Finding Relief From UTI’s: How Mannose and Cranberry Help in the Battle Against Bladder Infections

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Along with providing information on whether Mannose and Cranberry supplements might be right for you, this article also links to Fullscript where you can buy supplements online through the secure healthcare formulary and get free shipping and 20% off the retail price of professional-grade supplements.

What Is Mannose?

Mannose is a simple sugar that is closely related to glucose. It is naturally occurring in some fruits, such as cranberries, and is also available as a dietary supplement. Mannose is often used to support urinary tract health, as it is thought to prevent harmful bacteria from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract and causing infections.

Mannose is metabolized differently than glucose, and it is not used as a primary source of energy by the body. Instead, it is primarily eliminated through urine, which makes it an attractive option for urinary tract health. Mannose is generally considered safe when taken in appropriate doses, but individuals with diabetes or other health conditions should consult with a healthcare provider before using mannose as a supplement.

How Does Mannose Stop Urinary Tract Infections?

Mannose is thought to prevent bacterial adhesion to the bladder wall by binding to the fimbriae, which are hair-like projections on the surface of certain bacteria that allow them to attach to the bladder lining. When mannose is present in the urine, it can bind to the fimbriae of these bacteria, which prevents them from attaching to the bladder wall and colonizing the urinary tract. Instead, the mannose-bound bacteria are flushed out of the urinary tract during urination, which helps to prevent urinary tract infections. This mechanism of action is thought to be particularly effective against strains of E. coli, which are a common cause of urinary tract infections. [PMC7395894]

How Does Cranberry Prevent UTI’s?

When it comes to preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs), cranberry and mannose work in similar yet distinct ways. Both target the bacteria most commonly responsible for UTIs: E. coli. The key to their effectiveness lies in their ability to prevent this bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract lining, which stops the infection before it starts.

Cranberry contains compounds called proanthocyanidins. These complex polyphenols block the adherence of E. coli to the cells lining the urinary tract. By preventing the bacteria from sticking, they’re more easily flushed out of the system during urination.

On the other hand, mannose is a simple sugar that also fights E. coli but in a slightly different manner. Mannose binds directly to the bacteria, making it more difficult for them to latch onto the urinary tract walls. Like proanthocyanidins, mannose helps in eliminating the bacteria through urination.

So, whether you’re considering cranberry or mannose, both offer natural ways to prevent UTIs by targeting the ability of E. coli to stick to the urinary tract. Each has its own unique mechanism, but both aim for the same result: reducing the risk of UTIs.

How Much Mannose Is Recommended?

The recommended dosage of mannose for preventing recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) may vary depending on the individual and their health status. However, a typical dose for preventing recurrent UTIs is 500-1000 mg of mannose powder or capsules taken orally, once or twice daily. For treating an active UTI, the recommended dosage of mannose may be higher. In much of the research, the dose is about 3 grams divided through the day. [PMC7395894]

What are the Benefits of Mannose?

  • Supports Urinary Tract Health: Mannose has been shown to help maintain a healthy urinary tract by preventing the adherence of certain bacteria to the urinary tract walls, reducing the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). It may even rival the effectiveness of antibiotics in the treatment of UTI’s. [PMC8944421]
  • Enhances Digestive Health: Mannose acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This can contribute to improved digestion and overall gut health. [PMC6573870]
  • Boosts Immune Function: Mannose plays a role in supporting a healthy immune system by helping to regulate immune responses and supporting the function of immune cells. [PMID: 28759052]
  • Promotes Glycemic Control: Mannose has shown potential in helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or metabolic disorders. It may help prevent autoimmune (Type 1) diabetes. [PMC5613377]
  • Supports Healthy Kidney Function: By reducing the risk of UTIs, Mannose indirectly supports kidney health by preventing potential complications associated with recurring infections.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Mannose possesses anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body and support overall wellness. [PMC8502929]
  • Promotes Wound Healing: Studies suggest that Mannose may aid in wound healing by promoting cell migration and tissue repair processes. [PMID: 23464634]
  • Supports Gut Barrier Function: Mannose has been found to help enhance the integrity of the gut lining, supporting gut barrier function and reducing the risk of gut permeability issues. [PMC6207501]
  • Antioxidant Properties: Mannose exhibits antioxidant activity, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and protect cells from oxidative stress.
  • Potential Anti-Cancer Effects: Preliminary research suggests that Mannose may have anti-cancer properties by inhibiting the growth and spread of certain cancer cells. However, more studies are needed to fully understand its potential in cancer treatment. [PMC9136145]

Is Mannose Safe?

Here are the list of potential medication interactions with Mannose:

  • Antibiotics: Mannose may interfere with the effectiveness of certain antibiotics, especially those that target bacterial infections. It is advisable to separate the intake of Mannose and antibiotics by a few hours to avoid potential interaction.
  • Chemotherapy Drugs: There is limited information on the interaction between Mannose and chemotherapy drugs. It is recommended to consult with your oncologist or healthcare provider if you are undergoing chemotherapy treatment and considering the use of Mannose supplements.
  • Immunosuppressant Medications: Mannose may have immunomodulatory effects, potentially interacting with medications used to suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids or immunosuppressant drugs. Consult with your healthcare provider before taking Mannose if you are on immunosuppressant therapy.
  • Blood-Thinning Medications: Mannose may have anticoagulant properties and could potentially interact with blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin or aspirin. It is important to inform your healthcare provider if you are taking Mannose while on blood-thinning medications to closely monitor your blood clotting parameters.
  • Diabetes Medications: Mannose is a carbohydrate, therefore it may affect blood sugar levels. However, the recommended dosage amounts to only a few grams of carbohydrate. Also, mannose must be converted to fructose before it can be converted to glucose, therefore the blood glucose effect would likely be unmeasurable.

Medication Interactions with Mannose.

  • Probiotics: Probiotic supplements containing certain strains of bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), may interact with Mannose. These bacteria utilize Mannose as a food source, potentially reducing its effectiveness. To ensure the optimal benefits of Mannose, it is advisable to separate its intake from probiotic supplements by a few hours.
  • Cranberry Extract: Cranberry supplements are often used to support urinary tract health, similar to Mannose. Combining Mannose with cranberry extract may have a synergistic effect, but it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate dosage guidance and to ensure compatibility with other medications or conditions.
  • Fiber Supplements: High-fiber supplements, such as psyllium husk or oat bran, may slow down the absorption of Mannose in the digestive system. To maximize the benefits of Mannose, it is recommended to take it separately from fiber supplements by a few hours.
  • Other Urinary Tract Health Supplements: Certain supplements targeted at supporting urinary tract health, such as D-mannose blends or herbal formulations, may contain Mannose or similar compounds. Combining multiple urinary tract health supplements may lead to an excessive intake of Mannose, so it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for proper dosage and suitability.

Food Sources of Mannose.

Food SourceMannose Content per 100g
Aloe Vera0.2g
Green Beans, Tomatoes0.1g
Currants, cranberries, gooseberries0.1g
Kidney Beans0.05g
Carrots0.03g
Note: The Mannose content in food sources may vary depending on factors such as ripeness, cultivation methods, and processing.

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Why Professionals Choose the Fullscript Formulary

Your health is on the line. Health professionals know that many other online and retail options set a very low bar for quality–sometimes amazingly low. The Fullscript formulary is the most secure online source for the highest quality brands securely sourced to assure freshness and purity. Here’s what makes Fullscript the best:

  • Meticulous vetting of brand quality. Health professionals trust Fullscript to continuously monitor the quality of each item on the platform. Other retailers operate with profit as their highest or only motive when choosing brands. Fullscript cares only about quality and reliability. Unlike discount stores, large online marketplaces, and other retailers you won’t find ingredients sourced from China or other questionable locations or companies.
  • Free shipping over $50 and best prices when you order through Supplement Sciences.
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  • How It Works:
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NOW® Mannose Cranberry

 is a combination of two ingredients known to support urinary tract (UT) health.* Both Mannose and Proanthocyanidins (PACs) (the main active constituents from Cranberry) possess properties that promote the maintenance of a clean waste stream.* This product features a proprietary blend of whole Cranberry fruit with a unique PAC profile that has clinically demonstrated its ability to help maintain a healthy UT when used regularly.* Take 1-2 capsules twice daily.

Amount Per 2 Capsule Serving:

  • D-Mannose … 900mg†,
  • Cranberry … 500mg†, (Vaccinium macrocarpon) (Fruit) [with Proanthocyanidins (PACs)]

Mannose Powder 150g (Klaire Labs)

Mannose (D-Mannose) is a sugar that helps maintain urinary tract health.† It binds undesirable microorganism cell wall lectins preventing colonization of the urinary tract mucosa and encouraging prompt excretion through the urine.†

Adults: 1 rounded scoop, 1 to 5 times daily mixed with cold water, juice, or food, or as directed by a healthcare professional

Amount Per 1 Rounded Scoop (Approximately 5 grams) Serving:

  • Vitamin C … 60mg, (as L-ascorbic acid),
  • D-Mannose … 1500mg,
  • Cranberry Concentrate … 800mg (Vaccinium macrocarpon)(fruit)

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

Mannose supplements are primarily known for helping prevent urinary tract infections by stopping bacteria like E. coli from sticking to the urinary tract. Beyond that, some studies suggest that mannose may support a balanced immune system. It’s also being looked at for its potential role in managing conditions that involve carbohydrate-processing issues, although research in this area is still emerging. Mannose supplements can offer a range of health benefits, making them a versatile option for those looking to enhance their well-being.


This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.


About the Author

Stephanie Figon, MS, RDN, LD

Creator of Supplement Sciences and NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Log in to comment and save this article on your board or send your comments to reviews@supplement-sciences.com

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