What is Mannose?
Technically known as D-Mannose, this is a simple six-carbon sugar. Mannose is a stereoisomer that is a mirror image of Glucose and naturally occurs as a monosaccharide (simple sugar) in fruit like blueberries and cranberries, as well as in other plants and fungi. NOW’s pure Mannose is derived from corn, white and sweet potatoes, beech or birch woods and has a caloric value (similar to other sugars) of four calories per gram. Mannose exists in two forms - alpha and beta. The alpha form is mild and sweet, while the beta form is bitter. The natural manufacturing methods for Mannose results in a mixture of these two forms; yielding a product that is mildly sweet with a slight bitter aftertaste.
How can a simple sugar like Mannose be good for me?
Studies suggest that Mannose may maintain and support a healthy urinary tract by blocking the adhesion of foreign particles to the surface of the host tissue. In most cases, foreign particles utilize tiny hair-like projections on their surface called fimbrium. Protruding from the tips of these fimbrium are glycoproteins called lectins. It’s these lectins that bind to the surface tissues that line the urinary tract. When sufficient Mannose is consumed, the excess molecules of this sugar present in the urine attach to the lectins, thereby blocking foreign particles from adhering to the tissues of the bladder and forming new colonies. The Mannose-bound foreign particles are subsequently flushed away through the urinary tract.
Does Mannose act like sucrose once digested?
Although Mannose is a simple sugar and is absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract, it is absorbed at a slower rate than most sugars and is not readily converted to glycogen for storage. A substantial amount of Mannose is absorbed into the bloodstream and, after passing through the kidneys and bladder, is excreted into the urine.
How do you monitor the quality of your Mannose?
It is not certain just what is a "perfect" alpha- to beta- Mannose ratio, but an initial sweet taste indicates the ratio is sufficiently good. Mannose is analyzed to determine its purity. This is to preclude any dilution with other sugars, such as dextrose or sucrose. However, this analysis does not differentiate between the alpha and beta forms. NOW specifies that our mannose will exceed 99% purity and taste mildly sweet with a hint of a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Does Mannose work like an antibiotic?
Mannose has no antibiotic properties and will not kill existing infections. If you have persistent burning and/or urgency symptoms, please seek professional medical evaluation to determine if these symptoms are caused a urinary tract infection.