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Will D-Mannose Help Urinary Tract Infections?

Women who frequently experience urinary tract infections are eager to find natural approaches. Many readers report that D-mannose can be useful.
D-Mannose is a sugar related to glucose

What do you do for urinary tract infections (UTIs)? When bacteria invade the ureter or bladder, the results are extremely painful urination, along with a feeling of urgency. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics, but women who are prone to recurrent UTIs may end taking multiple courses. This repeated antibiotic exposure could contribute to resistant microbes. However, a number of readers have written to tell us that a natural product, D-mannose, can be helpful.

D-Mannose for Urinary Tract Infections:

Q. D-mannose has been more effective than antibiotics for my urinary tract infections. I’ve suffered with chronic UTIs for a long time and I never want to go back on antibiotics because I feel they make things worse. When the doctor prescribes an antibiotic, I have to take probiotics as well.

A. There is growing interest in the simple sugar D-mannose for preventing urinary tract infections. It is found in foods like cranberries, cabbage, currants, apples and peaches. Many cells in the body also use mannose in their metabolic processes.

An overview of D-mannose for UTI prevention and treatment concluded that this natural product may be helpful (Nature Reviews Urology, Dec. 2018).  A more recent study concluded that D-mannose is a good alternative both for preventing and treating many UTIs (Molecules, Jan. 13, 2020). 

Anyone who contemplates such an approach should ask her doctor for guidelines and monitoring. In addition, she should also make sure she is consuming adequate water. Researchers have found that UTIs are more common when people are not drinking at least six glasses of water daily (JAMA Internal Medicine, Nov. 2018).

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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  • Sihra N et al, "Nonantibiotic prevention and management of recurrent urinary tract infection." Nature Reviews Urology, Dec. 2018. DOI: 10.1038/s41585-018-0106-x
  • Scribano D et al, "d-mannose treatment neither affects uropathogenic Escherichia coli properties nor induces stable FimH modifications." Molecules, Jan. 13, 2020. DOI: 10.3390/molecules25020316
  • Hooton TM et al, "Effect of increased daily water intake in premenopausal women with recurrent urinary tract infections: A randomized clinical trial." JAMA Internal Medicine, Nov. 2018. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4204
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I am 72. Only had one UTI in my life. Had visited a friend in hospital with serious UTI. Didn’t wash my hands well enough, I think. I had bleeding, burning, bloating, discomfort by the next morning. Did my own research. Had seen the nightmare in numerous friends on antibiotics: the CDiff, UTI cycle. Bought D-Mannose after research. This particular combination has cranberry whole fruit powder in it along with goldenseal, blueberry fruit powder, dandelion root, and a few other plant parts. Within 12 hours no bleeding, no cloudiness, no pain. I took it for a second day and then quit. Gave some to a friend who was also scared to death to take antibiotics again. Had been put in hospital the last time she had UTI due to antibiotics for C Diff. She took just two doses of this powder and in 2 days was completely cured.

I saw NO results from cranberry tablets or D-mannose!!!

I’ve been taking d-mannose (now brand) for years. I use the capsules and take 3-4 at a time, with 6 oz of water. I start with every two hours, next day every 3 hours etc. Sometimes I stay at every two or 3 hours for a couple of days. Then, I take capsules once a week for protection.

My urologist has recommended cranberry with d-mannose because of chronic bladder infections. I also wear a pessary because of bladder prolapse. I had three bladder infections in eight months but after using d-mannose I’ve been infection-free for three years.

D-Mannose also helped with my Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause. After several years of recurrent UTIs, it became clear that the painful burning during urination wasn’t really a UTI after all. Lab tests showed no infection, and yet I was having, what I thought, was another UTI. My doctor prescribed a vaginal cream containing estrogen, which our bodies no longer produce in menopause. It takes several weeks of twice weekly vaginal application of this cream before relief. Until that relief kicked in, I took D-mannose capsules to relieve the urinary burning, which it did, and quickly. My doctor explained this is a very common, but seldom-discussed problem for older women. Our urinary tract system is very closely tied to our reproductive system and can be greatly effected by the lack of estrogen.

I had a much better experience taking D-Mannose together with cranberry extract (both in one capsule), vs. just the cranberry.

I’ve been using D-Mannose for years with great results. I won’t be without it.

My husband and I were both prone to have bladder infections. Many, many years ago we began to take a cranberry capsule at bedtime. No more, or rarely, have we had an infection.

About fifteen years ago when money was really tight, I found myself experiencing the first tell-tale signs of a UTI. Trying to avoid a trip to urgent care and a prescription, I found a UTI message board with many women singing the praises of D-Mannose powder. I quickly bought a couple of bottles, and I have to say that I was amazed. Everyone that I read had their own dosing technique. For myself, I mix a teaspoon in a small glass of water once an hour until the symptoms start to abate. Then I start increasing the time between doses. Even after I feel fine, I will take it for an extra day or two just to be sure that the UTI is gone. Of course if you ever feel like the UTI may be progressing into a kidney infection – fever, back pain – Don’t wait! Go to the doctor pronto!

I’ve been taking D-mannose for a couple years for recurrent UTIs. FINALLY, something that works! I take a tsp before bed, and it usually keeps them under control. If I get the “twinge,” I’ll take another tsp right away. Within an hour, I’m symptom free. Just a side note:D-mannose only works on e-coli bacteria.

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