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Using Vitamin C for Cold Sores and Canker Sores

Although medical studies have not been conducted to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C for cold sores or canker sores, still many nutritionists and natural foods consultants sing the praises of vitamin C for relief. Some oral health experts have touted this vitamin as an effective means of preventing canker sores.

Does Vitamin C really help?

It appears to work against cold sores and canker sores, but since you can't feel a canker sore as it's developing, daily supplementation with vitamin C can help keep your immune system at its peak. With cold sores some have found supplementation at the beginning of an outbreak is best, but with canker sores daily supplementation appears to be more helpful.

How Much should I take

How much should you take? Only you and your healthcare professional can determine a prescription level of Vitamin C. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is nowhere near what many health food advocates recommend.

According to Dr. Zunka, a dentist from Front Royal, Virginia, and former president of the holistic dental Association some people who take more than 1200 mg per day may experience loose stools, but if you feel a cold sore, he recommends you take 1000 mg of vitamin C, followed up by 500 mg three times a day, Dr. Zunka also recommends vitamin C with bioflavonoid because plain vitamin C might not work as well.

Fruits and vegetables with very high vitamin C content are often also acidic, so using them as natural sources of vitamin C can backfire and cause more canker sore outbreaks in sensitive individuals. So, until your immune system has been sufficiently boosted by proper nutrition and perhaps multivitamin supplements, along with a program of vitamin C, avoid acidic fruit vegetables and juice drinks. Remember too, to soothe the pain of a cold sore or canker sore, use a little tea tree oil. Only a drop is needed to provide a cooling bit of relief from the pain.

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