Sinusitis is an inflammatory disease, which affects the mucosa of the sinus cavities. Numerous factors may cause sinusitis; however, the most common cause is due to viral upper respiratory infections. Once the inflammatory process is activated by the immune system, inflamed tissues block the airways causing mucostasis (mucus retention). Because mucus contains pathogens, pollutants and other foreign materials, mucostasis prompts microbial overgrowth and increases the risk of acquiring an infection.
Chronic sinusitis patients tend to have a fibrotic sinus membrane. This occurrence is the result of chronic inflammation and the accumulation of fibrin, a facilitator of the immune response. Fibrin and eosinophil concentrations can also cause the mucosa to transform into edematous polyps. Polyps small in size tend to produce little to no symptoms. However, polyps large in size obstruct the airways, which can affect breathing and promote mucostasis.
Signs and symptoms of Sinusitis include nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, rhinorrhea, facial pain, headaches, sore throat and cough. Acute Sinusitis is defined by cold like symptoms which persist for 8 weeks or less. After which full recovery is experienced unlike Chronic or Recurrent Sinusitis. Chronic Sinusitis may be experienced for at least 12 weeks at a time. In many instances secondary diagnoses such as asthma or allergies are also made in relation to the underlying inflammatory disease.
The use of antibiotics is not recommended to treat acute sinusitis since symptoms subside fairly quickly and our immune response can work effectively given its duration. Despite the fact that most sinusitis cases are not caused by bacterial infections, antibiotics are often prescribed to treat sinusitis. Although infections can occur from mucostasis, mucus retention is the result of inflamed airways. Therefore, treatment using antibiotics does not address the root of sinusitis, inflammation.
Chemotaxis of inflammatory cells is inhibited with the use of serrapeptase; therefore, causing anti-inflammatory effects. More specifically the proteolytic enzyme removes circulating debris and fibrin. By attenuating fibrin and proinflammatory cell concentrations the inflammatory process subsides and swelling and pain associated with inflammation decreases.
Histologic studies have indicated that the tissues of nasal polyps have elevated eosinophil concentrations. This suggests that the pathogenesis of nasal polyposis is directly related to eosinophil concentrations. Since chemotaxis of eosinophils is disrupted by serrapeptase, polyp formation may be preventable.
In addition, serrapeptase is characterized by fibrinolytic properties. These properties assist in scar tissue degradation and defend against impending destruction of the mucosa. Because the mucosa of sinusitis patients tends to be thick and fibrotic, serrapeptase serves as a beneficial supplement.
Bromelain moderates cytokine expression and has been found to decrease neutrophil migration; thus, affecting the inflammatory conditions of sinusitis. A clinical study on mice indicated decreased cytokine concentrations with oral administration of bromelain. This implies that the inflammatory conditions of sinusitis can be lessened with bromelain supplementation. Through the study it was also discovered that bromelain has antithrombotic characteristics.
Platelets are among the proinflammatory cells which undergo chemotaxis and initiate chemokine and cytokine secretion during sinusitis. Because chronic sinusitis patients present increased platelet and mean platelet volume, antithrombotic properties of bromelain are desirable in order to achieve hemostasis.
By supporting a healthy inflammatory response with enzyme supplementation, the root of sinusitis can finally be addressed. Systemic enzymes such as: serrapeptase, bromelain and papain provide natural anti-inflammatory properties which are beneficial to those who endure sinusitis episodes. In addition they may prevent polyp formations due to the potent fibrinolytic properties they possess.