D-Mannose for Urinary Tract Infection Prevention
By Dr. Mercola
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection in the body, sending more than eight million people to their health care providers every year in the US alone.1
Women suffer from UTIs far more often than men, and more than 50 percent of women will develop a UTI during her lifetime. For about 20 percent of women, the infection becomes recurrent and some will suffer from three or more UTIs a year.
This is concerning, as the treatment most often recommended by conventional medicine is antibiotics. Antibiotics kill even the friendly micro-organisms in your body, leading to major disruptions in health (including an increased risk of yeast infections, among other issues, in women). If you suffer from UTIs on occasion or more frequently, there's a natural treatment you should know about that is effective in more than 90 percent of cases.
In a study of more than 300 women with a history of recurrent UTIs, researchers treated the women with either two grams of D-mannose, 50 milligrams of an antibiotic, or no treatment daily for six months. D-Mannose is a naturally occurring sugar that's closely related to glucose.
Only 15 percent of those taking the D-mannose had a recurrent UTI compared to 20 percent for the antibiotic group (both of which were significantly lower than the no-treatment group).2 However, the incidence of side effects was significantly lower in the D-mannose group than the antibiotics group.
Dr. Jonathan Wright was among the first to begin using D-mannose for UTIs some 20 years ago, and in his experience administering it to more than 200 patients, the treatment is 85-90 percent effective.
It works for treating acute UTIs, for prophylaxis in women prone to recurrent infections or for the prevention of post-intercourse UTIs, and it's safe for both adults and children. Dr. Wright recommends the following doses:
· For treatment of UTIs: 1 teaspoon (about 2 grams) for adults, ½ to 1 teaspoon for children, dissolved in a glass of water and repeated every two to three hours. Continue for two to three days after symptoms have disappeared.
· For preventing recurring infections: Start with the dosages listed above for treatment, then gradually reduce the dose, if possible.
· For prevention of post-intercourse UTIs: Take 1 tablespoon one hour prior to intercourse and another tablespoon immediately afterward.
Why Does D-Mannose Work for Treating UTIs?
More than 90 percent of UTIs are caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is normally found in your intestinal tract. Problems only arise when this ordinary bacterium is present in high numbers in places where it shouldn't be—like your urinary system.
When normal E. coli gets into your urinary tract and multiplies, you experience the usual signs and symptoms of a UTI:
· Burning with urination
· Frequent urges to urinate
· Lower abdominal pain or aching
· Blood in your urine (sometimes, but not always)
· Cloudy urine
The cell walls of each E. coli are covered with tiny fingerlike projections called fimbria allowing them to "stick" to the inner walls of your bladder and even work their way upward to your ureter and kidneys.
Because they cling to your urinary organs, they can't simply be washed out when you urinate. These little fingerlike projections are made of an amino acid-sugar complex, a glycoprotein called lectin, which makes them sticky.
Lectin on the bacteria's fimbria binds to mannose, which is produced by your cells and covers the internal lining of your urinary organs. This mannose allows the bacteria to adhere to you—like Velcro. But as Dr. Wright explains, when you take D-mannose it sticks to the E. coli so it is can be effectively "rinsed" out by your urination:3
If You Have a UTI, Try D-Mannose First
In the majority of cases, UTIs can be effectively treated without antibiotics by using D-mannose. This is why, if you have a UTI, you should try D-mannose first. It's important to note that D-mannose only works for UTIs caused by E. coli, This represents 90 percent (or more) of infections. If you want to be sure, your physician can order a urine culture to identify the bacteria present, so you'll know if yours is one of the minority of cases not caused by E. coli.
The majority of urinary tract infections can be cured when symptoms first arise, or prevented altogether, using D-mannose and the hygiene steps outline below. Occasionally, despite preventative measures, a kidney infection can develop. If you suspect you have a kidney infection (symptoms include fever and pain in your back, side, groin, or abdomen) see a physician.
What About Cranberry Juice for UTIs?
Many people are aware of the home remedy of drinking cranberry juice for UTIs, and this is because the active ingredient in cranberry juice is D-mannose. D-mannose can actually be derived from berries, peaches, apples, and some other plants. So why not drink cranberry juice instead of taking D-mannose in supplement form?
The amount of D-mannose in cranberry juice is significantly less, making it much less effective. Plus, cranberry juice is high in sugar, which adds stress to your immune system and can fuel the growth of pathogenic bacteria in your gut. Pure D-mannose is about 10-50 times stronger than cranberry, non-toxic and completely safe, with NO adverse effects.
Natural Steps to a Healthy Urinary System
The most important factor in the overall health of your urinary tract is drinking plenty of pure, fresh water every day. Adequate hydration is extremely important for preventing UTIs (not to mention, is the number one risk factor for kidney stones). As a woman, there are additional hygiene steps you can take to maintain a healthy urinary tract:
· Urinate when you feel the need. Don't resist the urge to go
· Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering your urethra
· Take showers instead of tub baths. Avoid hot tubs/Jacuzzis
· Cleanse your genital area prior to and after sexual intercourse
· Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays, which may irritate your urethra, and use only white unscented toilet paper to avoid potential dye reactions
· Avoid antibacterial soaps
Mercola, Dr. "D-Mannose for UTI Prevention Validated in a Clinical Trial." Mercola.com. N.p., 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 08 Apr. 2016. <http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/28/d-mannose-uti-prevention.aspx>.
Uva Ursi herb tincture from your local health food store
You can use probiotic capsules as vaginal suppositories to increase healthy bacteria in that areas