Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are painful infections caused by bacteria that can occur anywhere in the urinary system. They are the second most common infection in the United States.
90% of UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria. Symptoms of UTIs include, but are not limited to:
Pain in the bladder, groin, abdomen, or pelvis
Pain during urination
Cloudy or dark urine
Foul smelling urine
Blood in urine
While antibiotics are often prescribed by Western medicine to treat UTIs, they also wipe out the good bacteria in your stomach and alter the microbe, which can lead to health problems later.
According to research, d-mannose works just as well as antibiotics in treating active infections and preventing them from recurring.
D-mannose is a simple sugar, related to glucose. It occurs naturally in your body as well as several fruits and vegetables, including:
How it Works
After consuming d-mannose in food or supplements, it is passed through the kidneys into the urinary tract. There it adheres to E. coli bacteria, preventing them from attaching to other cells and causing infection. The bacteria are passed harmlessly through your system.
In a clinical study of women with frequent UTIs, d-mannose worked just as well as the antibiotic nitrofurantoin for preventing UTIs over a 6-month period.
In a 2016 study, 90.7% of women experiencing UTIs tested negative for infection after 15 days of taking d-mannose supplements.
D-mannose can be taken in both powder and capsule form depending on preference.
Suggested doses vary, but for the optimum results in research studies d-mannose has been prescribed in the following ways:
UTI Prevention: 2 grams once daily, or 1 gram twice daily
Active UTI Treatment: 1 gram three times daily for 14 days.
Before taking any supplements, consult with your doctor and a licensed functional medicine practitioner to make sure that d-mannose is right for you.
Domenici L., Monti M., Bracchi C., Giorgini M., Colagiovanni V., Muzii L., Benedetti Panici P. "D-mannose: A promising support for acute urinary tract infections in women. A pilot study." (2016). Retrieved from https://www.europeanreview.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2920-2925-D-mannose-a-promising-support-for-acute-urinary-tract-infections-in-women.-A-pilot-study.pdf
Kresser, C. "Treat and Prevent UTIs Without Drugs." (September 22, 2016). Retrieved from https://kresserinstitute.com/treat-prevent-utis-without-drugs/
Wilson, C. "Can D-Mannose Treat or Prevent UTIs?" (April 19, 2018). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/d-mannose-for-uti