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Besides discomfort, urinary tract infections when left untreated may spread and cause secondary kidney infections. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria find their way into the sterile urinary tract. The bacteria most associated with this infection is E. coli (Escherichia coli), which is considered a part of the normal intestinal flora, and in healthy inviduals is found only in the intestinal tract. Any accumulation of E. coli outside the intestinal tract indicates infection.
There are various factors that contribute to E. coli infections, including poor hygiene, use of a catheter, nerve damage, sexual contact, and more. In women, the close proximity of the stool system to the urine system allows for easy passage of bacteria, which is why women are at higher risk of such infections.
Why doesn't the normal flow of urine from the kidneys to the urethra flush the bacteria out with it?
The answer lies with the physical structure of E. coli cell walls, which are covered with tiny, fingerlike projections called pili. The ends of these projections are comprised of a complex of amino acids and sugar (glycoprotein) called lectins. It is these lectins that allow the bacteria to adhere to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract.
Risk factors for urinary tract infections:
Gender - women are more exposed to infection than men because of their anatomy, namely a shorter urinary tract and the ureter is closer to the anus, making it much easier for bacteria to invade the bladder, especially if wiping is not done properly. Furthermore, during pregnancy there is increased risk of infection due to the presence of the fetus putting pressure on the urethra, thereby reducing the bladder's capacity to fully void.
Age - the incidence of infection in post-menopausal women increases due to a decrease in estrogen that allows easy attachment of bacteria to vaginal walls. Older men are also at increased risk as an enlarged prostate growth in men can lead to bladder infections.
Sexual activity - the bacteria can be passed into the ureter through sexual contact.
High blood glucose levels - E. coli bacteria feast on sugar. When sugar levels rise in the blood and urine, ideal conditions for bacterial proliferation are created.
Weakening of the immune system - due to illness, stress or poor nutrition. The stress that the body undergoes disrupts the balance of the intestinal flora.
What is D-Mannose?
D-Mannose is the active ingredient of the formula used in Feminose, and is similar in structure to a simple sugar glucose (a stereoisomer of glucose). D-Mannose is produced to some extent in the body and is found naturally in the bladder. Its rate of absorption in the body is eight times slower than that of glucose, such that only a low percentage of it gets metabolized in the body, with most going directly into the bloodstream through the digestive tract, eventually getting filtered through the kidneys and voided from the body through the urine.
How exactly does D-Mannose operate in the body to clear infections?
The special structure of D-Mannose allows it to attach to the receptors on the pili that normally allow gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli to adhere to the walls of the urinary tract. When D-Mannose is introduced into the body in therapeutic amounts, it quickly binds to the ends of the pili of the E. coli present, thereby blocking the adherence of the harmful bacteria to the walls of the urinary tract. Consequently, the E. coli-D-Mannose complex gets removed from the urinary tract via the urine.
It may be surprising to learn that the activity of this sugar has been known for decades, starting from the seventies with published studies pointing to the unique operational mechanism and its therapeutic signficance. Recently, it was discovered that D-Mannose not only blocks the bacteria adhering to the sides of the bladder and urinary tract, but also prevents the development of bacterial colonies and their spreading to other areas of the body
Why not antibiotics?
The usual treatment of cystitis is antibiotics, but like many pathogenic bacteria, E. coli can become resistant to antibiotics quickly. Long-term use of antibiotics can often lead to upsetting of the balance of flora in the body, impinging on the flourishing of metabolically friendly bacteria. Such an imbalance creates a favorable environment for pathogenic bacteria to thrive and cause recurrences of the infection.
Isn't treatment with cranberry juice sufficient?
Cranberry juice (or its extract) is currently considered the most effective natural treatment of UTI's (urinary tract infections) due to its ability to alter the urine's pH level to create an environment less favorable for bacteria. And indeed, cranberries contain a certain amount of D-Mannose, which explains why it is a legitimate treatment. However, since cranberry juice also contains a number of simple sugars, this can negatively impact blood sugar levels, and may ironically create a favorable environment for bacterial proliferation. The ideal treatment is to use only the D-mannose sugar.
The benefits of D-Mannose
Each capsule of Feminose weighs 780 mg, of which:
D-Mannose ........ 500mg
Inactive ingredients: gelatin (capsule), stearic acid (vegetable source), magnesium citrate (vegetable source), silica, rice flour.
Feminose capsules do not contain: salt, yeast, wheat, eggs, soy, milk or preservatives.
Directions: 3 capsules, 1-3 times a day. Take with water or unsweetened drinks.
Contents: 60 capsules
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