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Some Treatments Don’t Work For Sinusitis

According to a recent study, two commonly available treatments for chronic sinusitis don't work. Researchers tested xylitol, the probiotic Lactococcus lactis, and ordinary saline rinses separately for one month in a group of persons with chronic sinusitis. They found that none of these improved sinusitis symptoms or sinus microbial diversity (the sinus microbiome).

Interestingly, studies find that Lactococcus lactis occurs naturally in the sinuses of some people, yet in the study it didn't seem to have healing properties (in other words, not a keystone bacteria in sinus health). The finding of xylitol not helping with sinusitis symptoms is what most people have reported to me for years - so not a surprising finding.

Plain saline rinses may temporarily improve breathing, and are especially helpful when suffering from allergies, but it has long been known that they don't treat sinusitis.

The University of Rochester Medical Center researchers had study participants doing 1 treatment (either L. lactis or xylitol nasal rinse) for 1 month, then 1 month of saline rinse alone (the "wash-out" period), and then 1 month of the other treatment rinse. So each person tried all 3 methods. Their symptoms were assessed 4 different times with the SNOT-22 symptom questionnaire [some SNOT-22 problems]. 25 persons with chronic sinusitis (and a past history of sinus surgery) were enrolled, and 10 healthy controls (no chronic sinusitis).

So what should one try if suffering from sinusitis? Try  Lactobacillus sakei (it has helped many because it is a keystone bacteria, and also kills/dominates over many harmful bacteria). However, use it only when needed (when sinusitis symptoms start to appear) and stop when feeling better.

A month of using any product, as described in this xylitol and L. lactis study, may also be too long. One month could even lead to a sinus "imbalance".

For example, a few days or 1 week of L. sakei (whether kimchi or Lanto Sinus) may be enough! No need to repeatedly flood the sinuses with 1 product - normally healthy sinuses contain multitudes of species living in balance.

A few excerpts from the medical journal Laryngoscope investigative otolaryngology: Microbiomics of irrigation with xylitol or Lactococcus lactis in chronic rhinosinusitis

Results: We enrolled 25 subjects with CRS and 10 controls resulting in 70 adequate samples. Increased detection of Lactococcus was observed after use of L. lactis.... SNOT-22 score did not change significantly following treatment with xylitol, L. lactis, or saline.

Conclusion: We did not detect any major clinical or microbiome-level effect due to treatment with two topical rinse products. 

2 thoughts on “Some Treatments Don’t Work For Sinusitis

  1. Linda Johnson

    I’m 65. I have what has always been treated as asthma (not sure about that now), nasal polyps (huge one on right side/left side several small ones). I’ve had 5 surgeries for polyp removal spanning 45 years. I’ve been treating for last few years with fast and long acting steroid shots (two shots in hips every 4-8 months). I usually got good shrinkage and relief until this last time when nothing changed. While searching for natural oral thrush treatments/probiotics (I’m dealing with multiple annoying ailments!) I came across the Lanto Sinus article. I could not order fast enough! After two “treatments” I can’t believe the results and hope for more! The large polyp side has shrunk, sometimes out of sight and reach! and the heavy “plugged” feeling is lifting. The other side is also more open and I’ve been doing more nose breathing today than in the past year! This is fantastic! I wonder if my asthma is a fungal lung infection? I went off all steroid inhalers over a year ago and have been using ProAir when I feel “tight”. A no-no but it works. I think my thrush is from overuse of ProAir? I’ve been coughing up an extraordinary amount of phlegm since starting Lanto Sinus eventho only recently had a mild cold with no chest involvement that I noticed! I’ve also over the past two years experienced some hearing loss in ear on large polyp side. Could the polyp be part of hearing loss and tinnitus?!! I’m excited to see what happens moving forward with Lanto Sinus! It’s a miracle for me already!

    1. Sima

      Great to hear you're doing better! Our entire respiratory system has microbiomes (ear microbiome, sinus microbiome, etc.), and when it becomes imbalanced for some reason, then there are all sorts of symptoms.
      If bacteria are killed off due to antibiotics or other medicines, then other microbes will move into their place (again, an imbalance which results in symptoms).
      See Microbes Live In Our Sinuses for more information.


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