If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI), you know just how painful it can be – especially when you go to the bathroom.
And let’s face it – when you have a UTI, you always seem to be running to the toilet.
In some cases, symptoms can come and go – or you might not even realise you have a UTI at all.
But UTIs are a serious risk to your health. They cause millions of visits to doctors and hospitals every year.1 And although they’re more common in women, men are far from immune – especially if they have swollen prostates. If you’ve been treated for a UTI, you were probably given a course of powerful antibiotics (which comes with serious risks of their own). Or maybe someone told you to try an old kitchen remedy – cranberry juice.
But believe it or not, there’s a potent, natural sugar called D-mannose that can send even the worst UTIs packing, without antibiotics.
It’s derived from the humble cranberry – but it’s far more powerful and effective than anything you’ll pick up at the supermarket.
Flush out the bad bugs – and ONLY the bad bugs
I saw a patient recently who mentioned that her bladder was ‘weak’. Her gynaecologist had recommended a drug to ‘dry up’ her bladder, but luckily she hadn’t started taking it.
Those drugs not only dry the bladder up, but they also usually dry up the patients’ brains – causing memory loss, dry mouth, and dizziness.
When I tested her urine and it came back showing a small amount of white blood cells, I told her to take D-mannose twice a day. A week later, she called the office to say that the symptoms she’d been struggling with for 20 years had VANISHED without taking ANY antibiotics.
The latest scientific findings support what my patient experienced personally. In fact, there’s a great study that was done in 2014 that showed that D-mannose could provide the exact same benefit as an antibiotic – while having almost no side effects and no damage to the flora of the gut lining (which is a common hazard with antibiotics).2
Think about the amount of antibiotics that could be avoided by the use of this almost zero-risk ‘good for you’ sugar molecule! Now, D-mannose will only help prevent and treat the type of bacterial UTI caused by
Escherichia coli (E. coli) – but, fortunately, that covers 90 per cent of all UTIs. D-mannose works because it sticks to the E. coli and actually blocks the little buggers’
tentacles from binding to the walls of the urinary system. With nowhere to anchor, the bacteria get flushed out of your body with the rest of the debris in your urine.
And, unlike antibiotics that clear the good with the bad bacteria out of your system, with D-mannose, you get to keep all your good flora intact.
Skip the sugary drinks and get right to the powerful sugar molecule
Since drug companies can’t make money off of this natural substance, there’s been no real push to validate and standardize this amazing treatment.
The conventional medical community doesn’t exactly poopoo the use of D-mannose for the prevention of UTIs per se, but they haven’t taken it as seriously as they should.
Now, as I said, you can find D-mannose in cranberries. But trying to use actual cranberries in the prevention and treatment of UTIs is like using a teeny fly swatter to kill a bear.
D-mannose is more like a sledge hammer. To put it in perspective, when D-mannose is isolated and extracted from the berry, it can be 25 to 50 times more powerful than cranberry juice.
Besides, you don’t want to use shop-bought cranberry juice – even if it’s unsweetened – for UTI treatment or prevention because of its high sugar content (in the form of fructose), which can be upwards of 30g per eight ounce serving.3
Even though D-mannose itself is a sugar molecule, only a small portion of it gets metabolized in the intestines, so it doesn’t raise your blood sugar.
Fortunately, you can easily get D-mannose as a natural supplement in pill form at your local health food shop.
If you think you may have a UTI, you should call your doctor – but it won’t hurt to start taking the D-mannose right away, while you wait to get into his office and for your urine culture results to come back from the lab. In just those couple of days of waiting, your infection could move to your kidneys and send you into the hospital.
To relieve simple urinary tract discomfort, the recommended dose of D-mannose is about 2,000mg for adults and 1,000mg for children, four to five times a day. Once the symptoms disappear, you should continue with that same dosage for another two days or so.
Now, the recommended dose for preventing infections would be 500mg to 1,000mg twice a day or 2,000mg once a day. Since intercourse can cause a UTI, taking 2,000mg of mannose an hour prior to sex and another 2,000mg right after is also an option.
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Vol. 10, Issue 5 • May 2016
Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.