We all know about the growing dangers of antibiotic resistance – when the bacterial strain the prescribed antibiotic is intended to eradicate becomes ‘resistant’ to the medication, making it useless.
Antibiotics being commonly prescribed for many medical conditions – especially UTIs and recurring UTIs, the potential for antibiotic resistance to say, amoxicillin, is a real concern. Most UTIs are treated with a fairly low-dose antibiotic, but frequent infections can require more prolonged treatment for several months.
Given this fact, it is important to consider possible alternatives that can be tried or used in conjunction with prescription medications.
D-Mannose for UTIs – A Promising Alternative
Research is extremely promising in terms of d-mannose being used as an alternative to antibiotics for urinary tract infections, and bladder inflammation from infections by E. coli and other bacterial strains that adhere to the cells lining the urinary tract.
D-Mannose itself (also commonly sold as just ‘mannose’) is a simple sugar found naturally in fruits and vegetables like cranberries, currants, peaches, and tomatoes. It is naturally produced in the body from glucose, as well.
It appears as though d-mannose helps prevent the bacteria – likely E. coli in the case of UTIs – from ‘sticking’ to the urinary tract. This helps the body naturally flush and excrete the bacteria faster from the body, and also prevents it from spreading or replicating.
It also appears to reduce the severity of symptoms in women with an active infection.
E. coli bacteria are thought to be responsible for close to 90% of all UTIs.
In one study, d-mannose was as effective as the antibiotic nitrofurantoin in reducing the recurrence of UTIs over the course of 6-months. However, much fewer side effects and discomfort was reported in the group using d-mannose, as compared to the group using the antibiotic!
How to Use or Supplement with D-Mannose
We offer a fairly wide range of D-Mannose products at Healthy Planet Canada – although almost all are in a powdered form that is added to liquid.
Most capsules will come in a 500mg format, which is important to keep in mind regarding appropriate dosage. With powder, you simply dissolve in water and drink, and it should have a slightly sweet taste.
For an active infection, the recommendation is 2 grams twice daily for 3-4 days, followed by once daily for 10-14 days at the same dosage.
For prevention, the recommendation is 2 grams once a day, or 1 gram twice a day.
It is important to ensure you stay hydrated while taking d-mannose to help it do its job!
Caution for Those with Diabetes
As d-mannose is a ‘simple sugar’ those with diabetes should check with their doctor or physician prior to use, as it may alter blood sugar levels. D-mannose fairly quickly exits the body through urine, so a high-dose is not recommended long-term (I.E., longer than 6 months straight).
It is also important to always consult a physician if you have a recurrent or prolonged UTI, as they can become quite serious and lead to kidney infections and kidney damage if left untreated.
Generally, d-mannose is considered to be quite safe, as it occurs naturally in fruit and vegetables and is also naturally produced by the body.