The effect of ascorbate on minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis

Acta Paediatr. 2010 Mar;99(3):442-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01628.x. Epub 2009 Dec 10.


Aim: Minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis (MRAS) is a common, painful and inflammatory ailment of the oral cavity with juvenile onset and unknown aetiology. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential of ascorbate (vitamin C) to reduce the frequency of MRAS and severity of pain.

Patients and methods: Sixteen MRAS patients (9 boys and 7 girls: mean age, 12.0 +/- 2.4 years old) were assigned to take an oral dosage of 2000 mg/m(2)/day ascorbate.

Subjects: Their baseline frequency of outbreaks and the level of pains were compared during the treatment; in addition, a crossover clinical trial was performed. Polymorphonuclear leucocytes play a role in the pathogenesis, and then superoxide anion production was evaluated in prior to ascorbate treatment.

Results: The data indicated a statistically significant 50% reduction in oral ulcer outbreaks and a decline of pain level. Neutrophils were primed for superoxide anion production in the patients with MRAS.

Conclusion: Ascorbate may modulate the generation of reactive oxygen species and augment neutrophil apoptosis, which could prevent neutrophil-mediated inflammation. Ascorbate seems to be effective, but the findings of our study were preliminary and it should be re-evaluated with a larger randomized controlled clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / prevention & control*
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antioxidants
  • Superoxides
  • Ascorbic Acid