|Mannose is a hexose monosaccharide (6 carbon sugar) with a structure very similar to glucose. Mannose is formed from glucose in the body and used in the formation of short chain sugars naturally attached to certain proteins. Mannose can be formed by the
oxidation of mannitol. The root of both these words is manna, the food supplied to the Israelites during their journey through Arabia, which is the sweet secretion of several trees and shrubs, such as fraxinus ornus. D-mannose is a simple sugar structurally related to glucose. It is absorbed slowly from the gastrointestinal tract, and then a large proportion of it is excreted into the urine. Mannose enters the carbohydrate metabolism stream by phosphorylation and conversion to fructose-6-phosphate. Mannose is a key sugar used for N-linked oligosaccharide and GPI-anchor synthesis. D-mannose is in many fruits, including peaches, apples, oranges, cranberries, and blueberries.
Mannose is one of the most important sugars in the body. It is an important part of globulins, and is found frequently in the polysaccharides of glycoproteins. D-mannose has been widely used in the feed industry to treat and prevent urinary tract infections by inhibiting the adherence of bacteria to membranes or cell walls. In the bladder, d-mannose can adhere to bacterial lectins, preventing them from sticking to the lining of the bladder. Bacteria can then be flushed away during urination, thereby precluding the formation of colonies within the urinary tract. Mannose prompts anti-inflammatory activity and tissue regeneration. It appears to have an active role in the activation of macrophages, whose function it is to clean up debris which can cause inflammation. Mannose is a dietary supplement that may be used to treat stomach and bowel infections. Mannose has been used to treat carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndrome. Mannose, like another essential sugar (glucosamine), is also crucial for joint protection, especially in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.