Move over gut microbiome, there’s another important biome in town.
(But don’t really move over, gut microbiome, you’re very important.)
Many of us know about the gut microbiome and its deep connection to overall health. But did you know your gut doesn’t actually start in your gut? It starts way earlier, in your nasal passages. That’s where your nose’s own unique microbiome lives!
While there’s still a lot unknown about the nasal microbiome, studies suggest that it could play an important role in defending us against viruses, bacteria, pathogens, toxins, and environmental allergens.
That’s because–just like your gut microbiome–your nasal microbiome is home to a thriving ecosystem of microbes responsible for helping our bodies protect us and stay in balance. And as more research emerges, the strong link between a person’s overall wellbeing and the state of their sinus biome becomes that much clearer.
The Link Between the Nasal Biome and Sinus Health
Sarah Lebeer, microbiologist and researcher, was first inspired to look into the link between the nasal microbiome and a person’s health because her own mother was having unresolved chronic issues with headaches and rhinosinusitis (pain and swelling in the sinuses and nasal cavity).
Lebeer and her team conducted a study where they analyzed the noses of 100 healthy volunteers and the noses of 225 people with chronic rhinosinusitis. That’s when they discovered a specific family of bacteria that really stood out–lactobacilli.
Their research found this type of bacteria was more prevalent, even up to 10x moreso, in the healthy volunteers’ noses versus those suffering with chronic sinus issues. The reason why may be because lactobacillus seems to have adapted especially for the sinus microbiome, having evolved unique genes to manage high oxygen levels and thin tubes (called fimbriae) that help the bacteria more easily cling to the nasal passages.
So, like the gut microbiome, we’re learning the sinus microbiome (and our health!) benefits from a good, diverse population of bacteria.
What benefits, specifically?
According to Lebeer, there are three mechanisms by which a healthy sinus microbiome can boost health, including: antipathogenic activity against dangerous viruses entering through the nose, barrier-enhancing activity that helps stimulate the tightening of nasal epithelia (your nasal lining, that is), and overall anti-inflammatory and immune function effects.
But Lebeer’s study isn’t the only one pointing to this connection of the nasal microbiome and a person’s health. Another recent study showed that participants with a higher percentage of good bacteria in their sinuses were at a significantly lower risk of certain respiratory problems–a possible indication of better immune function overall. Furthermore, research has also shown that people with greater diversity of nasal bacteria also have less chronic nasal inflammation.
Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman, Ph. D., believes that these good bacteria in a person’s nasal microbiome could even play a role in brain function due to its close proximity. (Considering the important connection of the gut-brain axis, this seems quite plausible.)
Gut Issues Directly Affect the Sinuses
The connection between the gut and sinuses isn’t just a hypothesis, we can see it playing out in real life.
For example, over 90% of chronic sinusitis cases are not infections, but rather caused by gastrointestinal (gut) inflammation, particularly an overgrowth of–or intolerance to–yeast. (Other symptoms of yeast overgrowth/intolerance include: allergies, rashes, itching, muscular aches and pains, headaches, and gas.)
Yeast overgrowth in the gut can also form undesirable biofilms in the sinuses. These biofilms are difficult for your body to fight off on its own and antibiotics aren’t very effective against them (and antibiotics can also throw off your gut microbiome in the process), leading to a chronic issue. (However! It’s important to note that not all biofilms are bad, we’re big fans of the bifidobacterial and lactobacillus biofilms.)
How to Help Your Sinuses Naturally
Thankfully, there are a variety of holistic solutions to explore that help support a healthy gut and happy sinuses.
Destress and detoxifyEasier said than done, certainly, but worthwhile to pursue in any case. Try managing your stress levels and removing toxins from your environment (or remove yourself from toxic environments!). Dandelion tea, spirulina, and cilantro also help support healthy detoxification.
Incorporate natural antivirals in your routineBecause so many sinus infections are caused by viruses, natural antivirals may help stave them off. For that, you can look into: Astragalus, Olive leaf, Larrea tridentata, Bee propolis, Melissa officinalis, L-lysine, Zinc, and good old vitamin C.
Benefit your biofilmHere’s a few supplements that can help improve your biofilm:
- Colostrum/Lactoferrin supplements can inhibit pathogens to promote healthy biofilms
- Probiotics and prebiotics found in foods promote balance
- Digestive enzymes break down bad biofilm
- Xylitol is a natural anti-biofilm (and can be found in easy powder form)
- EDTA, a chelating agent, draws out toxins from biofilm
Support Your Gut Health and Sinuses with ION*
The best way to take care of your sinuses and gut health is to support their unique microbiomes.
Thankfully, there is a simple, natural, effective solution.
The suite of ION* products are scientifically-proven to go beyond what probiotics, prebiotics, and nasal sprays can do. Inspired by nature’s intelligence, ION* works by helping bolster your body’s own innate defenses and functions on the most foundational level.
Instead of adding anything new to your system, ION* actually helps strengthen your body’s tight junctions so your natural defenses, and immune functions are all optimally supported. This is critical to all facets of health because modern living (toxin exposure, diet, medicine, and environment) all play a major role in loosening key cellular junctions in the gut and sinuses, causing a whole host of interconnected wellness issues.
ION* helps your body take care of itself like nature intended.
And now, that’s even easier with the ION* Gut and Sinus bundle!
ION* Gut Support is a gentle liquid solution that fosters tight junction integrity in your gut, which helps diversify and improve your body’s microbiome, supports digestive and immune function, enhances mental clarity, and defends against exposure to foodborne and environmental toxins.
ION* Sinus Support (formerly Restore Sinus Spray) is a non-habit forming nasal spray that facilitates cellular connection in your sinus microbiome, rinses away toxins and irritants, and soothes and hydrates delicate nasal passages, so you can breathe easily and comfortably.
Support your body’s most important microbiomes naturally, easily, and effectively.
Try ION* today.