D-Mannose is a natural type of sugar found in the body as well as in several fruits and vegetables. In recent years, it has become popular in preventing and treating Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) due to its ability to prohibit harmful bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract. In this article, you’ll learn all about D-Mannose, its uses, side effects, and more.
What is D-Mannose?
Also known as mannose, D-mannose is a simple sugar that is naturally formed in the body by its close sugar relative, glucose. It is also found in fruits like cranberries, apples, oranges, and peaches, as well as in vegetables like green beans, broccoli, cabbage, and tomatoes.
Although naturally found in the body and certain plants, it would be difficult to consume a therapeutic amount through food to sufficiently treat or prevent UTIs. It is therefore recommended in either supplement or powder form for treatment.
How Does D-Mannose Prevent & Treat UTIs?
Studies have revealed that 90% of UTIs are caused by E.coli bacteria entering the urinary tract, attaching to cells, and growing to the point that an infection sets in. Researchers have also found that D-mannose is first processed by the kidneys before leaving the body via the urinary tract.
It is this excretion of D-mannose through the urinary tract that scientists believe can help to prevent and treat UTIs. How? While passing through the urinary tract, E. coli bacteria are thought to attach to the D mannose molecules thereby preventing them from attaching to healthy cells and causing infection.
Essentially, the harmful bacteria responsible for UTIs are then successfully flushed from the body via urine, while attached to D-mannose molecules.
Health Benefits of D Mannose vs. Antibiotics for Treating UTIs
Given that UTIs are traditionally treated with antibiotics for six months, someone suffering from recurring infections can easily become resistant to ongoing antibiotic treatment. D Mannose, on the other hand, is a natural remedy to which the body rarely becomes resistant.
D Mannose could therefore be considered as a great leap forward for the 7 million people diagnosed with UTIs every year.
Can D-Mannose Prevent UTIs?
In a 2014 study, researchers investigated whether D mannose powder could aid in preventing recurring UTIs.
A total of 308 women with a history of recurring UTIs were first given antibiotic treatment for one week. For six months afterward, some women were given only D mannose powder, while others continued to take the antibiotics, and the third group of women received no treatment.
During the follow-up six months, the two groups of women who continued to take either D mannose powder or antibiotics reported a much lower rate of recurring UTIs than the women who received no treatment.
Can D-Mannose Treat Active UTIs?
A small study in 2016 analyzed D mannose on active UTI. This study involved 43 women who were prone to recurring UTIs and experiencing one at the time of the study, researchers investigated if D mannose could reduce their symptoms, and prevent an infection from recurring.
The women were given a D mannose compound twice a day for three days and then once per day for a further 10 days. At the end of the study, almost all of the women reported improved UTI symptoms.
In addition, some of the women continued to take D mannose for the following six months and they reported a significantly lower rate of recurring infections than the women who did not.
D-Mannose Side Effects
D-Mannose is known to have little to no side effects, however, a small percentage of women have experienced temporary diarrhea after starting with a daily supplement.
Also, because it is a natural sugar and can alter blood sugar levels, it is recommended that people with diabetes consult with their doctor before using D Mannose. This does not mean that people with diabetes cannot take D Mannose, just that their doctor may wish to monitor blood sugar levels for a few months once they begin taking the supplements.
Furthermore, D Mannose has not yet been cleared for use by children or expectant mothers.
How Much D Mannose Should You Take?
While D mannose is considered a safe supplement due to being naturally produced in the body, as well as found in edible plants, the highest recommended daily dose is two or three daily grams, as per the amounts used in studies.
Two grams per day is currently suggested to prevent UTIs from recurring, and a maximum of three grams per day to treat active UTIs.
Freeze Dried Aloe Vera Supplements with added D-Mannose & Calcium from Intimate Rose, for example, contain the perfect dosage and come highly recommended for soothing and preventing urinary tract infections.
The aloe vera in these supplements has been shown to reduce bladder pain, urinary frequency, urgency, and urethral burning. The perfect dose of D-Mannose prevents bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract, and the alkalizing calcium helps to maintain a healthy pH balance in the vagina.
In short, when taken on a preventative basis, this 3-in-1 women’s health supplement successfully discourages harmful bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract on an ongoing basis.
While research is ongoing, results look increasingly positive that a daily D mannose supplement can not only relieve UTI symptoms during an active infection but also prevent recurring infections.
Please note, it is always advisable to speak with your health practitioner before starting with a new supplement. However, because D Mannose can alter blood sugar levels, it is highly recommended that diabetics, in particular, should speak with their doctor beforehand.
National Institue of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Issues – Urinary Tract Infection in Adults -
European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences - D-mannose: a promising support for acute urinary tract infections in women. A pilot study - https://www.europeanreview.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2920-2925-D-mannose-a-promising-support-for-acute-urinary-tract-infections-in-women.-A-pilot-study.pdf
National Center For Biotechnology Information -D-mannose powder for prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections in women: a randomized clinical trial
National Center For Biotechnology Information - Management of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Healthy Adult Women