D-mannose is a simple sugar structurally related to glucose. It is absorbed slowly from the gastrointestinal tract, and then a large proportion of it is excreted into the urine.1
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Urinary Tract Infection
Refer to label instructions
D-Mannose may help treat UTIs by binding to bacteria that would otherwise attach to the urinary tract lining.
Some bacteria that typically cause urinary tract infections can attach themselves to the lining of the urinary tract by binding to molecules of mannose that naturally occur there.2 Theoretically, if enough D-mannose is present in the urine, it would bind to the bacteria and prevent them from attaching to the urinary tract lining.3 One animal study has demonstrated this protective effect,4 but whether it would occur in humans is unknown, and no human research has investigated the effectiveness of oral D-mannose for the prevention or treatment of urinary tract infections.
Some doctors report that D-mannose might help prevent or treat urinary tract infections caused by E. coli and recommend 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dissolved in water or juice every two to three hours while awake.5
D-Mannose is in many fruits, including Peaches, apples, oranges, cranberries, and blueberries.
As D-mannose is not an essential nutrient, except in certain rare genetic disorders people produce sufficient amounts to provide for the bodies' needs.
Test tube and animal studies suggest that consuming large amounts of mannose might lead to birth defects,6 , 7 although the amounts of mannose used on those studies were far greater than the amounts a person would ingest from food or from a supplement to treat a urinary tract infection. Nonetheless, until more is known, pregnant women should use supplemental mannose with caution.
1. Herman RH. Mannose metabolism I. Am J Clin Nutr 1971;24:488-98 [review].
2. Ofek I, Goldhar J, Esltdat Y, Sharon N. The importance of mannose specific adhesins (lectins) in infections caused by Escherichia coli. Scand J Infect Dis Suppl 1982;33:61-7.
3. Toyota S, Fukushi Y, Katoh S, et al. Anti-bacterial defense mechanism of the urinary bladder. Role of mannose in urine. Nippon Hinyokika Gakkai Zasshi 1989;80:1816-23 [in Japanese].
4. Michaels EK, Chmiel JS, Plotkin BJ, Schaeffer AJ.Effect of D-mannose and D-glucose on Escherichia coli bacteriuria in rats. Urol Res 1983;11:97-102.
5. Wright JV, Lenard L. D-Mannose & Bladder Infection:The Natural Alternative to Antibiotics. Auburn, WA: Dragon Art, 2001:17.
6. Freinkel N, Lewis NJ, Akazawa S, Roth SI, Gorman L. The honeybee syndrome: implications of the teratogenicity of mannose in rat-embryo culture. N Engl J Med 1984;310:223-30.
7. Buchanan T, Freinkel N, Lewis NJ, et al. Fuel-mediated teratogenesis. Use of D-mannose to modify organogenesis in the rat embryo in vivo. J Clin Invest 1985;75:1927-34.
Last Review: 07-22-2014
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.
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