D-mannose is a nondigestible sugar that is gaining traction as a potential treatment for urinary tract infections. It potentially exerts its effect by interfering with bacteria adhering to the urinary epithelium.
This systematic review included eight studies, two of which used D-mannose only and six of which combined D-mannose with another treatment. Three were randomized controlled trials and five were cohort studies.
D-mannose appeared to be effective for preventing recurrent urinary tract infections, possibly with similar efficacy as antibiotics. D-mannose was well tolerated and had minimal side effects, the most common of which was diarrhea.
There are mannose receptors in the lining of the urinary tract, which E. coli can bind to using projections on their cell membranes called “lectins”. D-mannose may bind to these receptors first, making it more difficult for bacteria to latch on and propagate, as explained in this study.
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This Study Summary was published on October 6, 2020.