D-Mannose treats bladder infections by binding to E. coli bacteria more strongly than E. coli binds to human cells, preventing bacterial attachment to urinary tract walls, states ClinicalTrials.gov. D-Mannose attaches to bacteria in infected urine, and the combined substances pass out of the body during urination.
A study demonstrates that an extended course of treatment using oral D-Mannose significantly delays the development and recurrence of bladder and urinary tract infections, notes ClinicalTrials.gov. D-Mannose is a sugar with no bacteria-killing properties. The substance is a viable alternative to treating E. coli bacterial infections with antibiotics, since E. coli bacteria becomes resistant to many antibiotics over time.