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Low B Vitamins May Up Risk for Canker Sores

People with canker sores have much lower intake of vitamin B12 and folate than average, a study concludes.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut collected diet information on 100 people who had a history of canker sores. They compared this group of people to a national survey of more than 9,000 people. These people had completed a diet history, but did not have canker sores.

The canker sore group had much lower intakes of vitamin B12 and folate than the nationwide group without canker sores. Other studies have found vitamin B12 or folate deficiencies in some people with canker sores. In at least one study, people were treated for these deficiencies. Their canker sores either got smaller or disappeared altogether.

Canker sores are painful, open sores in the mouth. They are not the same as cold sores. Cold sores are caused by a virus. Canker sores have no clear cause, but most experts agree that some sort of nutritional deficiency contributes to them.

Vitamin B12 also is called cobalamin. One result of low vitamin B12 is megaloblastic anemia. People with anemia have lower-than-normal numbers of red blood cells. People who don't get enough B12 also may have problems with sleep or concentration. They may feel tired, irritable or depressed.

Folate, or folic acid, also is called vitamin B9. It is important for many body functions. However, it is probably best known for its effects on fetal development. Pregnant women who do not get enough folate have a higher risk of having babies with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.


TEETH Care Centre Dental Hospital, Ahmedabad