D-Mannose: Natural Cure for Bladder Infections

June 17, 2009

D-Mannose: Natural Cure for Bladder Infections 

 Competency # 11 Sugar.                       ReferenceBerry et al, Infect Immun. 2009 May 18,  Suzanne Sommers, Breakthrough, 2008 

 Did you know that most bladder infections are caused by the bacteria E. coli?  Yes, the same kind that occasionally makes nasty epidemics through contaminated beef.  But we all have E. coli in our intestines and we have it growing on our skin in our groin area.   Those E. coli aren’t the dangerous strains but they are the cause of most bladder infections.  About half of women get a bladder infection sometime in their lives, and many get lots and lots of them. 

 We’ve learned quite a lot about this bacteria recently.  Turns out they all have tiny little tips called “pili” that have protein receptors on the end.  These receptors bind to a mannose molecule your bladder cell has on its surface.  When that happens, the E Coli can hang on for dear life and doesn’t get flushed out when you empty your bladder.   Dr. Berry and his group have shown that the E coli make a biofilm across the bladder that protects them from being damaged by your immune system.  In fact, the E. coli can make clumps inside the bladder wall cells, and survive there quite nicely, out of reach of your immune cells, antibiotics, or even the simple flushing of emptying your bladder.  

Isn’t that unique?  So that’s how bladder infections keep coming back over and over.  The E. coli can hide inside the cell. Guess what happens when you take mannose orally as a supplement? You trick the E. coli.  It attaches to the mannose molecule which is free-floating rather than one attached to the bladder cell wall.  When it is free-floating, it can’t form a biofilm, and can’t get inside the bladder cell walls.  It gets flushed out. Did you get that?  Instead of taking antibiotics, you may be able to cure your bladder infection naturally by taking a natural sugar molecule and just tricking the E. coli.  

D-Mannose is the name of a sugar that is somewhat rare in nature, but not unheard of.  What is rare is how well it works in bladder infections.  Suzanne Somers detailed it in one of the stories in her book, Breakthrough.  She relates how Dr. Jonathon Wright has been using it for years with folks who have recurrent bladder infections. The era of the flippant use of antibiotics for every infection needs to come to an end.  Certainly, for mild symptoms, we may have an alternative. 

 WWW.  What will work for me?  You can buy D-mannose over the counter at health food stores.  Perhaps it should become part of standard therapy, even when you get an antibiotic.  It’s certainly worth a try if all you have are preliminary symptoms of mild frequency.   I would like to see a bit more about it…

Column written by Dr. John E Whitcomb, MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI. (262-784-5300)