Over the course of a lifetime, almost half of all women will be diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI). The majority of the time, a UTI is the result of a type of E. coli bacteria normally present in the intestinal tract. When this bacterium gets into the urinary tract system and proliferates, it can result in frequent urination, burning and abdominal pain, all uncomfortable symptoms of a UTI. Most UTI’s are treated with a 7 to 10 day course of antibiotics, which often suppress the bacteria, relieving symptoms but not always producing a lasting cure. As a result, 30 – 40% of these infections reoccur within 6 months. Chronic UTI’s, that don’t respond to antibiotics or reoccur after antibiotic treatment, can lead to much more serious health issues including kidney infections and septicemia.
Recurrent infections are often conventionally treated with a low dose antibiotic taken daily for 6 months or more, increasing the risk of developing yeast infections and potentially wreaking havoc with the microbiome and the gastrointestinal system. What makes these infections so difficult to treat more than 20% of the time? When present in the urinary tract, E. coli is not eliminated by urination, as the bacterial cell walls have tiny fingerlike projections that cling to the walls of urinary organs. These sticky fingerlike projections, that consist of a sticky amino acid-sugar complex known as lectin, allow the bacteria to continually make their way upward towards the ureter and bladder.
D-mannose is a simple, naturally occurring sugar chemically related to glucose that has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. D-mannose has been shown to be effective in eliminating E. coli from the urinary tract through its ability to coat the lectins. This renders them unable to cling to the inside walls of the bladder and urinary tract, and enables elimination of the bacteria through normal urination. Many may have heard of drinking cranberry juice as a home remedy for supporting a healthy urinary tract. D-mannose is the active ingredient found in cranberries and other fruits, including berries, apples and peaches, and some green veggies as well. Unlike cranberry juice, which is high in fructose that can spike blood sugar, very little D-mannose is metabolized so it doesn’t interfere with blood sugar regulation.
While the amount of D-mannose in cranberry juice is relatively small, taken as a supplement, D-mannose can provide a therapeutic dosage with up to 50% more healing power. Slowly absorbed and non-toxic, D-mannose is filtered through the kidneys and is quickly excreted along with the majority of the E. coli. A study to determine whether D-mannose was effective for the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections showed that women with a history of recurrent UTI’s who received 2 g of D-mannose daily for 6 months had a significantly reduced risk of repeated UTI’s, even lower than study participants who took a prophylactic antibiotic. The women in the D-mannose group had substantially lower risk of a long list of unwanted gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, hepatic and respiratory side effects as compared to study participants taking a prescription antibiotic.
To maintain a healthy urinary tract system drink plenty of fluids, including water and herbal teas, don’t resist the urge to urinate, and consider taking a daily probiotic. Strong scientific evidence supports the use of a daily probiotic supplement containing 5 – 10 billion CFUs of lactobacillus acidophilus for the maintenance of gastrointestinal, immune and urological health. Research has shown that consumption of foods containing probiotics, such as yogurt or fermented vegetables can help to promote good overall, immune and urinary tract health.
Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality products that support urinary and vaginal health:
U-Tract Complete Powder by Progressive Labs – This comprehensive formula supports urinary tract health with pure D-mannose plus hibiscus and cranberry extracts. D-mannose creates an unfavorable environment for bacteria and interferes with their adhesion to the urinary tract lining, which allows for eradication of E. coli from the urinary tract. Yeast free formulation.
U.T. Vibrance Powder or Tablets – This formula combines D-mannose with carefully selected complementary botanicals traditionally used to support healthy urinary tract function. Gluten and soy free formulation.
Cranberry/d-Mannose by Pure Encapsulations – This combination proprietary formula provides D-mannose along with 100% cranberry fruit solids for time-tested, concentrated support of urinary tract comfort. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
Pro-Flora Women’s Probiotic by Integrative Therapeutics – This formula provides two proprietary strains of lactobacillus to promote a healthy balance of vaginal microflora and a balanced vaginal pH. More than 20 years of clinical research supports the role of lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1® and lactobacillus reuteri RC-14® in promoting urogenital health. Gluten and soy free formulation.
Ultimate FloraMax Vaginal Balance 50 Billion by Advanced Naturals – This once daily, extra-strength formula provides 10 probiotic strains for support of vaginal and urinary tract health, regulation of vaginal pH and promotion of healthy vaginal yeast balance. Gluten and dairy free formulation.
D-mannose powder for prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections in women: a randomized clinical trial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23633128
Urinary tract infection in women. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/urinary-tract-infection-in-women
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection. http://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-urinary-tract-infection#Overview1