For the past ten years or so, our favorite sugar has been a go-to solution for many of our patients.
Yes, sugar! Looks like sugar, feels like sugar (is granulated), tastes like sugar, with a slight cooling sensation that lingers ever so slightly on the tongue.
This magical compound is called xylitol (“zy-lit-all”) and it has a multitude of uses, one of which is showing even a reduction (not a cure) of virus in the nose and sinus, including SARS-CoV-2 and RSV!
Our preferred source for xylitol comes under the brand name of Spry by the Xlear company. There is a Spry nasal spray that can be used two sprays in each nostril upon waking and before bed, which not only makes it difficult for viral attachment to happen in the nose and sinuses, but also prevents nasal dryness and stuffiness so it is easier to nasal breathe. Of course, nasal breathing is what nature intended, since it results in increased oxygen absorption into the bloodstream and also filters out bacteria and viruses as compared to mouth breathing.
Xylitol also comes in Spry’s candies (called Sparx), gums, rinses (our favorite flavor is wintergreen but they are all nice), toothpastes (with or without fluoride), and even cough drops. It is important to note that there is well-established reduction of the bacteria that cause tooth decay if xylitol is present in the oral environment 3-5 times per day, which is pretty achievable. It has a low glycemic index so it doesn’t contribute much for calories (since it is a sugar alcohol) and even diabetics can use it.
At my house we have been baking with xylitol for years: cookies, breads, cakes, energy balls, you name it. Simply purchased in a 1 or 3 pound bag, it is used as a 1:1 replacement for regular sugar in any recipe, and tastes great in coffee or tea too. You can find this granulated form at Whole Foods or Natural Grocers, or online.
If you haven’t tried it yet for yourself or your kids, you should!