For thousands of years, baking soda dissolved in water has been considered as a time-honored, as well as safe and effective home remedy for occasional upset stomach, indigestion, and heartburn. This is a familiar kitchen staple which is also pressed into service for such mundane tasks, as well as cleaning teeth and soothing sunburn.
Now, according to one surprising new research, baking soda – which is also known as sodium bicarbonate – can work against destructive inflammation and autoimmune disease on a cellular level by creating an even more anti-inflammatory “climate” in the body.
Autoimmune disease is a type of condition in which the immunity mistakenly attacks our body, as well as encompasses such serious disease as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation bowel disease, and lupus.
Unluckily, treatments for such conditions can involve suppression of the immunity to the point that there is an increased risk for opportunistic infections of the patient and cancer too. So, here we will take a closer look at why baking soda is increasing researchers as a safe, as well as natural alternative weapon against inflammation and autoimmune disorders.
Baking soda promotes an anti-inflammatory environment in the spleen.
According to some studies from recently, baking soda influences cells in the spleen to help prevent the inappropriate immune response which characterizes the autoimmune disease.
It just works something like this:
Additionally, to filtering blood, the spleen helps to store macrophages – white blood cells which constitute the “first line of defense” in the immune response.
Macrophages are activated by mesothelial cells in and around the spleen. Just like bands of ever-alert sentries, such cells warn the organs of foreign invaders, as well as signal the need for an immune response.
While it stimulates the stomach to make some more digestive acid, the baking soda also acts on mesothelial cells, in that way helping them to prevent “false alarms” that would trigger an immune over-reaction.
At the same time, it transforms macrophages into different, as well as less inflammatory versions of themselves.
Baking soda also has the ability to modify the immune system cells in order to discourage inflammation.
In one study which was published last month in the Journal of Immunology, laboratory mice that had kidney disease were given a solution of baking soda and water for about two weeks period. This simple mixture had a complex, as well as beneficial effects.
The researchers have found that the population of macrophages in the spleens of animals shifted from inflammation-promoting M1 cells to inflammation-reducing M2 cells.
When sodium bicarbonate solution was administered to healthy mice with normal kidney function, the team has found that it had the same effect – a lower number of inflammatory macrophages in the kidneys and the spleen.
In one later phase of the study, some healthy adult volunteers were given a daily dose of 2 grams of baking soda which was dissolved in 250 mg of bottled water. The human participants have also displayed a more anti-inflammatory profile in their kidneys, spleen, as well as their blood.
Additionally, to transforming the pro-inflammatory cells to anti-inflammatory cells, the baking soda treatment has also caused the production of new anti-inflammatory macrophages. Therefore, it caused an increase in the T-cells which are regulators of the immune response and also reduce over-reactions.
The co-author of the study Doctor Paul O’Connor, who is also a renal physiologist in the MCG Department of Physiology at Augusta University, lauded the use of baking soda in water as a potentially safe way of treating inflammatory disease.
In one separate study, the baking soda also helped in easing the inflammation, as well as reducing the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
Baking soda can also prevent the need for dialysis in chronic kidney disease.
In one randomized controlled two-year trial, which was published in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 134 adult patients in total, suffering from chronic kidney disease, as well as metabolic acidosis, which is high blood acidity, were divided into two groups. The first group was treated with 1800 mg a day of baking soda supplements, which the second one received standard care.
The researchers have found that the patients in the first group were importantly less likely to experience a rapid progression of kidney diseases, with supplemented patients experiencing just two-thirds the decline in kidney function of those from the second group.
What was even more promising was the fact that just a few of the patients in the first group developed end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis.
Metabolic acidosis, which is a common complication of advanced kidney disease, can interfere with the metabolism of protein, in that way increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as osteoporosis. But, the researchers reported that taking baking soda on a daily basis will help to balance acid, as well as potassium and sodium – and it also improves nutritional parameters.
Even though baking soda is high in sodium, and it could theoretically increase the blood pressure, the team of researchers has reported that there was no any significant difference in blood pressure control between the two groups.
Baking soda offers a lot of other usually surprising health benefits.
Additionally to its ability to decrease inflammation, in animal studies baking soda also proved to inhibit the metastasis of breast cancer tumors. Also, it is believed that it increases physical stamina, improves athletic performance, as well as reduces post-workout pain and inflammation.
However, you should not try to use baking soda in order to treat kidney disease or any other medical condition without consulting with your trusted medical professional first for obvious reasons.
You should also remember that consuming too much baking soda can be dangerous. Do not take more than 3 and ½ teaspoons daily, or use the maximum dosage for more than two weeks.
Of course, baking soda is generally believed to be safe when it is occasionally used for indigestion.
A lot of studies on baking soda have used dosages of around 2 grams, which is less than half a teaspoon, and it is roughly the dosage that is advised for indigestion. You should dissolve the baking soda fully in a glass of water, and sip it slowly because if you drink it too fast, it can cause gas and diarrhea.
To avoid the possibility of a gastric rupture, do not take baking soda when you are overly full. Also, if you are on a sodium-restricted diet, you are not supposed to use baking soda.
Simply said, baking soda has a long history of uses, as a safe and inexpensive over-the-counter remedy for minor ailments like heartburn and itchy skin. But some new exciting findings have shown that this trusty standby may also be helpful in eliminating potentially life-threatening, as well as difficult-to-treat diseases too.