June 1, 2015

321 D-Mannose & Bladder Infections [1 June 2015]

Bladder infections are a common problem for many women (and a few men). In most cases the best treatment is not antibiotics but sugar. A specific type of sugar called D-mannose, to be precise.

Most bladder infections (85-90% by one estimate) are caused by the bacterium E. coli which has an attraction for the sugar D-mannose. This particular sugar, which is a stereo-isomer of glucose, naturally occurs on the lining of the bladder. The E. coli bacteria stick to this sugar and thus to the bladder, preventing it from being washed away with urine flow. The solution is to give the bacteria what it wants. Taking a spoonful of this sugar every 3-4 hours for a day or two floods the bladder with D-mannose which collects the E. coli and flushes them away.

In cases where the infection has reached the kidneys or is caused by a different species of bacteria, D-mannose will be ineffective and antibiotics will be required. Antibiotics of course have the undesirable side effect of killing off beneficial bacteria as well as the pathogens, which as I discussed last week are what keeps us healthy. Trying D-mannose first is not only safer and more effective for E. coli infections, but also saves the antibiotics for when they are really needed. D-mannose does not affect intestinal bacteria and is safe for diabetics.

D-mannnose is found in several fruits such as peaches, apples, blueberries and especially cranberries. It is believed that this is why cranberry juice has a long and successful history of use for bladder infections. In one study (Prodromos et al, 1968) 73% of 44 women and 16 men with a bladder infection obtained relief with 16 oz of cranberry juice daily. The problem with cranberry juice is that most brands have sugar added and even the unsweetened juices still have a high fructose content. Taking cranberry concentrate capsules avoids the sugar, but none of the brands I carry list their D-mannose content on the label so you don’t know how much you are getting. Cranberries (and cranberry extract capsules) have many other nutritional components including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenolic compounds, so are beneficial for more than just bladder infections.

Mercola: The Cranberry Juice Myth...
Jonathan V. Wright:D-Mannose for Bladder and Kidney Infections

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner. See this article on my website for links to sources and further reading.

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