Each year millions of cases of cystitis - especially in females - occur for each individual at least once annually. Routine treatment of bladder and kidney infections involves antibiotics and antimicrobials. In recent years there has been a surge in cases as bacteria becomes more resilient to the antibiotics prescribed. The more effective strategy of choice for initial treatment of most urinary tract infections is D-mannose.
D-mannose is a simple sugar similar to glucose, that works like an antibacterial agent -it interacts with the bacterium found in over 90% of all bladder infections, Escherichia coli - (this is not the E coli associated with food poisoning).
What allows the E. coli to “stick” to the inner walls of the bladder instead of being flushed out in the urine, and work their way upward in some cases reaching as far as the kidneys?
The “cell walls” of each E. coli are covered with tiny fingerlike projections with the capability of “sticking” the bacteria to the inside walls of our bladders and urinary tracts, so they can’t be rinsed out by urination.
When we take a large quantity of D-mannose, almost all of it spills into the urine through our kidneys, literally “coating” any E.coli present so they can no longer “stick” to the inside walls of the bladder and urinary tract. The E. coli are literally rinsed away with normal urination!
Why is “rinsing away” E. coli with D-mannose superior to killing them with antibiotics and anti-microbials? When an antibiotic is taken, it kills unwanted micro-organisms, but it also kills many “friendly” micro-organisms.
Every woman is familiar with “yeast infections” that follow antibiotic use, as the “friendly bacteria” are killed off along with the “bad bacteria”, leaving the antibiotic-insensitive yeast to grow “out of control”. Long-term or often-repeated antibiotic use can lead to major disruptions in normal body microflora, and sometimes to major disruptions in health, especially immune system function. [It’s suspected that the “killer” E. coli of recent years are “mutants” caused by persistent antibiotic feeding to animals.]
By contrast, D-mannose doesn’t kill bacteria, “friendly” or “unfriendly”. D-mannose simply helps to relocate misplaced E.coli from inside of our urinary tracts to outside. (Since D-mannose is absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract, it doesn’t relocate the “friendly” E. coli normally present in the colon.) D-mannose treatment of E. coli bladder and urinary tract infections is ecologically sound treatment. (The very small amounts of D-mannose metabolized by our bodies and not excreted into the urine are harmless.) As an extra bonus, D-mannose tastes good!
D-mannose is very safe, even for long term use, although most patients with single episodes of bladder or urinary tract infection will only need it for a few days at most. Although D-mannose is a simple sugar, very little of it is metabolized. It doesn’t interfere with blood sugar regulation, even for diabetics. It creates no disruption or imbalance in normal body microflora. It’s safe even for pregnant women and very small children. In the less than 10% of cases where the infection is a bacteria other than E. coli, antibiotics can be started in plenty of time.
D-mannose is naturally occurring, and found in cranberry juice (as well as pineapple juice) - these foods
contain more D-mannose than most other foods. However, the amounts found in these juices are substantially less than in the ½ teaspoon (approximately 1 gram) adult dose found in quality supplements.
Jonathan V. Wright, MD, Robin R. Shields-Cutler, Jan R. Crowley, Chia S. Hung, Ann E. Stapleton, Courtney C. Aldrich, Jonas Marschall, Jeffrey P. Henderson. Human Urinary Composition Controls Siderocalin’s Antibacterial Activity.Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2015; jbc.M115.645812 DOI:10.1074/jbc.M115.645812