Chronic Cough Can be Caused by a Lack of Vitamin B12

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

Chronic cough can be a nagging problem, often setting in following a respiratory bug and lingering for some time. A new study shows that a lack of vitamin B12 can be the cause of this ongoing problem.

Nerves are intimately involved with multiple aspects of coughing. Chronic coughing is essentially a hyperresponsiveness of voice box (larynx) due to loss of nerve control along with chronic irritation of the lining of the voice box and related structures. Vitamin B12 is essential for normal nerve function and for the rejuvenation rate of the epithelial cells lining the voice box. 

The researchers found that restoring vitamin B12 status cleared up chronic cough in those who were low in B12, but did not help those who were not low. Many Americans are low in vitamin B12. Thus, if chronic cough is an issue then extra B12 may be of help. It is always best to use the co-enzyme form of vitamin B12 known as methylcobalamin when supplementing B12.

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