What is D-Mannose?
D-Mannose is a simple sugar that occurs naturally in some plants, including cranberries, blueberries, peaches and apples. Mannose exists in two forms, alpha and beta. The alpha form is mild and sweet, while the beta form is bitter. The natural manufacturing methods for mannose result in a mixture of these two forms, yielding a product that is mildly sweet with a slight bitter aftertaste.
Although small amounts of D-Mannose are metabolized by the human body, much of it is rapidly excreted in the urine. Limited in-vitro research has demonstrated that in the bladder, D-Mannose can adhere to undesirable foreign substances, such as E. Coli., preventing them from sticking to the lining of the bladder. Mannose helps to maintain healthy mucosal surfaces in the bladder and supports normal elimination. Therefore, many individuals have used D-Mannose to manage urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and promote general urogenital health. Mannose is a pleasant, mildly sweet tasting, simple sugar molecule that is closely related to glucose. But D-Mannose is not readily metabolized by the body. Because insubstantial amounts of D-Mannose are used by the body, it may not interfere with blood sugar regulation, making it an alternative option to sugar-filled solutions such as cranberry juice for UTI’s. Diabetics should still monitor their blood sugar and watch for potential fluctuations as each individual is different in how they may respond.
Several studies have shown effectiveness of D-Mannose. A 2013 study evaluated D-mannose in 308 women who had frequent UTIs. D-mannose was almost as effective as the antibiotic nitrofurantoin for preventing UTIs over a 6-month period. In a 2014 study, D-mannose was compared to the antibiotic trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole for treatment and prevention of frequent UTIs in 60 women. D-mannose reduced UTI symptoms in women with an active infection. It was also more effective than the antibiotic for preventing additional infections. A third 2016 study tested the effects of D-mannose in 43 women with an active UTI. At the end of the study, most women had improved symptoms.
It should be noted that D-Mannose has no antibiotic properties and may not kill existing infections. If you have persistent burning and/or urgency symptoms, it is recommended to seek professional medical evaluation to determine if these symptoms are caused by a urinary tract infection.
How to Use D-Mannose
D-Mannose can come in different forms – as a powder that can be mixed into water or added to juices, or in supplemental form such as capsules. In some cases, it will be mixed with cranberry concentrate powder for synergistic effect. For use as a preventative, the recommended dosage is 2 grams (2000 mg) taken once daily. Since D-Mannose is a simple sugar, it does not have to be taken with a meal. It is best to take with water only to reduce sugar load, but it is acceptable to mix with juices. Usually 1 to 2 cups of fluid are recommended to increase fluid intake to help flush the system regularly. If you are suffering from or suspect a UTI, it is recommended to increase the dosage 1.5x (3 grams) daily, ideally taking 1.5 grams twice daily for 14 days, or 1 gram 3 times per day for 14 days. It is best to consume immediately after mixing for best results. Having pills available at home and/or work, or to carry along, can help make sure you don’t miss a dosage if making a drink is not convenient or missed. Be sure to drink plenty of water if using the pill form to help flush the bladder and kidneys. Most individuals do not suffer any side effects, but some individuals may experience loose bowels or diarrhea. Safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not fully been established, so it is recommended to consult a health care practitioner prior to use. Also, D-Mannose may be safely used with other recommended natural remedies such as Vitamin C and probiotics. NOW® Pure D-Mannose has a caloric value of four calories per gram, which is similar to other sugars. Therefore, a one teaspoon serving providing 2 grams will deliver only 8 calories.
Consider the Quality of your Mannose
At NOW®, our mannose is carefully analyzed to determine its purity. This is to ensure there’s no dilution with other sugars, such as dextrose or sucrose. NOW specifies that our mannose will exceed 99% purity and taste mildly sweet with the slightest hint of a bitter aftertaste. We add no fillers, flow agents, or excipients, so you receive pure D-Mannose in our powder products. We provide both powder and vegetarian capsule versions to fit your lifestyle.