First the basics. UTIs are caused by common bacteria ‘getting up in there’ or hooking onto the urinary tract and causing an infection. Once the infection takes hold, it can be very difficult to rid yourself of it, and there is a chance you might need antibiotics. Every time you or I take antibiotics we increase the risk that those antibiotics won’t work anymore. It’s scary.
Enter: D-mannose (imagine Wonder Woman landing on a bunch of stupid UTI-bacteria-bad-guys). When it comes to urinary tract infections, D-mannose is thesuperhero. How about the power to prevent the bacteria from hooking on so it leaves the way it came? Hell ya! Well, that’s what D-mannose does. It targets the hooking on process by sticking to the bacteria’s evil claws so it is more likely to get washed out with your pee. It’s really that simple.
Well first of all it works for me, and then it worked for my friends and patients, and now it’s working for more and more people every day. At the time of writing this, WebMD lists a 5-star rating for D-mannose for effectiveness, ease of use, and satisfaction for UTIs (1).
Then there’s the actual science. MINGO is small company so I haven’t run any of my own clinical trials, but thankfully there is a lot of existing evidence for D-mannose as lots of smart people are starting to take note of its super powers and study them.
Recently, a study gave D-mannose to a group of women for 6 months as a prophylactic (i.e. preventative treatment). The group that took D-mannose had a UTI recurrence rate of 4.5%. The group that didn’t take it had a UTI recurrence rate of 33.3% (2). That’s a BIG deal.
What's crazy is that pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money to get results waaaay less meaningful than that on their drugs. But here’s this simple, natural sugar that:
The 4.5% number is important too. D-mannose won’t work for everybody all the time. D-mannose is an effective preventative solution for most urinary tract infections, and if you take d-mannose quickly enough when you feel a UTI coming on it can help it from progressing. Some people with more serious conditions will likely need something more serious to match.
One of the best D-mannose studies I’ve seen is from 2013, where D-mannose was pitted against antibiotics in a randomized clinical trial – a pretty serious test for a little powder (3). Think David and Goliath!
In it, one group received an antibiotic (Nitrofurantoin) daily for 6 months; one group received D-mannose (2,000 mg); one group received nothing (pour souls!). The results were astounding:
D-mannose performed as well as antibiotics in reducing recurrent urinary tract infections (15% incidence vs. 20% incidence), but with significantly lower risk of side effects.
...which is actually a big deal because Nitrofurantoin isn’t that bad for side effects. Of course the group that took neither option had a recurrence rate of 60%! The study concluded that there’s something cool going on with this mighty D-mannose and recommended further studies.
D-mannose is a simple sugar related to glucose, found naturally in fruits and vegetables and produced naturally in your body. Although cranberries and cranberry juice may contain a small amount of d-mannose and proanthocyanidin (PAC), there’s not enough D-mannose or PAC in there to really be useful. The biggest selling point of cranberry juice is the fact that you're hydrating.
But then you’re adding a lot of sugar to your body, which isn’t good for your immune system and can encourage the growth of bacteria in your gut (5). On the other hand, isolated d-mannose — like we use in Mingo — has a proven ability to help fight UTI's (see above!!)
A study out of Yale University showed no reduction in UTIs in women who took the equivalent of 20 ounces of cranberry juice daily, for a year (4).
In another 2016 study using cranberry capsules containing 72 mg of proanthocyanidin (PAC), a cranberry ingredient that is believed to inhibit bacteria in the urinary tract. In the study, 185 women living in nursing homes received either cranberry capsules or placebo for one year.
The researchers found that the cranberry capsules did not prevent bacteria in urine or have an effect on other health outcomes, such as hospitalizations and mortality.
The bottom line, says Dr. Manisha Juthani-Mehta, a geriatrics infectious disease expert: "While consuming cranberry products may have no harm on women with frequent UTIs, they don’t appear to have a proven benefit."
We go right to the source! D-mannose is a tasteless, odourless powder about 10-50 times stronger (in the right ways) than cranberry. It’s safe and kind to your system with no serious adverse effects (5). Only a tiny amount of D-mannose is actually metabolized so it doesn’t mess with your blood sugar. Instead it filters through your kidneys and gets excreted in your pee, which is exactly what we want! Seriously, what a SUPERHERO!
D-mannose is easy to take — just make sure you’re taking at least 2,000 mg (or 2 grams), as that’s the proven therapeutic dose. The other component is water, because you need to pee for the bacteria to retreat out of your system. You can buy d-mannose comes in a powder form, or in a pill. I've tried both and I hated taking 4-6 pills 3x/day and hated having to drag a tub of bulk d-mannose around all day... which is exactly why we created MINGO.
With MINGO, we’ve mixed 2,000 mg of d-mannose with a few other supportive ingredients like Vitamin C to boost immune function and Vitamin B6 to help you pee, and then added some natural lemon-lime flavour to make it taste AWESOME and easy to take all in a glass of water. We recommend mixing it with about 2 cups of water (500 ml), but you can do whatever you want, just pour, mix, and drink.
So, I hope that cleared things up for you and as always if you have any questions, ideas, or comments - let me know!
(1) “D-MANNOSE: User ratings for effectiveness, side effects, safety and interactions – WebMD.” WebMD.
(2) Domenici, Lavinia & Monti, Marco & Bracchi, C & Giorgini, M & Colagiovanni, V & Muzii, Ludovico & Benedetti Panici, P. (2016). D-mannose: a promising support for acute urinary tract infections in women. A pilot study. European review for medical and pharmacological sciences. 20. 2920-2925.
(3) Kranjčec B, Papeš D, Altarac S. D-mannose powder for prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections in women: a randomized clinical trial. World J Urol. 2014 Feb;32(1):79-84. doi: 10.1007/s00345-013-1091-6. Epub 2013 Apr 30.
(4) The New York Times – October 27, 2016; Jan Hoffman; The Cure for UTIs? It’s Not Cranberries.
(5) “D-Mannose for UTI Prevention Validated in a Clinical Trial.” Mercola.com