According to Dr. Wright, the first physician to use D-Mannose powder in the United States in the 1980s, D-Mannose helps prevent and treat UTIs caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), the most common UTI causing bacteria.
However, it’s important to note that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) does not support this statement and regards D-Mannose as a supplement that is not intended to prevent or treat UTI. Despite this, D-Mannose for UTI has solid clinical research backing showing its promise for UTI prevention (read this study on UTI prevention, and this clinical study, and another clinical study ). D-Mannose powder is also a safe supplement with only a few manageable side-effects.
- Buy D-Mannose in powder instead of capsules. One of the most affordable options on Amazon is BulkSupplements Pure D-Mannose Powder.
- Drink half a glass of water with the first D-Mannose dose (1 teaspoon every 2-3 hours)
- Take D-Mannose as early as possible when you first notice symptoms, before the UTI fully develops
- Don’t self-treat with D-Mannose for longer than two to three days
- If you have a corn allergy, make sure you choose a D-Mannose that is made without corn, such as Pure Encapsulations.
- While E. coli is responsible for up to 90% of all UTIs, D-Mannose will not treat any UTIs caused by other bacteria.
1. What’s D-Mannose and how to take it?
D-Mannose is actually a type of sugar. But not your regular sugar (glucose), which goes with your coffee and actually can worsen your UTI symptoms.
Your body is unable to metabolize D-Mannose like other sugars, so it is quickly expelled and stored in the urine. The high concentration of this powder in urine is a key reason that it is so effective at fighting E. coli bacterial growth in the bladder.
Dosage For Acute UTI
A typical dosage for acute UTI is 1500-2000 mg (capsule form) or one full teaspoon (powder) in a half glass of water every 2-3 hours for first 2-3 days and switching to preventive dose for 2-3 more days. However, there is no clinically established dosage and each person will respond differently to due to age, weight and overall health. Once you start taking D-Mannose, your symptoms should diminish within the first 48 hours, but take it for the full 5 days even if your symptoms resolve. If your symptoms don’t improve or worsen in the first 2 days, see a doctor immediately.
- Drink plenty of water in between doses.
- The quality and purity of D-Mannose can vary from one manufacturer to another, and even from one batch to the next!
- D-Mannose has certain side-effects and it’s important to weigh all the pros and cons before trying it.
- If you are allergic to corn, make sure you choose a brand that does not use corn derivatives.
- Some people find it useful to keep taking D-Mannose once a day for a month after an acute UTI to prevent further episodes.
- Always let your doctor know that you are taking D-Mannose as a supplement and let them know if you are taking it with any antibiotics.
Can a lubricant cause your UTIs?
Dosage For Prevention
The UTI prevention dose that is frequently mentioned is 1500-2000 mg (or one-half teaspoon) once or twice a day. You can take this “preventive” dose safely for as long as you want. The bacteria won’t develop resistance to D-Mannose. Remember, the FDA does not approve D-Mannose for prevention and considers it a supplement.
2. How To Take D-Mannose?
How much water
If you just took D-Mannose, wait before drinking lots of water. If you drink too much water with D-Mannose, you dilute the concentration of the powder in your urine, cutting down on its potency.
- Take your dose with no more than half a glass of water
- Wait for about 45 minutes to an hour,
- Then drink plenty of water in order to flush out the bladder and get rid of harmful bacteria.
This way, concentrated D-Mannose has time to bind E. coli bacteria, allowing it to be flushed away when you drink water.
Capsules vs powder
The powder is more affordable and easier to take. After all, it is just a form of sugar. Also, you do not have to be precise and a slight variation in the dosage would not make a difference. The powder has a pleasant, sweet taste, and dissolves easily in water.
When using capsules, you ingest excess ingredients with no additional benefits such as rice flour, stearic acid, magnesium stearate and silica, whose the only purpose is to process the powder into capsules.
It is not a cure-all
If you decided to manage your UTI with D-Mannose, know that there are certain health risks, although they may not be from D-Mannose itself. The main risk you take is that D-Mannose won’t work for your UTI and the bacteria could ascend to your kidneys, causing a serious infection.
D-Mannose only helps with UTIs caused by E. coli and if you had frequent UTIs, you are at a higher risk of having an infection caused by several bacteria. If your UTI goes untreated, you are at risk for developing a kidney infection, or even sepsis.
Scientists still aren’t sure why D-Mannose effectively treats some UTIs caused by E. Coli but not others. D-mannose is a natural product with a range of suppliers and methods of manufacture which may affect its effectiveness.
Keep a close eye on your symptoms and do not rely on an OTC UTI test that could be wrong. If your UTI symptoms are not improved or completely gone after 1-2 days, see a doctor.
Take D-Mannose right away
It appears that D-Mannose works best if taken as a preventative measure or at the very first signs of UTI. While a full-blown UTI may benefit from D-Mannose supplement, you run the risk of having bacteria that grow too quickly for D-Mannose to flush them out.
If you do take antibiotics, D-Mannose can help to speed up recovery but do not stop your antibiotics early. Also, always tell your doctor that you are taking D-Mannose as there is a chance that the supplements could interact with your medication.
Do not rely only on D-Mannose
I understand the desire to stick to natural supplements to treat or prevent urinary tract infections. However, UTIs (especially chronic ones) is a multi-faceted problem requiring a holistic approach.
If this is your first UTI, don’t wait for it to turn into a chronic problem. Getting a UTI may be the first warning sign from your body that it is not in balance (vaginal flora, hormones, stones etc..).
If you are allergic to D-Mannose
Did you know that most D-Mannose supplements are made from corn? If you are allergic to corn, a corn-derived D-Mannose supplement will further exacerbate the usual side effects associated with D-Mannose (hives, GI upset).
If you know or suspect that you are allergic to corn, choose a powder made from cranberries or pineapple. If you have a pineapple allergy, then look for D-Mannose made from birch tree juice or berries. Allergies are not only unpleasant but can affect your immune system, making your fight against a UTI that much more challenging.
These are some D-Mannose brands that are not made from corn, and produced in the USA from cranberries and pineapples:
- Pure Encapsulations – d-Mannose Powder
- D-Mannose- Max Uritract.
The more volume you buy, the less you pay. Read a review of popular D-Mannose supplements with links to products to help you figure out the best D-Mannose for your unique situation.
Here are some popular options:
- Now Foods D-mannose Powder, 6 Ounce
- BulkSupplements Pure D-Mannose Powder.
3. Is it suitable for children?
D-Mannose is generally safe; at the end of the day, it is only a type of sugar- and not the harmful type! However, you need to be aware that doses should be changed based on your child’s age and weight. There is also a rare genetic disease that blocks our ability to produce and absorb this type of sugar (mannose). Always let your child’s pediatrician know before you give him or her D-mannose. Be extra careful with the dosage, as too much can cause diarrhea.
Remember, too, that kids are more likely to get UTIs because they hold their urine for too long or because of backward urine flow (called vesicoureteral reflux). If your child keeps getting UTIs, make sure you talk to your doctor about this as an underlying issue won’t be treated by D-Mannose.
Definitely, do not use D-Mannose instead of antibiotics in kids who are too young to tell you about their symptoms. It is best not to experiment with any natural supplements and follow your doctor’s advice.
4. Is D-Mannose suitable for diabetics?
Anecdotally, some D-Mannose users who are diabetic reported on our closed Facebook group that they observed elevated blood sugar levels when taking this sugar in large doses. But since only very small amounts of D-Mannose are metabolized by your body, it (theoretically) should not raise your blood sugar level. Nonetheless, you should check your blood sugar levels regularly if you are diabetic and starting any new supplements.
Also, new and recurrent UTIs when you have diabetes may be a sign that your diabetes is not well controlled.
Scientists still don’t know enough about D-mannose metabolism, so exercise caution and let your doctor know if you want to take D-Mannose and are diabetic.
5. How soon can I expect a relief with D-Mannose?
If you started taking D-Mannose at the first signs of a UTI you typically will notice a drastic reduction in symptoms between 24 to 48 hours. However, if you don’t notice an improvement, make sure to see your physician right away.
An untreated UTI could turn into a dangerous kidney infection or a blood infection called sepsis. Every time you choose to self-treat you run the risk of having a simple UTI turn into a more complex and serious one. However, a benefit of D-Mannose supplements for UTI is that it does not damage your natural digestive and vaginal flora, which cannot be said of for antibiotics.
FDA: Important disclaimer
D-Mannose is a popular supplement for those looking for a natural solution to manage UTIs (just scroll down the page to read comments from the readers like you). Anecdotal evidence is growing and contributing to the popularity of D-Mannose products as so many of us want to find a natural and effective way to manage UTIs.
However, D-Mannose is a food supplement that is not regulated by the FDA. A dietary supplement product cannot claim that it is used to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease,” because only a drug can legally make such a claim. There is not enough scientific evidence to state that D-Mannose can treat a UTI, therefore, you use it at your own risk. Always remember to closely monitor your symptoms and contact your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
Join Our Everyday Wellness Facebook Group
Did you try D-Mannose yourself? Would you like to ask others about their experiences?
Join our Facebook group to get support and motivation to stop UTIs forever.
UTI Prevention Is Better Than Cure
While D-Mannose is a great supplement, it’s only one part of the solution.
Do you want to prevent UTI naturally, without being prescribed antibiotics? You’ll need to employ a holistic approach:
- Decrease bladder inflammation
- Address bacterial biofilms
- Reduce pathogenic bacteria in the body (this is where D-mannose could be handy)
- Implement healthy lifestyle changes to prevent UTIs naturally.