Attention Urinary Tract Infections: Beware of D-Mannose!
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common bacterial infections of our day. They are most often caused by the migration of bacteria from the anus to the urethra where they attach to the walls of the urinary tract and multiply. The E. coli bacteria causes the majority of these infections, but don’t be alarmed to hear the term “E. coli”. It’s quite normal for these bacteria to take up residence in the colon where they actually play a helpful role in digestion and the assimilation of nutrients from the food we eat. However, it’s a whole different story when these bacteria make their way into the urethra and bladder where they don’t belong!
Now although UTIs have many causes and there are a boatload of preventive measures one can take to avoid them, despite our best efforts women are particularly susceptible to these infections due in part to the structure of the female anatomy. A woman’s external genitalia and anus are closer in proximity to the urethral opening, making cross-contamination by E. coli and other nasty bacteria much easier than with the male anatomy. In addition, sexual intercourse puts women at risk not to mention approaching menopause. You see, the continued low levels of estrogen women experience as they reach menopause causes thinning of the walls of the vagina, allowing greater access by invading bacteria.
This all sounds rather bleak for us women, but there is light at the end of the UTI tunnel. Recall that earlier in the post I spoke about the E. coli bacteria being a common culprit when it comes to UTIs. Well, that is because this particular bacteria can actually grab hold of the inner lining of the bladder and urinary tract and actually stick. The good news, however, is that the E. coli is actually “sticking” to specific sugar molecules present on the lining. These sugar molecules are known as D-Mannose and they represent somewhat of a life raft for the E. coli to cling to in an attempt to avoid being washed out of the body with the urine.
So, you may be wondering what the actual “light at the end of the tunnel” is . . .
Okay we now know that in order to survive and multiply (and boy do they multiply!), the E. coli must cling to the D-Mannose naturally present along the urinary tract walls. However, these pesky bacteria are quite willing to jump ship if a flood of unattached D-Mannose suddenly enters the area. When we ingest D-Mannose in therapeutic amounts (details below), only a fraction of this is metabolized by the body. The rest of it is excreted through the kidneys, ureters and then into the bladder to eventually be washed out of your system with the urine. Once this bulk D-Mannose gets to the bladder, the E. coli see it and become quite willing to take advantage of this abundance of sugary treasure! That’s when they jump from the D-Mannose particles attached to the urinary tract lining onto the free-floating D-Mannose, and voila – they are swept out of your body with urine!
Keep in mind that D-Mannose is a sweet and safely ingested simple sugar that is found in many fruits including apples, blueberries and cranberries. It is readily available at most health stores as a powder or in capsule form, many times in combination with a cranberry extract. So if you have a tendency toward urinary tract infections, keep some of this amazing powder on hand and at the start of symptoms, take 500 mg every 2-3 hours for at least 5 days, continuing a couple of days after symptoms have ceased. And another very cool thing about D-Mannose – the bacteria will never become resistant to it because they need it to survive! Just keep in mind that, in the off chance that you see no improvement in your symptoms within a couple of days of beginning the D-Mannose regimen, don’t mess around. See a doctor.
You are welcome to visit my online dispensary to purchase the D-Mannose that I recommend to clients (you will receive a client discount, as well!) Click HERE and then select the “Urinary Tract Support” category to find D-Mannose and other high-quality supportive supplements.
Disease Prevention and Treatment: 130 Evidence-based Protocols to Combat the Diseases of Aging. 5th ed. Ft Lauderdale: LIfe Extension Foundation, 2013. Print.
Breakthrough: 8 Steps to Wellness: Life-altering Secrets from Today’s Cutting-edge Doctors. New York: Three River, 2008. Print.
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