D- Mannose, the Natural Treatment and Prevention of Urinary Tract Infection
by Dr. Chris Kresser
D-Mannose is by far the most effective supplement for both treatment and prevention of UTIs. Similar to glucose in structure, D-mannose is a naturally occurring sugar that is found in a number of fruits, including apples, blueberries, and cranberries. This sugar is the reason that cranberry juice has been commonly recommended as a UTI treatment, though it is far easier to get the recommended dosage from a supplement. D-mannose is effective because it attaches to E. coli bacteria, causing them to stick to each other and preventing them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. The bacteria can then easily be eliminated from the body during urination.
D-mannose, even in large quantities, does not cause any adverse side effects, and cannot be metabolized the way other sugars can, meaning this supplement is safe for diabetics and others who are avoiding sugar for any reason. This treatment is also safe for children and the elderly. Symptom relief can be seen as quickly as the following day, and most symptoms are generally resolved after 48 hours of treatment. Additionally, taking D-mannose during a time where you feel you are most prone to UTIs, such as prior to intercourse or during prolonged antibiotic treatment, can help prevent a UTI from ever developing in the first place. This is especially helpful for those who are prone to chronic UTIs and want to be able to engage in normal life activities without fear of infection.
The typical dose of D-mannose for UTI treatment is 500 mg, in capsule or powder form, taken in a glass of water or juice every two to three hours for five days. It is a good practice to continue taking the supplement even after symptoms have diminished to ensure complete elimination of the bacteria in the urinary tract. This dose can also be taken as a preventative, or prophylactic, method.
While there have not been any peer reviewed research to support the effectiveness of D-mannose in treating or preventing UTIs, clinical and anecdotal experience suggests it is highly effective for the majority of infections, both acute and chronic. Some of Dr. Kresser’s patients who have used D-mannose as a UTI treatment method have even described its effects as “miraculous” – so it’s definitely worth a shot!
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