores, the most recent of which came from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel in 2009. In that doubleblind study, 74% of participants had a complete remission of canker sores after 6 months.
So what exactly was my experience with vitamin B12 for canker sores? Here’s how it broke down…
I started taking Vitamin B12 for canker sores in December of last year, about a week into the month, and I finished at the beginning of March. So about three months, but to be fair, I wasn’t very consistent about it in December (I blame the holidays), so I place more emphasis on the results from January, February, and March.
I got an ulcer on 12/24 that lasted 9 days (Merry Christmas, huh?)
I got another one on 1/02 that overlapped that one, this one lasted 10 days (Happy New Year?)
Another one on 1/09 that lasted 8 days.
So far, nothing to cheer about, right? Pretty much non-stop ulcers from Christmas Eve halfway through January. Some might chalk it up to holiday stress, but either way, the B12 isn’t looking too impressive. However… watch what happens next.
After a brief respite, I get another outbreak on 2/07. Two of them pop up on my tongue. One lasts 7 days. The other lasts 5 days.
Then one more outbreak on 2/18. Three of them. These are all gone in 3 days.
Notice a pattern? The duration of the ulcers has gone from 9 and 10 days down to 3. But my favorite thing is what happened after that…
Not even a tickle. For 6 whole weeks.
I stopped taking B12 on 3/5, and still did not get an ulcer again for an entire month. I was free of canker sores for a full 6 weeks before they came back again, which for me is, sadly, rare.
In fact, I began testing Iron immediately after I stopped with the B12, and I may have skewed the results on the Iron a bit because the B12 continued working for so long.
So consider me a believer.
How to take Vitamin B12 for canker sores
I decided to go with a high dosage – 5000 mcg/day. That sounds like an extraordinary amount when you consider that the RDA for B12 is only 2.5 mcg/day. And there are many that would argue that taking an overabundance of vitamin B12 for canker sores does no good because your body can’t absorb that much at a time. In fact, the body can only truly absorb 1-2% of what you take in.
But megadoses of Vitamin B12 have been used to treat all kinds of ailments, from asthma, to chronic fatigue syndrome, even bipolar disorder, at doses up to 30,000 mcg. And the study in Israel cited earlier worked with only 1000 mcg/day. But that was done over 6 months.
Alternatively, a deficiency in Vitamin B12 is a very well-known cuprit in canker sores as well as a multitude of other conditions, including certain anemias that can lead to weakness and rapid heartbeat, even memory loss and difficulty walking.
Unfortunately, some people lack what’s known as parietal cells in the stomach that create an protein called intrinsic factor that helps escort B12 through the acid chamber of the stomach so it can be absorbed in the small intestines. Without it, the B12 is broken down in the stomach and never absorbed. This is a digestive issue and the only way to correct for it is through injections.
Sublingual or pill?
I took a tablet form of vitamin B12 for canker sores and not the liquid under-the-tongue sublingual version.
Some have argued that the purpose of taking sublingual vitamin B12 for canker sores is due to the intrinsic factor in your stomach, that the sublingual absorption bypasses that and goes directly into the bloodstream. However, there have been studies that have shown that there is no difference between the two.
In fact, I found studies that suggested that taking an oral vitamin B12 for canker sores every day can be just as effective as the injectible B12 in large enough amounts. Because even though your body’s only absorbing 1-2%, you’ll still get more over time if you take it every day than the injections you receive once a week (or two).
Other factors when taking Vitamin B12 for canker sores.
B12 is a well-known energy booster in the body, which is a good thing – who doesn’t need a little more energy nowadays? I would take my dose first thing in the morning along with breakfast and it got a little bit of a morning boost out of it – like the difference between a tall or grande coffee.
On the flipside, you probably don’t want to take it in the evening or before you go to bed. Because a lack of sleep isn’t exactly an RAS sufferer’s best friend.
Also, you can load up on the B12 without worrying about overdose or toxicity – it’s almost nonexistent.