Too good to be true? Drink claims it can prevents UTIs without antibiotics.

A new product called Uqora has launched and it claims that it can prevent urinary tract infections without the use of antibiotics. I was really disappointed to read the recent large study that indicated that cranberries (juice and pills) had no effect on prevention or curing of UTIs. So this seems like a great solution!

The entire list of ingredients isn't on the website but here's what they DO claim is in their drink: 

D-Mannose: A carbohydrate that hinders bacteria from adhering to the wall of the urethra to avoid potential infection.

Vitamin-B6: A safe, mild diuretic that increases urination. Urination physically flushes bacteria out of the urinary tract.

Vitamin-C: A powerful antioxidant that supports immune system function and reduces UTI risk.

Potassium & Magnesium: Electrolytes that replenish what's lost during urination and improve hydration.

This seems pretty reasonable. However, the high vitamin C content was used as the explanation of how cranberry prevented UTIs. B6 is a mild diuretic and its effect in electrolyte stability is well known, but there's no evidence it has an antibiotic effect.  

However, D-mannose has been found to reduce incidence of UTIs in patients . It may also prevent bacterial adhesion.  The main paper they reference about D-mannose and adhesion doesn't convince me. Cranberry products have demonstrated prevention of bacterial adhesion. To be fair, the paper's authors specifically call this out, "however, more studies will certainly be needed to confirm the results of our study, especially because of the experience with cranberry products in UTI prevention. Similarly to D-mannose, it has been shown in multiple in vitro studies that cranberry inhibits bacterial adherence to urothelial cells but in clinical practice different results have been reported." Clearly, more research required!

One of the doctors listed in the About Us section doesn't seem to have any scientific publications or research listed. As a consumer I'd also think twice about buying from this company due to the strange body shaming on one of the other Uqora doctor's webpage... Dr. Richard Levin performs labiaplasty and appears to have some very bizarre ideas about how larger labias require correction. From his website:

"...asymmetrical labia can cause discomfort during everyday activities or while wearing certain clothes, such as tight pants. This can result in cosmetic problems. For many women, it makes wearing bikinis out of the question."

I'm very curious about this product but I'm also very hesitant to give any money to a company that could be selling an ineffective product and profiting off of a serious health and medical issue that many women face. D-mannose as a preventative, non-antiobiotic option might be just the thing. But maybe we shouldn't be buying it from this company. More research required!

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