URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Cranberries contain Mannose together with a wide array of anti-oxidants (polyphenols) amongst other beneficial ingredients.
The most common cause of Urinary Tract Infections are E.coli bacteria which have the ability to attach to certain proteins on the epithelial cells lining the Urinary Tract and the Bladder. Here they can multiply and cause disease.
Mannose has a surface structure which enables it to attach to the E.coli bacteria, blocking their 'docking' ability and thereby preventing the bacteria from attaching to the epithelial cells. The bacteria can now be washed out of the body without causing harm.
Mannose has many other important functions in the body. It is digested in the body to form glucose and the body may in turn form Mannose from glucose when needed. If the person has a shortage of glucose, the Mannose is therefore digested and broken down. However, if the dosage is high enough, the excess Mannose will be rinsed out of the body via the urine. This is why the dosage should be increased temporarily in case of an active UTI.
NB: Because Mannose may be broken down into glucose, it should be used with utmost caution (ONLY under the care of a medical practitioner) by persons with Diabetes Mellitus.
NB: Cranberries may also affect the blood clotting mechanism and should therefore NOT be used by persons using anti-coagulants (such as warfarin).