We are asked all sorts of questions about the probiotic Lactobacillus sakei used in Lanto Sinus.
People are usually surprised to learn that the bacteria Lactobacillus sakei is found not only in healthy sinuses, but also in the human gut (intestines), and in many foods that we commonly eat. It is viewed as a beneficial or good bacteria wherever it’s found, whether in humans, animals, or foods.
Where is Lactobacillus sakei normally found?
Lactobacillus sakei (or L. sakei) was first described almost a century ago by Japanese researchers. They found it in the fermentation starter mash (moto) used to make the Japanese rice wine called sake.
Since then Lactobacillus sakei has been found throughout the world, with more than 230 different strains collected by researchers. This lactic acid bacteria is found in fresh meat (pork, veal, beef, sheep, chicken, and turkey), seafood (including fish), vegetables, and fermented foods. Lactobacillus sakei occurs spontaneously during certain stages of fermentation in some foods, such as sourdough, sauerkraut, kimchi, sake, curly kale, and other vegetables.
In humans Lactobacillus sakei is normally found in healthy sinuses, the gut (intestines), and in feces. The current view is that the Lactobacillus sakei in our intestines is from the foods we eat and that it is a normal part of the human diet.
One interesting study found that many babies born vaginally have Lactobacillus sakei already in their first stool (meconium), but not babies born by C-section. This means babies born vaginally pick it up from the mother as they travel down the birth canal.
We know that Lactobacillus sakei lives in the intestines of some animals. One South African study looked at the stools of 26 animal species, and found L. sakei in the feces of omnivores (eat both meat and vegetation), but not carnivores, who only eat meat. The omnivores included raccoon, mongoose, marmoset, tamarin, and ostrich, while carnivores included lion, jackal, cape fox, and caracal.
Not all Lactobacillus sakei is the same
Studies find that the many Lactobacillus sakei strains vary genetically and that the different strains have different effects, with some strains being better than others. The best strains of L. sakei (including the one in Lanto Sinus) are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and even antifungal.
The strain used in Lanto Sinus has been shown to have positive health effects in a number of studies. These have found it to be immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and even antifungal. This strain is protective against a number of pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus (a problem bacteria in sinusitis).
The food industry uses certain strains of L. sakei both as a sausage starter culture and for its protective properties against many harmful bacteria, such as Listeria, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O157:H7 , and some fungi.
Different Uses for L. sakei
Both the medical community and food industry are very interested in Lactobacillus sakei.
In the past decade many studies found that the sinus microbial community (sinus microbiome) is imbalanced in persons with chronic sinusitis, and that Lactobacillus sakei is diminished. Lactobacillus sakei was first proposed as a treatment for sinusitis in 2012, and some studies are now ongoing. The use of Lanto Sinus for sinus microbiome health grew out of this research.
Since Lactobacillus sakei has such positive properties (e.g., antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, immune effects), recent medical studies have been testing it for different health problems. Researchers have tested different strains of L. sakei (including the one in Lanto Sinus) for such conditions as atopic dermatitis (in both humans and dogs), eczema, ulcerative colitis, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and radiation-induced enteritis. Results have been generally positive, with some strains better than others.
In the case of obesity, researchers think that L. sakei’s positive effect may be due to its anti-inflammatory properties and inhibition of harmful bacteria in the gut. Another study found decreased numbers of Lactobacillus sakei in the stools of patients with ischemic strokes (when compared to healthy persons).
The food industry uses L. sakei both as a starter culture and a protective culture in meat preservation because of its properties against common harmful bacteria, including those linked to food poisoning. Enthusiastic researchers have stated that Lactobacillus sakei has “antibacterial, bacteriostatic, and bactericidal properties”. It is frequently used when making artisanal sausages, and mentioned in the ingredients as “lactic acid bacteria”.
Many health studies are currently underway to find more uses for the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus sakei. The future is exciting!