summer travel wellness routine

Add This One Vitamin to Your Summer Travel Essentials


Photo Credit: Pinterest

You know you need sunscreen, sunglasses and a full water bottle—but there’s one more thing that should be in your travel bag if you want to stay healthy this summer. And you’ve probably never heard of it before.

Enter: D-mannose. D-mannose is a monosaccharide, or simple sugar, naturally found in fruits like cranberries. Research suggests this vitamin can help prevent and treat Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs),1, 2 which are more common in the summer since warm weather is conducive to germ and bacteria growth.5 Not to mention, the warmer the weather gets, the more likely you are to become dehydrated—and dehydration is also a risk factor for a UTI.

"Whatever fun you’re up to this summer, nothing can ruin your vacation more than a UTI, so taking care of your urinary tract health is extra important.”

- Dr. Banafsheh Bayati, MD, OB/GYN, FACOG

Ready to add D-mannose to your vitamin routine? Read on for everything you need to know.

d-mannose vitamin for UTI

What Is a UTI?

A UTI is an infection that happens when bacteria, usually from the skin or rectum, enters the urethra and infects any part of the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.3 The most common UTI type is a bladder infection.4 Though UTIs are possible in men, they are more common in women. 50 to 60 percent of women will develop UTIs in their lifetimes and some will experience a recurrent UTI (RUTI), which is when you have a UTI more than three times in one year.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

Those with a UTI may experience some or all of the following symptoms:3

  • A strong urge to urinate that doesn't go away—even when your bladder is empty.
  • A burning sensation when urinating.
  • Urinating frequently and passing small amounts of urine.
  • Urine that looks cloudy or appears red, bright pink or cola-colored.
  • Strong-smelling urine.
  • Pelvic pain (in women).

What causes UTIs?

There are a number of risk factors3 for UTIs, including:

  • Being female: Women have a shorter urethra than men, which means there’s less distance for bacteria to travel to reach the bladder.
  • Being sexually active: Being sexually active tends to lead to more UTIs, since it allows for the potential introduction of bacteria into the urinary tract. Having a new sexual partner also heightens risk of developing UTIs.
  • Some birth control types: Using diaphragms may increase UTI risk, as can using spermicidal agents.
  • Menopause: After menopause, women experience a reduction in circulating estrogen, which causes changes in the urinary tract. These changes can increase the risk of UTIs.
  • Warm weather: Warm temperatures are conducive to germ and bacteria growth.
  • Dehydration: When you don’t stay hydrated, you prevent your body from being able to flush out the bacteria that can lead to infections.
  • Holding in urine: Urinating often ensures you rid your body of bacteria and germs that can lead to UTIs.

What can you do to prevent UTIs?

These steps3 may help lower the risk of UTIs:

  • Drink lots of liquids.
  • Wipe from front to back.
  • Empty your bladder and drink a full glass of water soon after intercourse.
  • Avoid potentially irritating feminine products like deodorant sprays, douches and powders.
  • Avoid diaphragms, unlubricated condoms or condoms treated with spermicide.

Treatment for UTIs

UTIs are typically treated with antibiotics. Most women are given a three-day course while men, pregnant women and those with extreme symptoms may need a slightly longer course. Symptoms typically subside within three to five days of the start of treatment.6

D-Mannose and UTIs

When taken orally, D-mannose inhibits the adhesion of bacteria to the lining of the urinary tract, thus preventing infections. Since increasing antibiotic resistance is a growing concern with UTI treatment, D-mannose presents a safe and effective alternative or complementary treatment option—especially for those who frequently experience UTIs.6

Next up: Use these science-backed tips to keep your urinary tract healthy. Plus, shop more vitamins to boost your nutrition, immunity and energy this summer.

References:

  1. Wagenlehner F, Lorenz H, Ewald O, Gerke P. Why d-Mannose May Be as Efficient as Antibiotics in the Treatment of Acute Uncomplicated Lower Urinary Tract Infections-Preliminary Considerations and Conclusions from a Non-Interventional Study. Antibiotics (Basel). 2022;11(3):314. Published 2022 Feb 25. doi:10.3390/antibiotics11030314
  2. Lenger SM, Bradley MS, Thomas DA, Bertolet MH, Lowder JL, Sutcliffe S. D-mannose vs other agents for recurrent urinary tract infection prevention in adult women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020;223(2):265.e1-265.e13. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2020.05.048
  3. Urinary tract infection (UTI) - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20353447
  4. "Urinary Tract Infection | Antibiotic Use | CDC." https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/uti.html.
  5. Simmering JE, Polgreen LA, Cavanaugh JE, Erickson BA, Suneja M, Polgreen PM. Warmer Weather and the Risk of Urinary Tract Infections in Women. J Urol. 2021;205(2):500-506. doi:10.1097/JU.0000000000001383
  6. "Urinary tract infection (UTI) - NHS inform." 13 Feb. 2023. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/kidneys-bladder-and-prostate/urinary-tract-infection-uti

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.