Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stop Canker Sores with Two Common Supplements

By Seth Michaels

A lot of what you may read and hear on the internet about canker sores discusses simply treating the sores once they build-up. And understandably so, besides, there's nothing else you care about when that volcanic ache hits inside your mouth.

But as the great Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu once said, the most effective way to win a war is to prevent one from happening in the first place.

In our case, naturally that means that it's far better to stop the canker sores from erupting from the get go rather than treat them once they've unleashed their fury upon you.

And if studies are to be believed, the answer may lie in two common supplements. Iron and Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is one of 8 B vitamins and known as the most complex of them all, as it contains the biochemically rare element, cobalt. In fact, frequently it's referred to as cobalamin. Mostly recognized for its energy-enhancing properties, Vitamin B12 is especially important for the brain and nervous system, and also helps in producing blood.

Those with vitamin B12 deficiencies encounter several different issues, including fatigue and depression at even slightly less than normal levels, or even mania and psychosis at severe levels. It's also associated with a form of anemia.

You can find B12 the natural way by eating animal proteins, especially beef, shellfish, and liver, in marginally unnatural ways in fortified food items like flour, and in completely ungodly ways like energy drinks. There aren't any real negative effects to taking excessive vitamin B12, although the correction of megaloblastic anemia with vitamin B12 may result in fatal hypokalemia and gout in sensitive people.

So what does that have to do with canker sores?

According to results printed in Spring 2009 from a study performed at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, B12 revealed great promise in protecting against canker sores in RAS sufferers. In the case study, 58 randomly chosen RAS patients were given either 1000 mcg of B12 per night or a placebo and tracked spanning a 6 month period. The results were that 74% of the treated group experienced a total remission of canker sores towards the end of the study. The average length of canker sores and the pain levels lowered within the first four months, but supposedly went away entirely during the 5th and 6th month. Those on the placebo saw 32% remission by the conclusion.

Iron is quite literally the most abundant elements in the universe. The center of the planet is a solid core of the stuff. It burns in every single star in each and every galaxy, it's under our feet, and it's in our bodies. In reality, we can't do without it. Hippy-dippy types might say it's what links all of us.

Iron is vital to getting oxygen to the cells through the blood. A protein called hemoglobin in red blood cells is the taxi cab that delivers the oxygen from our lungs to the cells, and 2/3 of the body's iron can be found in the hemoglobin, with much of the rest in the protein called myoglobin, which flows oxygen to the muscles. There are 2 kinds of dietary iron, heme, and non-heme. Essentially, heme iron derives from hemoglobin in red blood cells, which stems from eating animals. Non-heme was produced from plant sources. Each are absorbed into our body roughly similarly.

Iron is generally employed to treat anemia, a medical condition where the body would not generate enough red blood cells and hemoglobin to properly transfer oxygen throughout the body.

Typical recommended male ingestion for iron is around 8 mg/day, whereas for females it's 18 mg/day as a consequence of loss of blood during menstruation. For women that are pregnant, 27mg/day is suggested. The downside to iron supplementation is the fact that iron toxicity may be possible and can occur if you're not very careful. In some cases people, mostly from European lineage, have what is termed hemochromotosis, where the body absorbs iron remarkably proficiently, so much in fact that it stores the iron inside of the body's organs, which can lead to damage after awhile. About 1 in 250 individuals have this problem, that may be accelerated with iron supplementation.

And here's what iron has to do with canker sores.

Well again, this is among those deficiencies things. Along with anemia, which creates a general malaise and tiredness, iron deficiencies can result in canker sores. There are actually various studies that have tested iron-deficient RAS patients and right after a round of iron supplementation combined with B12, the sores disappeared. As always, it's good to determine the numbers yourself and track the results.

Of course, consult with your doctor before beginning any intensive vitamin regimen.

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