What is D-Mannose powder and how does it work

In this post, I explain when and how D-Mannose powder works in your body and when it doesn’t work.

E. coli and D-Mannose

Apparently, E. coli bacteria that causes 90% of all urinary tract infections, adheres to the sugar (mannose) that is naturally available on your bladder walls. Yes, the bacteria have a “sweet tooth”! Once they are stuck to the bladder lining, nothing can peel them off. That’s why just drinking water is not helpful. Therefore, traditionally the next step is to kill those harmful E. coli with antibiotics.

However, when D-mannose is available in abundance in urine, E. coli will “go” after it and “let go” of your bladder walls.

As soon as the bacteria are re-attached to the free-floating D-Mannose they are quickly flushed away during urination. The remainder is killed by your white blood cells and other immune cells. Because of the D-Mannose molecule’s ability to circulate throughout the urinary tract, they can even help eliminate E. coli attached to the prostate gland.

D-Mannose in your body

D-Mannose is a monosaccharide, a simple sugar but unlike glucose your body absorbs D-Mannose eight times slower.

Because it is hard for our bodies to absorb D-Mannose, it passes straight to the blood stream, then through the kidneys into the bladder. Your body does not metabolize D-Mannose like other sugars, and that’s why D-Mannose powder does not affect the blood sugar levels, and therefore is safe for the diabetics and does not cause weight gain.

D-Mannose does not kill the bacteria and therefore does not increase it’s resistance. Many pharmaceutical companies nowadays are trying to develop a drug to target those hooks that E. coli uses to hold on to the mannose of your bladder.

Infographic: how does d-mannose work?

D-Mannose powder is a natural remedy

D-mannose powder is truly wonderful:

  • It has no serious side effects (read about most frequent D-Mannose side effects).
  • It will not destroy your other friendly bacteria.
  • It will not cause allergic reactions.
  • It is safe for most people.

D-Mannose is found in cranberries and blueberries, peaches, apples, and oranges but its natural concentration is low. You would need to consume tons of fruit to reach needed levels of D-Mannose in your urine. In comparison, you need just a teaspoon per dose if you are using D-Mannose powder.

FDA disclaimer

Some think, that if used early enough D-mannose can cure UTI without antibiotics. These claims have not been confirmed clinically and FDA does not regulate production and formulation of D-Mannose powder. It might work for you, but there is always a chance that it won’t. So make sure to watch your symptoms and go to the doctor if you see no improvement. Self-treating a UTI could be a very dangerous thing!

If you are interested I invite you to research the work of Dr. Jonathan V. Wright on this topic and read reviews from other UTI stragglers on Amazon.

If you bought D-Mannose already, here read my post about the D-Mannose dose for UTI and how to take D-Mannose.

D-Mannose powder sources

Some manufacturers use birch tree juices to produce the D-Mannose powder. Majority manufacture it from corn.

The process to extract D-Mannose consists of two steps: first is to use a strong light to charge the ions of mannose in the sugary juice collected from the plants till D-Mannose sticks to a collector plate; second is to scrape off the sugar.

D-Mannose can be also produced in a lab. It is easy to recognize synthetic D-Mannose because it won’t dissolve in water completely leaving a chalky white mixture on the bottom of the glass. Synthetic D-Mannose is not manufactured the same way as natural D-Mannose and some think that it’s less effective than the natural one.

Natural D-Mannose powder is frequently made from birch trees’ sap

Natural D-Mannose frequently made from birch trees' sap!
Natural D-Mannose frequently made from birch trees’ sap!

Three things to consider before you decide to try D-Mannose

1) Can you overnight it from Amazon or do you live nearby Whole foods market or Sprouts or some alternative medicine pharmacy? D-Mannose is easier to find in retail if you live in a big city.

2) Do you have any additional issues with bladder or kidneys? If yes, you could have been developing the infection for longer than you know. Do not risk a complication! You can try D-Mannose in the early stages only and if you have no other health problems.

3) You might be in those 10% of sufferers who have UTI caused by some other (not E. coli) bacteria and D-Mannose will not help. It could be an STD. Make sure you know your diagnosis before you attempt a self treatment protocol.

My experience

Read about my experience of treating UTI with D-Mannose for a first hand account.

UTIs are so painful and unfortunately also popular. D-Mannose seems to have no complications so it is low risk to try. If it helped you or others I would be happy to know!

What did I do when I had my UTIs and how did I stop them from reoccurring? I share my story here.

Where to buy D-Mannose powder

I suggest you buy it in powder form because it is easier to portion and you do not need to waste your money on capsules.

1) Your local Whole Foods market or any other supermarket or a pharmacy that sells natural remedies.

2) Amazon (or any other internet retailer):

Here are two very popular products:

  1. BulkSupplements Pure D-mannose Powder (250 grams)
  2. D-mannose 500 mg – 120 Caps

If you buy it, please take a minute to write me back about your experience with the product.

Best wishes and stay healthy!



  1. So happy to find this information. My 22 year old daughter gets uti’s very frequently and so severe that she passes blood and is confined to the toilet until the antibiotics start to work. It is debilitating. I will be sharing this info with her. I am positive it is due to e coli bacteria as she has been to see a urologist to rule out any structural causes.

  2. Anastasia Madam,
    My elderly mother aged 68 years is bed ridden since last 4 years on account of intertrochanteric fracture (which was not operated upon) and Parkinsonism and also suffers from diabetes, hypertension, recurrent MDR UTI, hypothyroidism and dementia. Last month she was hospitalised for 20 days due to lung infection, UTI and bed sores. Subsequently, she is on oxygen requirement of 1 lpm and catheterized subsequently. As I write this, she again got admitted in hospital 2 days back due to high fever and possible UTI. She is suffering from UTI again and again. Can I use D mannose powder to prevent her recurrent UTI and what should be the appropriate dosage? As I am the sole caretaker, frequent visits to hospital since last 4 years have left me emotionally and financially drained out.
    Can you suggest a way out?

    • Hi Ashutosh, I’m sorry to hear, this sounds like a tough situation, sounds like you are doing everything to help her. She has a lot going on. First of all, I’d recommend just checking with nursing staff to remove the catheter as soon as it is not needed. Every extra day increases her chances to re-infect. I know you mentioned financial struggles but here is a new (yet, expensive) medication you can ask your doctor about (perhaps, insurance can cover), it’s called Ellura.
      Here is a post we wrote about UTI in elderly but your case is definitely a complicated one. The thing is, with UTIs like she has, there is a high chance that it’s caused by more than one pathogen, you can confirm this with the nurses at the hospital, they should have her lab results. If it’s juts E.coli, check with them if you could give your mom 1/2 of a teaspoon of D-Mannose in water or tea, once a day (this is a standard dose recommended by most manufacturers). A possible side-effect is diarrhea, although probably unlikely for a small dose, but make sure to check with the nurses first, I’m sure they’ve heard about D-Mannose.
      Also, if they put your mom on preventive Macrobid, watch out for any lung function impairment. Best wishes,

  3. Hi Anastasia
    Thanks for a really informative post!
    I have a UTI and I am pregnant. I was wondering where you get the information about D-mannose being safe for pregnancy? I was under the impression that there was not enough evidence to rule it completely safe…
    With thanks (and hopefulness!)

    • Hi Esther, thanks for catching this, I changed it to “safe for most people”. While if you ask your naturopathic doctor they would probably agree that D-Mannose is safe for most pregnancies, there is still a chance for a rare genetic disorder when it could be not safe (see details at the end of the post here). Mercola thinks it’s safe for pregnant women and even conservative WebMD says that pregnant women should use it “with caution” since no studies have been done, while a bunch of pregnancy blogs actually straightforward recommend it. Unfortunately, most supplements go through a very little testing since clinical tests are expensive and why bother spending money on something that you can’t patent. I don’t think we’ll ever know with certainty. Sorry, I can’t give you a 100% assurance! Best of luck and health to you and your baby.

  4. I had constant ecoli water infections last year caused by a resistant bug and ended up in hospital with sepsis, was very poorly. My specialist has recommended me to take d manouse, have taken it every day since may but missed a month last month thinking it’s only a supplement and can’t make that much difference but ended up with an ecoli infection. I am back on it now, I definitely believe it helps. Joanne

    • Hi Joanne,
      Thank you so much for sharing your comment, I’m happy to hear it’s working for you. Definitely look into probiotic supplementation if your UTIs are caused by sex.
      Best wishes,

  5. I’m hoping someone can help me. I just got my pure powder dmannose in the mail today from Amazon. I got it from Bulk Supplements. I got it tonight so I wanted to start a fresh new day tomorrow morning. I see I should take a teaspoon (500 mg powder) in a half a glass of water. Let it sit for about a half hour to 45 minutes then drink more water and then pee it out. How long do I wait to pee it out and do I do this every 2 hours for 3 days? I have a current UTI by Ecoli and no antibiotics have killed it all. I’m suffering and since Sept. not in kidneys thank goodness. But pain burning in urethra unbearable. I was told to pee then try to hold some in so the d Mannose gets in urethra too and then finishing peeing. My question is too do I take it overnight all night too or just all day from morning til night? And for how many days? Three or five? Please let me know. I want to start tomorrow morning. I need my life back. Suffering is unbearable. Thank you friends

    • Hi Tara,
      You don’t have to hold your pee 🙂 but yes, overall sounds right. Every three hours theoretically should be enough to see it working. I was waking up and taking it at night as well. Hope it works for you! What is your doctor’s plan for your antibiotic resistant E.coli infection? Did you get anything prescribed?
      Best of luck, I really hope it’ll help! Make sure to monitor signs and symptoms and watch out for any flank pain, fever or general weakness.

      • Oh and I would not try it for more than 3 days if I were you. If you do not see any improvement in the first 2-3 days, it might mean that it’s not working for you.
        In terms of waking up at night – depends on how you are feeling. Since most likely you would wake up to pee anyways, just take the powder then.

  6. A couple years ago with my first relationship, I discovered that I was bound to get a uti after having sex, 9 times out of ten. I had them constantly and desperate, I went to my doctor for help. As usual they prescribed antibiotics for me to take after sex. This usually stopped the uti from happening but the side effects were horrible, constipation, fatigue and yeast infections. I grew to hate the medication and began my search for a cure. This website among others led me to discover d-mannose. I didn’t believe it at first thinking it was just another thing to buy that wouldn’t work. It works! I can safely say though I am still in the trial period this stuff stops utis from happening and this is coming from a girl who was having 3 utis a month for years! I take a heaped teaspoon for about two days 3 times a day after having sex and it’s magical!

    • Chloe, I’m so happy to hear it’s working for you! And thank you so much for taking time to share your experience!
      Wish you all the best,

    • In 1973 I got married. My wife had constant UTI’s. One of the women where I worked asked me how my new marriage was going. I said fine, except for the constant UTI’s my wife was getting. Millie said that if I wasn’t embarrassed to talk about it, she could help with that problem. I WAS NOT too embarrassed.

      She said the same thing happened to her when she got married – constant UTI’s, doctors, antibiotics, over and over again. She was talking to a neighbor – and older Hawaiian woman – who said she could help. She explained that men are taught to wash their hands AFTER urinating. Makes sense. However, all the other stuff that gets on their hands every day, gets deposited in a nice warm, moist location where it can grow with abandon. Men ARE NOT taught to wash every time before sex – so when they don’t, all that stuff growing in their groin gets deposited into their wife’s groin: instant UTI.

      I started washing my hands BEFORE as well as after I handled myself whether urinating or changing clothes or whatever, and particularly before sex. My ex wife never got another UTI in the four years we were together and my current wife has not had one in the 33 years we have been together.

      I have shared this information with dozens of others – both men and women – who have all reported back that if cleanliness procedures are followed scrupulously, UTI’s become a rare event.

      You would think that this would be common sense medical information that would be presented on the first trip to the doctor – but apparently not.

      I personally have had one UTI about 12 years ago. Three rounds of antibiotics later, the doctor said I COULDN’T still have a UTI, but he ran the test anyway. I was right – still had the UTI. I discovered D-Mannose, and began taking 1 – 2 tablespoons a day in a nutrition drink I have every morning. Symptoms lessened in 2 days and were gone in a week. I kept taking the same dose for three months just to be sure. I have continued to take ¼ to ½ teaspoon daily as a preventive measure. I’m not taking any chances with another one of those.

      My wife and I also have several quadriplegic massage clients. UTI’s are a continual problem for them. We have encouraged each of them to start taking D-Mannose. Those who take it regularly have no more UTI issues, and there have been no adverse side effects we have been made aware of.

      Hope this helps some of you.


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