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In todays Topic, Eamonn discusses a natural way to help you beat the misery of recurrent UTI's

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Don’t let recurrent UTI’s rule your life

D- Mannose - A natural way to help you beat UTI misery now available at Whelehans Pharmacy

Urinary tract infections are more commonly known as UTIs. Infections of the urinary tract are extremely common in Ireland and account for a large proportion of doctor visits per year.

UTI’s are much more prevalent in women than men, with up to 50% of women developing at least one during their lifetime. 20-30% experience recurrent UTI’s (2 in 6 months or more than 3 a year). This is, in the main, down to the different physiology of the female urinary system, with the female urethra being shorter than that of the male.

How does infection occur? Normal urine contains fluids, salts and waste products, and it is always sterile (contains no bacteria).  Infection occurs when micro-organisms enter through the external opening (the urethra) and begin to multiply. 90% of UTIs are caused by one type of bacteria, E. coli, which normally reside in the colon. Once these bacteria enter the urinary tract, they latch on to cells, grow, and cause infection.

What is D-Mannose?

D-Mannose is a type of sugar found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, (cranberries, black and red currants, peaches, broccoli, green beans etc) that’s related to the better-known glucose. These sugars are both simple sugars —that is, they consist of just one molecule of sugar.

In essence, how D-Mannose works as a potentially effective treatment for UTI is after you consume foods or supplements containing D-mannose, your body eventually eliminates it through the kidneys and into the urinary tract. While in the urinary tract, D-Mannose can attach to the E. coli bacteria that may be there. As a result, the bacteria can no longer attach to cells and cause infection.

Does it work?

There are a few studies by way of research that indicate how effective D-Mannose can be. One, published in the British Journal of Urology, assessed 308 women who had frequent, recurrent UTIs over a six-month study. Divided randomly into three control groups, with one group given a daily dose of 2g of D-Mannose, one group received 50mg of Nitrofurantoin (an antibiotic) a day, with the remaining group given no preventative treatment.

During the 6-month study, 98 patients (32%) had a recurrent UTI. The rate of recurrence was significantly higher in the control group, with the antibiotic group showing 20% recurrence and the group on D-Mannose showing the lowest rate of recurrence at just 15% which equates to four times less likely to contract a UTI than the “no treatment group”.


Whilst there is evidence that suggests a regular daily dose of D-Mannose may have a beneficial effect, of course, for those with serious recurring UTI’s, medical advice should always be sought as untreated infection can spread to other organs (kidney, bladder).

D-mannose is typically used for preventing a UTI in people who have frequent UTIs or for treating an active UTI. It’s important to know which of these you are using it for because the dosage will differ. The best dose to use isn’t entirely clear, however. For now, the doses below that have been used in research are recommended:

  • For preventing frequent UTIs:4 capsules once daily, or 2 capsules twice daily.
  • For treating an active UTI:3 capsules twice daily for 3 days, and then once daily for 10 days; or 2 capsules three times daily for 14 days.

I’ve tried Cranberry to treat UTI before, is this the same?

No, whilst cranberry extracts are commonly used to help ease UTIs, they contain relatively lesser amounts of D-Mannose. Pure pharmacy grade D-Mannose capsule contain 50 times more D-Mannose than Cranberry. There are no notable side effects at the recommended doses. (Consume with water, taking up to 4 capsules daily or 1 capsule daily for maintenance dose.)

If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor before taking D-mannose. It makes sense to be cautious since D-mannose is a form of sugar. Your doctor might want to monitor your blood sugar levels more closely if you take D-mannose.

HealthReach pharmacy grade D-Mannose 500mg capsules (60pk) for €29.95 are available at Whelehans Pharmacy, 38 Pearse St, Mullingar.

Supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet. Not meant for long term use. Consult your healthcare professional. Keep all supplements out of the reach of children


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).

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