Sugar, although a danger when taken excessively, is also needed by the body to help them in many different ways. Most of us may only be familiar with the most common type of sugar, which is table sugar because it is what we get to encounter often especially when it to cooking and flavoring our favorite foods. However, though, sugar is originally a complex substance that can occur in the body as it is made by the human body itself or it can also be provided naturally by a lot of foods which include almost all edible fruits and vegetables. Additionally, there are a lot of occurring sugars that are not only limited to the table sugar that we are used to. One of the lesser-known types of sugar is D-mannose, which is said to have the main purpose of being used as a treatment for urinary issues like urinary tract infection or UTI. Still, there are questions and doubts surrounding the use of D-mannose as a treatment for medical issues such as UTI since according to some people sugar is one of the main causes of dangerous health conditions because of how it is directly associated with diabetes.
In this article, there will be a brief discussion regarding the effects of D-mannose in terms of it being used for kidney problems. But first, let’s have a few more ideas about sugar and how is it possible to use its kind in different ways of treatment for certain health conditions.
A Short Introduction To Sugar And Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are important nutrients that are needed by the body. In fact, they are known as one of the three macronutrients and they serve as the energy source for the body. Did you know that sugar is actually a type of carbohydrate? This just shows how relevant sugar is when it comes to importance and contribution to body functions, but it is also a must to be mindful with the use and consumption of sugar especially those kinds that are known to be made artificially or also called the added sugar which is usually said to be one of the most dangerous kinds of sugar out there.
D-mannose is specifically called a simple sugar, making it similar and somehow related to the well-known naturally occurring sugar in the body which is glucose. Also, these simple sugars are easily found in most fruits and even milk, plus they are what commercially sold sugar are made of and they are used in many ways but their specific purpose is to be used in cooking and in preserving foods.
For a shorter explanation, simple sugars are called as they are because of the sugar molecules they contain that are counted as either one or two. For those sugars that have more than two sugar molecules, they are referred to as complex carbohydrates. But for now, we will be focusing on simple sugars where D-mannose is known to be categorized.
Since simple sugars are made up of one to two sugar molecules, they are scientifically termed as monosaccharides and disaccharides – wherein the prefixes mono means one and di mean two. The most basic simple sugars are the monosaccharides and that is where the three types glucose, fructose, and galactose are categorized. Monosaccharides are described to be very simple, making them the easiest carbs to be digested and absorbed in the body; although fructose is not as easily absorbed as glucose and galactose. Glucose is the most common of the three, and it is a sugar produced from fruits and vegetables; and the same goes for food products like candy, desserts, and the like. Fructose on the other hand is well-known for being derived from fruits, which gives it the term of being the fruit sugar. Galactose is related to another sugar called lactose (which is actually a disaccharide) as they are both considered as the sugar that can be found in dairy products, specifically milk and other milk-based products like butter, cheese, and yogurt.
D-Mannose: A Simple Sugar For UTI Treatment?
Since D-mannose is similar to glucose for being a simple sugar, it is also commonly found in selected fruits and vegetables. It is said that the body produces certain amounts of D-mannose too. Some of the fruits and vegetables that contain the richest amounts of D-mannose are apples, cranberries, oranges, peaches, green beans, and broccoli. Sugar is also made or added into nutritional supplements at the same time.
How was the use of D-mannose for UTI developed?
It was actually based on a few studies which started the potential use of D-mannose in terms of treating possible cases of UTI. The E.coli bacteria that is known to cause UTI is said to be effectively ousted by D-mannose by getting rid of them as much as possible.
In a span of 4 years, 3 studies related to D-mannose and UTI were conducted by researchers and almost all the results are similar. According to the first study that was conducted in the year 2013, D-mannose was given to a group of women who were easily affected by UTI during their lifetime. When the result was compared to how other UTI preventive medications work, it was seen that D-mannose has a similar effect to the UTI-prone women and it helped them prevent getting the infection just the same as how antibiotics can. In another study, which was conducted in 2014, D-mannose was compared to one other specific kind of antibiotic which has the generic name trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. The study has somehow shown results that are in favor of D-mannose because it has provided claims that simple sugar is more effective compared to the UTI antibiotic. Lastly, the last conducted study which was during 2016, wherein the D-mannose treatment was once again compared to the usual antibiotics when it comes to how it can affect 43 women who are suffering from active UTI at that time. The results are again positive, and according to the study, the use of D-mannose is effective in improving most symptoms of UTI.
Can D-mannose cause kidney damage?
In simpler words – no. D-mannose is still well-appreciated these days for being a potential treatment for most cases of UTI, which is the complete opposite of it being the cause of kidney problems. If there is a known side effect to D-mannose, it may only be the occurrence of diarrhea which is normal in most medications especially if the individual’s body is not yet used to it. In conclusion, D-mannose is not harmful and does not cause any form of necessary kidney damage. However, it still safer to ask for the advice of your doctor when it comes to treating UTI.