D- Mannose

A variety of sugar, d-mannose is present in fruits and also available as a supplement. This sugar is comparable to glucose and is found naturally even in specific human cells. D-mannose is effective in treating a condition known as carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndrome. At the same time, this sugar variety also helps to prevent as well as cure infections of the urinary tract.

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Many fruits naturally contain d-mannose. This sugar form is found in elevated amounts in fruits like apples, blueberries, cranberries, oranges and peaches. Moreover, it is also marketed in the form of a supplement, which is taken orally.

D-mannose, also known as mannose, is that part of a plant which is sugar or carbohydrate and is not properly absorbed by our body after ingestion. In other words, this sugar does not enter the human blood stream readily. Initial studies have shown when a person ingests d-mannose about 90 percent of this sugar is excreted via urine in its original form within just 30 to 60 minutes. Different from other sugars, our body is not able to metabolize d-mannose. This component of plants is directly filtered into the urinary bladder. As a result, consumption of this sugar also does not bring about any change in our blood sugar levels. Since d-mannose is eventually excreted from the body in its original form, it moves through the kidneys, accumulates in the bladder and washes out the complete urinary tract while urinating.

Health benefits

Though d-mannose is not absorbed by the human blood stream, it has been found that this sugar offers a number of health benefits. It has been established that d-mannose is effective in curing an exceptional genetic metabolic condition called carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndrome type 1b. This condition makes the patients suffer from nutrient loss via their intestines. Findings of a number of studies hint that d-mannose inhibits the loss of this protein, thereby improving the functioning of the liver. Moreover, ingestion of this sugar may also aid in lowering the blood sugar levels in the body and also reduce bleeding problems in people suffering from this syndrome.

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Findings of animal studies have shown that d-mannose also helps to prevent specific bacteria types from sticking to the walls of the bladder. Instead of clinging to the bladder walls, they adhere to the sugar and are removed from the body via urination. This, in turn, helps to lower the chances of developing various types of infections.

Studies undertaken on animals also suggest that this sugar is useful in the form of a prebiotic, which works to encourage the growth as well as development of good bacteria in our digestive system. According to these studies, d-mannose may even prove to be beneficial for people suffering from dysbiosis, a condition wherein good and bad bacteria are present in disproportion.

Bladder infections, which are also referred to as urinary tract infection or UTI, are a widespread problem, particularly among women. This condition is a widespread complication among pregnant women. Even men enduring prostate enlargement also suffer from this condition, which can prevent the complete flushing of the bladder. If some amount of urine remains in the bladder, it results in stagnation and increases the chances of being infected. Generally, urine is somewhat sterile. However, bacteria, fungi and viruses may sometimes get into the urethra and move up to the bladder.

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About 50 percent of all women suffer from one or many types of urinary tract infection during their lifetime. Most of these infections are attributed to a common bacterium called Escherichia coli (E. coli). This particular bacterium is said to be accountable for roughly 90 percent of all infections of the urinary tract. E. coli is generally present in gastrointestinal (GI) system, but in unusual situations it is also found in the urinary system. When there is an overgrowth of this bacterium, it results in infections.

It has been found that d-mannose is particularly effective in eliminating E. coli from our body. In fact, ingestion of this sugar for just one day can reduce the population of bacteria in urine significantly. Hence, it is advisable that people suffering from any urinary tract infection (UTI) should ingest fruits containing d-mannose or take supplements containing this sugar. Precisely speaking, one can effectively use d-mannose in the form of a natural antibiotic to get rid of E. coli.

Aside from d-mannose, quite a few other dietary supplements can also be beneficial for people seeking a natural medicine to prevent and cure urinary tract infections. Some studies recommend that even drinking cranberry juice may be effective in lowering the incidences of UTIs, especially among people vulnerable to this disorder.

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In addition to d-mannose, cranberries also contain a few other valuable compounds, such as proanthocyanins. This particular plant compound is a form of antioxidant and may prove to be effective in preventing urinary tract infections, as it helps to keep bacteria away from sticking to the urinary tract walls. If you prefer drinking cranberry juice, you should go for the variety that is unsweetened so that it restricts the amount of sugar you intake.

In order to combat urinary tract infections more effectively, it is essential that you drink lots of water every day. When you drink sufficient water regularly, it increases the possibilities of flushing out bacteria from the urinary tract even before they are able harm us by infecting the organ.

Side effects and cautions

The health benefits of d-mannose notwithstanding, some people may suffer from nausea, bloating and loose stools after ingesting this sugar. According to unreliable reports, people enduring diabetes often experiences a temporary rise in their blood sugar levels due to d-mannose. Nevertheless, this effect is not severe and also not permanent. In fact, temporary rise in blood sugar levels due to ingestion of d-mannose only lasts for the duration of using this form of sugar.

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It is believed that d-mannose binds sperm in the same way as it attaches to bacteria. While this effect of d-mannose prevents fertilization, this effect is also transient.

When ingested in elevated doses, d-mannose may also result in kidney damage. It is advisable that nursing mothers should exercise caution while taking this form of sugar, because not many studies have been undertaken to verify the safety of d-mannose in such situations. In addition, diabetic patients should also use this form of sugar cautiously, as it may make controlling the blood sugar levels even more difficult.

Before you start using d-mannose, it is important to inform your physician about all the supplements you are already taking, including natural supplements as well as non-prescription ones. This will help your physician to check if you face the risk of any potential risks of developing side effects. Your doctor will also be able to assess if there will be any interaction with other medications you may be taking from before.

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