The Importance of D-Mannose
Updated: Aug 2, 2022
D-Mannose, or simply mannose, is a close cousin to glucose, which is the typical sugar used by the body. It is readily taken up by cells in a much similar way as glucose, but its metabolic fate differs slightly.
Once the cell breaks down mannose, some of it is used to attach sugary chains into proteins and lipids in a process called glycosylation—or more specifically, mannosylation. The attachment of sugary chains to proteins and lipids is necessary for these molecules to function properly inside of the cell. The rest of the broken-down mannose is then further degraded in glycolysis to be used as energy for the cell.
Although it does not contribute much to energy metabolism in the body, increasing bodies of evidence suggest that this sugary substance may be useful in a variety of health domains.
Here, we’ll provide an overview of some of the reported benefits of mannose.
1. Mannose May Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Tumor cells use glucose, or sugar, to grow and divide. Mannose blocks the breakdown of glucose in the cell, which may help prevent the growth of cancer cells.
2. Mannose Is A Great Anti-Bacterial Agent
UTIs result from bacterial infection in the urinary tract, which can be blocked by supplementing a mixture of natural agents along with mannose. This suggests that mannose may be useful when combined with other natural agents to prevent UTIs from forming.
3. Mannose Inhibits Inflammation
Macrophages are immune cells that trigger an immune response when they detect wounds and foreign agents like bacteria. Mannose blocks inflammation caused by macrophage, which may be beneficial in the wound healing process and in situations where inflammation is out of control.
4. Mannose May Be Effective in Weight Management
Mannose may be effective at preventing weight gain, but not at reversing weight gain. It may be that mannose could serve as a weight management supplement, though further study is needed to confirm this claim.
There are many beneficial effects of mannose in terms of supporting a healthy lifestyle. While still in its infancy, research is promising when it comes to the anti-inflammatory properties of this compound. Future studies are necessary to truly elucidate the full spectrum of health benefits that mannose can provide.