D-mannose is a type of sugar. I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t sugar bad?
Yes – and no. Just like there are good and bad fats, there are also good and bad sugars. D-mannose is one of the good guys.
D-mannose is actually considered a glyconutrient, which is found in the coating of every cell in the body. Glyconutrients are the building blocks of glycolipids and glycoproteins, which together form glycoconjugates.
Mannose has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It helps form cytokines, which are chemicals that make you feel achy whenever you get sick. Cytokines stimulate the immune system to help fight off infection.
Mannose is naturally found in a variety of foods, including:
- Green beans
- Aloe Vera
While chemically related to glucose, D-mannose is not burned as fuel for the body. Because it does not have the same effects as glucose on the body, this natural sugar offers a number of benefits.
3 Major Health Benefits of D-Mannose
When taken in supplement form, D-mannose can help promote a healthy urinary tract, act as a prebiotic and even support a healthy digestive system.
1. Promotes a Healthy Urinary Tract
Most people never hear about D-mannose until they have a urinary tract infection or other bladder-related health issues.
Cranberry juice is often touted as a treatment or “cure” for a UTI. What makes this berry so effective? D-mannose – the active compound in cranberries.
Research has shown that D-mannose can be an effective treatment for a UTI. In one 2014 study, 308 women were divided into three groups. One group was given 2 grams of D-mannose every day for six months. One group was given a prescription drug, while the third group was given no treatment.
After six months, researchers found that the women taking D-mannose had the lowest level of recurring infection (14%). Women taking the prescription had a 20% recurrence rate, while women receiving no treatment had a 60% recurrence rate.
Part of the reason why D-mannose is effective at treating a UTI and supporting bladder health is because it’s effective at removing E. coli from the urinary tract.
2. Acts as a Prebiotic
In some studies, D-mannose was found to act as a prebiotic. Prebiotics help support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
We all need prebiotics to maintain a healthy gut and good bacteria.
3. Supports Digestive Health
Several studies have shown that this natural sugar can actually protect against digestive issues, like IBS, ulcers and even cancer.
D-mannose can also protect against lectins, a type of protein commonly found in beans, grains and some other foods. Lectins are virtually indigestible and can wreak havoc on the digestive system.
How to Take D-Mannose
While D-mannose is naturally found in some foods, you would have to eat an exorbitant amount to realize the benefits of this natural sugar.
To take advantage of its benefits, you’ll need to take D-mannose in supplement form. Most supplement manufacturers offer this sugar in powder form, but some companies, like Nature Supplies, offer D-mannose in chewable tablets.