Chronic mucosal inflammation and bacterial infection of the sinuses are common problems among those with chronic sinusitis. As a chronic sinusitis sufferer myself, I am extra aware of how pharmaceutical antibiotics kill off not only the bad bacteria, but the good bacteria as well. These antibiotics reduce the microbiome of the sinuses, leading to more opportunities for the bad bacteria to take hold.
I was excited to learn of a September 2012 journal article in Science Translational Medicine entitled, Sinus Microbiome Diversity Depletion and Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum Enrichment Mediates Rhinosinusitis. This article discusses how the sinus microbiome diversity is depleted, there is an abundance of the bacteria Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum (an innocuous bacteria normally found in skin, which acts pathogenic in the sinuses), and how the good bacteria, Lactobacillus sakei, can be quite protective of the sinuses.
I was particularly excited to learn of the protective role of Lactobacillus sakei, which can be found in some brands of Kimchi, certain sausage starters, and Lactopy. I enjoy eating a few ounces of Kimchi per day, which is a fermented vegetable and includes cabbage, chili peppers, green onions, garlic, and ginger. Eating fermented vegetables delivers a very high rate of good bacteria without the expensive costs associated with probiotic pills. You can purchase Kimchi (or other fermented veggies) at a health food store, or to save money, you can make it yourself. In either case, I think taking probiotics in one form or another can be a great addition to one’s health, including our sinus health, and I would encourage you to consider the role that probiotics play in your health.