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Nine Years of Successfully Treating Sinus Infections With Probiotics

It is now 9 full years since I first started successfully treating both chronic sinusitis and regular sinus infections using only  the probiotic Lactobacillus sakei. This means no antibiotics or any other antibacterial has been used in more than 9 years! This is amazing – ten years ago I didn't believe this to be possible.

Research shows that the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus sakei occurs naturally (in tiny amounts) in healthy sinuses, but is depleted or missing in those with sinusitis. (You know we all have a sinus microbiome - bacteria, fungi, and viruses living in the sinuses, yes?) I started by using kimchi after reading research in late 2012, but the last few years I've used the refrigerated product Lanto Sinus, which contains a kimchi-derived strain of Lactobacillus sakei. 

I have heard from hundreds of people since the blog started, and the majority agree - Lactobacillus sakei works great as a sinusitis treatment! (Other probiotic species just don't work.) [See Best Probiotics For Sinusitis for details on results and products used.]

Lessons Learned During Past 9 Years:

  1. Lactobacillus sakei alone is enough to treat sinusitis or sinus infections. Don't need fancy concoctions or fancy protocols when using it. Using it (whether in kimchi or Lanto Sinus) should take under 1 minute a day!
  2. Only use Lactobacillus sakei when needed - when there are some sinus symptoms (e.g., lots of mucus, post nasal drip) or you're sliding towards sinusitis. No need to wait till the sinus infection is full-blown.
  3. Stop using it when feeling better. Just like with antibiotics, don't take it daily and routinely, but only when needed.
  4. Use for a few days and evaluate whether you can stop or whether you need to keep using it longer. Frequently the sinuses keep improving even after stopping Lactobacillus sakei. One can always use more if needed.
  5. Lactobacillus sakei normally lives in healthy sinuses, which is why it is such an effective sinus infection treatment for so many people.
  6. Over time (whether weeks or months) a person typically needs less Lactobacillus sakei to treat sinus symptoms. The L. sakei colonizes in the sinuses - whether short-term or long-term.
  7. Swishing a product like Lanto Sinus in the mouth alone is a gentle and cautious way to use the product. Using it in the nostrils is a stronger way to use the product.
  8. Don't overdo it. Using a little bit in the nostrils (as described in Sinusitis Treatment Summary) is sufficient. Let the little buggers travel on their own throughout the sinuses!
  9. If Lactobacillus sakei works for a person, it can feel miraculous as sinusitis symptoms disappear, frequently within a few days. Others have slower improvement. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for everyone and only self-experimentation determines whether it does - after all, everyone's sinus microbiome is different.

Hopefully this offers hope to sinus infection sufferers. Good health!

15 thoughts on “Nine Years of Successfully Treating Sinus Infections With Probiotics

  1. Allison

    I've been suffering from chronic post-nasal drip since last year.
    I attribute it to the red mold problem that I've had in my house for so long. It's gone now, but I still have lingering issues.
    I've been using both Sunja's White Kimchi and Lanto Sinus since the start of the year without much improvement, though my q-tip swabs aren't bloody anymore.

    I hope that in the coming months I see more improvement, because this is debilitating.

    1. Sima've been through a lot.
      Since everyone's sinus microbiome is different, can take a break from the original products and try some other Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species for a few days.
      Gentle way to try is to swish in mouth, then swallow.
      By the way, even after a person stops using L. sakei, changes (improvements) keep occurring for at least a week or so.
      L. sakei is found in healthy sinus microbiomes, but other species are also depleted when there are sinus issues.
      Make sure you're also not using other anti-bacterial products at this time - e.g., xylitol, silver, antibiotics.

        1. Sima

          Most bacterial species found in healthy sinuses are not available as probiotics, including important beneficial species such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii.
          (L. sakei is found in healthy sinuses and depleted in those with chronic sinusitis.)
          Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species may be the safest to try - can try a multistrain probiotic.
          Very few people have reported success with strains other than L.sakei, but there may be a partial benefit.
          If you start to feel worse when trying a probiotic - stop using it!

  2. Barry

    Hi there,

    Firstly thank you for going to the trouble of providing information about your family’s journey.

    I live in New Zealand and it doesn’t appear that it’s possible to purchase a sinus issue specific product here. Would you still recommend using B-2 culture?

      1. Barry

        Thanks for your reply. You also mention above not to take antibacterial products like silver etc while using L.Sakei would that include propolis?

        1. Sima

          I would not put bee propolis into nostrils or swish in mouth. Research finds that bacterial species that are not naturally found in the sinuses are not effective, for example Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species found in bees.
          (Research also finds that Lactococcus lactis, xylitol, and ordinary saline rinses don't work as sinus treatments.)

  3. Bob D.

    I recently suffered from bad PND with an awful smell and taste to it (I’ve had sinus and PND problems for almost 40 years). I thought the issue might be probiotic related due to a heavy round of antibiotics to treat a tooth infection. I stumbled across this site and tried the kimchi protocol. In a couple days I noticed improvement and yesterday (day 6), the smell and taste was gone! Thank you. I’m excited to have this treatment option.

    1. Sima

      No, I stopped within a year of using kimchi (smear/dab a little juice in nostrils) to treat my sinusitis. This was back in 2013. I have not had the need to use a saline rinse since then.

      1. Frank

        Thanks. Was curious whether the saline rinse could be detrimental to the microbial environment. Also curious whether prebiotics would be beneficial to dab in occasionally. Have done 5 doses of the Lanto Sinus Probiotic in the last week, and have seen tremendous improvement. 80% reduction in morning nasal mucus, 75% less phlegm in the throat, feeling of nasal inflammation reduced, increased nasal air flow. Seems to be decreasing snoring as well!

        1. Sima

          Glad it's helping! Just stop when you feel OK.
          My experiences over the past decade are to use L. sakei sparingly - only when needed.
          I only used ordinary saline nasal rinse more than an hour after using L.sakei product.
          Saline rinses didn't seem to have negative effects on the sinus microbiome. Some people even use Lanto Sinus in a saline nasal rinse.


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