What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, obtained commercially
from wood sugar, xylose. It is a natural substance
and the body makes about about 10 grams every
day. It is not a drug. It is commonly used as a sugar
substitute in many foods, especially chewing gum,
because such use prevents tooth decay. Most
people are not aware of this benefit because such
a claim makes xylitol into a drug, crossing a boundary
not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Importance of the Nose
The nose is a nidus—a nest where problems begin. The fact that we move about 3000 gallons of air through the nose and into the lungs every day opens it to all kinds of pollution. Harmful bacteria living there move into the ear canal or the sinuses to cause infections; and irritants there are the most common causes of allergies and asthma. We all have a means of cleaning these harmful substances that reduces the chance of getting ill.
Now there is away to help this natural process.
Cleaning this nest regularly helps to remove infection causing bacteria as well as the irritants that trigger allergies and asthma.
Anytime a person has a problem that begins in the nose, cleaning it regularly should be a part of their treatment.
Our experience is that it is often the only part needed.
Why Nasal Xylitol Works
There are three reasons this spray works as well as it does:
All of these are totally new concepts in medical practice. But they are concepts whose time has come because they provide a safe and reasonable option to some of the major health problems that we now face with infections and allergies.
- Xylitol decreases the adherence of harmful bacteria to the cells in our nose and selects for bacteria that cause fewer infections.
- The concentration of xylitol stimulates our own defensive washing of the nose.
- The xylitol decreases the concentration of salt in the airway surface fluid which helps our own antibiotic substances there to be more effective—the problem with saline.
Each of these concepts is discussed in the following three sections, with links to more detailed information and references.
Why Nasal Xylitol Works on Infections
The most common and accepted way of dealing with bacteria is to kill them with antibiotics. But we have to use the more
expensive and potent newer antibiotics because the bacteria have become resistant to the earlier generations of antibiotics.
The more antibiotics we use the more problems we have with resistant bacteria.
THIS IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS FACING US TODAY AS WE DEAL WITH INFECTIONS. WE NEED OTHER OPTIONS—AND WE HAVE THEM, BUT THEY DON'T
MAKE ANY MONEY FOR OUR PROFIT ORIENTED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM SO THERE IS NO MOTIVE FOR STUDYING THEM AND FEW PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THEM.
Before bacteria can cause an infection they have to be able to attach to our body. What they hold on to are specific sugars or
sugar complexes that are on the surfaces of our cells. Putting these sugars, or other similar looking sugars, in with the bacteria fills
up their binding sites and decreases the ability of bacteria to hold on to our body's cells.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that does this for several problem causing bacteria.
Feeding xylitol regularly to the bacteria that normally live in the back of our noses reduces their numbers and has actually been shown to tame some bacteria so that they cause fewer
problems. This section also discusses the use of mannose in preventing urinary infections.
Taming bacteria is a better idea than killing them. Find out why.
Why Nasal Xylitol Works on Allergies
ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA BEGIN FROM IRRITANTS IN THE NOSE. WHY NOT HELP WASH THEM OUT?
The second idea of helping with our defensive washing is also new.
HELPING OUR DEFENSES—THE PROBLEM WITH SALINE.
- A runny nose is our body's attempt to clean irritants from the nose.
- The increases we have experienced in airway problems, both infectious and allergenic, coincide with our harmful use of drugs that block our normal defensive nasal cleaning.
- Stimulating this defensive nasal washing is a better idea than blocking it; and
- Supporting other defenses is also a more healthy approach.
- Allergies and asthma are triggered by irritants in the nose. Regularly clearing these irritants removes the triggers and reduces the problems.
Covering the cells in our airway, underneath the mucus, is the airway surface fluid.
For places where the mucus is not present, or not working adequately, there are several substances in this fluid that, separately and together, work against bacteria.
These substances are salt sensitive; that is the higher the salt concentration, the less they work.
A center for work on these defenses is at the University of Iowa, where they are looking at what xylitol does to help this process.
If this is really so good why don't more people know about it?
First of all, the word is getting out. This product was recently (April, 2004) named the number one new product in health food stores in the United States. That's not bad for the fourth year of business with no media advertising. Thanks!! to those users who have spread the word.
More on how we should help our defenses as well as what we can do to create a better and more affordable health care system can be found at a companion web site, Common Sense Medicine.
How We Got Started
My granddaughter's ear infections, and her grandmother's understandable panic, were the stimulus for first making this spray. Chewing xylitol sweetened gum four times a day reduces ear infections by about 40%, but she was too young to chew gum. The xylitol works on the bacteria, bacteria that live in the nose before they move into the ear. I thought it prudent to put it where the bacteria are. Using xylitol nasally lets you use about 200 times less than orally and reduced ear infections in my practice by 93%. This section also explains why these infections are associated with learning problems and should be of interest to all parents and primary teachers.
Read my dealings with the FDA regarding this spray.
In my experience the biggest problem with this spray is that people use it, get better, then forget about it. Pretty soon they are back with the same problems. If you get better don't use it as much, but regular sustained use, at least twice a day, with more when you feel a problem, is the best way to avoid them. Cleaning the nose is just like washing hands — it needs to be done regularly — and xylitol is soap for the nose.
To use the spray tilt the head forward, put the tip of the bottle into one side of the nose, aim the upright bottle at the back of the head, inhale briskly (sniff) and spray at the same time. Do the same with the other side of the nose. Parents should assist children with this until they can do it themselves. (Make sure you can see a spray when they squeeze the bottle.) Infants who can't cooperate by sniffing should be laid down after spraying so the solution goes to the back of the nose where it is more effective. I recommend spraying infant's and toddler's noses with every diaper change.
Where to Purchase Xylitol
First of all ask at your local health food store. The nasal use of
xylitol was given the "Vity" award for "Best New Natural Medicine" by
America’s health food stores in 2004 so most of them have heard about
it and it is often their single best selling item. They also carry the gum
for oral health. There are some gums available at the grocery store, but they
often have other ingredients that make them less effective. If xylitol is
not the first substance on the ingredient list it likely doesn’t have
enough xylitol to do the job. If they haven't heard of it print out
some of the material here and educate them.
Several other sites are available through the Internet by searching
on "xylitol" and "nose".
Back to top
The spray described in these pages is not a drug. This means that the people manufacturing this spray cannot advertise what the spray does to prevent disease and illness. The spray only helps to clean your nose. The benefits come from a clean nose. The only way people will learn about this practical and sensible way to help the immune system wash pollutants from the back of the nose is by interested people, like you, sharing this information.
If you have family or friends with any of these problems, they may benefit greatly from your sharing this information with them.
Links in the other sections, referring to a person or study, will take you to a Medline summary, from the National Library of Medicine, of the article in question.
This spray is protected by United States and international patents. While careful reading of these pages will tell you how to mix this spray yourself we request that you do not sell such spray on the open market. Such sales would be prohibited by the above mentioned patents.
Disclaimer: All material provided in this web site is provided for educational purposes in the hope of improving our general health. Access of this web site does not create a doctor-patient relationship nor should the information contained on this web site be considered specific medical advice with respect to a specific patient and/or a specific condition. Copy sections of this page and discuss them with your physician to see if they apply to your own symptoms or medical condition.
Dr. Jones specifically disclaims any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, that is or may be incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of use or application of any of the information provided on this web site.
A. H. 'Lon' Jones D.O.
812 West 8th St. Suite 2A
Plainview, Texas 79072
Phone (806) 291-0700
Fax (806) 293-8229