Benefits and Side Effects of D-Mannose

Stopping antibiotics in favor of D-mannose to treat UTI is found to be a better approach when managing urological conditions. The following Buzzle article puts forth the benefits and side effects of this dietary supplement.
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Benefits of D-Mannose
Did You Know?
As D-mannose is a dietary supplement, it hasn't got any FDA approval to treat UTI.

Looking for an easy way to get rid of UTI without using antibiotics? Well, the answer lies in D-mannose supplements made from the extracts of cranberry. As we all know, cranberry juice is often recommended for patients affected with UTI. However, those available in the market contain substantial amounts of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a processed sweetener. Although regular intake of cranberry juice can be good for the urinary tract, the high HFCS content in this beverage has been linked to medical conditions like obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

The medicinal benefits of cranberry juice, with regard to keeping the urinary tract healthy, come from D-mannose, a simple sugar present in a variety of plants and fruits including cranberries. It is this naturally occurring sugar that is extracted from cranberries and other fruits to make D-mannose supplements that is found to be extremely effective in the treatment of UTI.

How Does D-Mannose Work?
  • Anti-adhesive Property: Its mode of action is completely different from that of antibiotics. So, unlike antibiotics, it does not destroy the bacteria; instead it disables them. The E. coli bacteria that cause UTI can easily reside in the urinary system due to their ability to attach themselves to the inner walls of the urinary tract. However, D-mannose does an excellent job of disabling their ability to stick to the lining of the urinary tract. The anti-adhesive property of D-mannose simply prevents the strains of E. coli from staying in the urinary tract. As a result, these bacteria are flushed out of the body during urination.
  • Retains Beneficial Bacteria: One major advantage of using D-mannose is that it eliminates harmful bacteria without wiping of the 'good' bacteria. We often suffer from yeast infection after antibiotic usage as the population of beneficial bacteria decreases. However, with D-mannose, this does not happen as the population of 'friendly' bacteria remains intact.
D-Mannose Dosage

The efficacy of D-mannose in treating UTIs is backed by positive customer testimonials. People suffering from recurrent and chronic cases of UTI have found relief after using this supplement. Over 90% cases of UTI respond to the supplements, and the symptoms usually disappear after a few days.

The capsules come in 3 different strengths: 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2000 mg.

Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, the specific strength and dosage of D-mannose are recommended.
  • Usually, 500 or 1000 mg capsules have to be taken up to four times to treat UTIs.
  • On the other hand, a 1000 or 2000 mg capsule once a day may be recommended to keep UTI at bay.
  • The supplement is also available in powder form, and usually a spoonful is recommended 2 times a day to eliminate UTI.
However, instead of self-prescribing, it is best that you consult your doctor who will recommend the right dosage according to the severity of the infection.
Side Effects

When taken in the right dosage, the supplement is not a cause for concern. The supplement may cause bloating and loose stools. Thus, by adding D-mannose to the diet, one may have to frequently go to the washroom for bowel evacuation. Also, at high doses, the supplement can seriously harm the kidneys.

Caution
  • Diabetic patients need to exercise a cautious approach when it comes to using D-mannose. Being a simple sugar, there is a possibility that the supplement can make it difficult to manage blood sugar levels. However, experts are of the opinion that this simple sugar hardly gets metabolized, leaving no room for altering blood sugar levels. To be on the safer side, diabetics should keep a tab on their blood sugar levels whenever put on this supplement.
  • Also, there is inadequate evidence to allow pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers from taking this supplement. So, in such circumstances, talk to your health care provider before using it.
A point to note here is that there are no human studies to evaluate how safe the supplement is, when used for a long duration. So, if you are planning to take it for a long term in order to prevent UTI, consultation with your doctor is necessary. All in all, D-mannose is a good choice for getting rid of UTIs. When taken as prescribed by the doctor, it is found to be safe, and moreover, it does not disturb the flora and fauna of the urinary tract.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.
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Published: May 5, 2014
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