Mannose is a naturally-occurring sugar, which is found in human tissue, in particular the mucous membranes of the urinary tract.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) is the main bacterial species responsible for urinary tract infections, and part of its adhesive capacities are directly linked with mannose found in your cells. The E. coli hooks into the mannose, keeping it attached and able to proliferate in your urinary tract, resulting in an infection.
D-mannose, a form of mannose, can be taken in dietary supplement form, and create a biological trick, whereby E. coli thinks its sticking onto a cell, but it’s not – it then is excreted with your urination.
Mannose is also found in cranberry, however cranberry also has other urinary tract supporting features as a herbal medicine. When we say “cranberry stops the bacteria sticking onto your bladder”, this is what we mean.
D-mannose may work as a preventative for recurrent E. coli-based UTIs and as an acute treatment. If you find you have recurrent UTIs, you may benefit from a biofilm-busting treatment.
Supplementation with D-Mannose will typically resolve a UTI caused by E. coli in two to three days, but treatment should be continued for five. If your symptoms don’t get any better, see your health care provider because it is probably not caused by E. coli, but Staphylococcus saprophyticus or others.
E. coli causes 70-90 per cent of all UTIs, with Staph causing another 5-10 per cent, and then a small per cent caused by others.