The Canadian findings echo research published last year in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, by a team at Penn State College of Medicine. That group found that honey worked better than commercial cough medicines containing dextromethorphan (DM) in easing children's cough.
But Dr. Ian Paul, director of Pediatric Clinical Research at Penn State and the leader of the cough study, isn't sure how the sinusitis findings would be applied clinically.
"Bacteria do not grow very well in honey," Paul noted. "There is data that honey works well for wounds, in smothering the bacteria that that grow in wounds. So it's not altogether surprising that honey would be effective in killing these bacteria."
However, whether honey could be used clinically to treat sinusitis isn't apparent, Paul said.
"I wonder how they are going to propose using honey, clinically, in sinusitis," Paul said. "I'm wondering how they are proposing it would be curative or helpful in that setting?"
Results of another study, slated to be presented at the meeting Tuesday, show that many patients with sinusitis sufferer from aches and pains that are equal to those experienced by people with arthritis or depression.
Researchers found that endoscopic sinus surgery to relieve the blockage in the sinuses, also significantly people's reduced pain.
"This study highlights an important point: Chronic sinusitis should not be considered as a minor localized disease condition rather, as this study emphasizes, sinusitis can cause serious clinical levels of discomfort in many patients," study co-author Dr. Neil Bhattacharyya, an otolaryngologist and sinus surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said in a statement.
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