Well Worth It: March

There have been some great science reviews of practical tips recently! Here is the first of four proven, data-driven studies that you may not hear much about in the main-stream media (usually because of a lack of profit-driven PR). Be sure to forward the Well Worth It information along to those you care about who might benefit from the information! And stay tuned this month for three more.

1) B12 for Painful Mouth Ulcers – for most people, the phrase “painful mouth ulcer” means an aphthous ulcer. An aphthous ulcer is a shallow ulcer on the reddish mucosa-inside of your mouth. Some people get

Dental hygienist flossing a patient's teeth du...
Image via Wikipedia

aphthous ulcers with colds, and some people have them recurring over and over. A recent, fairly-well-designed study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine shows that putting one 1,000 ug B12 tablet under your tongue and letting it melt, once a day, can dramatically decrease the number of recurring aphthous ulcers. However, you should know that you need to put the tablet under your tongue every night for six months to see a difference – but when the difference kicks in (around month five), it’s impressively huge (and cheap! and safe!). For people who got the B12, 74% were ulcer free at six months, compared to 32% ulcer free in the placebo group. And even if a B12 patient got an ulcer, there were fewer days of pain (1.9 vs. 4.8), less severe pain levels (0.64 vs. 2.36) AND fewer total number of ulcers (3.88 vs. 13.39) . All of these results were highly statistically significant, even despite the relatively small numbers of people. These impressive results occurred no matter what the patient’s blood level of vitamin B12 was – implying that there is a direct effect from the tablet on the mouth. Cautions: Aphthous ulcers are NOT to be confused with “cold sores” of the mouth – which occur at the edge of your lips, crust over, and are usually caused by a herpes virus. MOST importantly, any poor-healing ulcer of the mouth needs to be seen and diagnosed by someone skilled in evaluating these lesions. You definitely DON’T want to miss mouth cancer, or delay getting a diagnosis or effective treatment by assuming it’s an aphthous ulcer. Bottom Line: If you and your healthcare provider already know you get recurring apthous ulcers, but haven’t found anything to help, consider trying B12. A 1,000 ug vitamin B12 tablet under your tongue every night makes a great treatment for recurring aphthous ulcers (cheap! safe! effective!). But remember – you have to stick with it for six months to really see (and feel) the difference.

Have a Well Worth It Tip up your sleeve? Be sure to share in the comments section.

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