Study: Baking Soda Anti-inflammatory – Daily Dose May Fight Autoimmune Diseases
-by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News
There was a time, decades ago, when doctors would prescribe bicarbonate of soda, aka baking soda, mixed with water to patients suffering from influenza or other temporary ills. By the way, baking soda does not contain aluminum, baking powder usually does.
Now its efficacious use is known by only a handful of holistic medical practitioners. Though not part of the medical establishment’s “standard of care,” which if not followed can result in an MD’s loss of license to practice, bicarbonate of soda has been used by paramedics and ER attendants for extreme emergencies. A handful of MDs have even discretely used it on kidney patients to augment or avoid dialysis.
Now a medical study has reported indications of dampening inflammation that bring on autoimmune diseases. The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Immunology in April of 2018 to confirm the hypothesis that bicarbonate of soda does have medical merit, and can be a simple cure to autoimmune diseases.
The Study and What It Means
The research report is titled Oral NaHCO3 Activates a Splenic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway: Evidence That Cholinergic Signals Are Transmitted via Mesothelial Cells. (Abstract)
Time for a few nomenclature explanations:
NaHCO3 is the chemical makeup of bicarbonate of soda, commonly known as baking soda. Splenic refers to the spleen. Cholinergic refers to choline, a primary component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine found in nerve fibers, are thin plate-like calls that cover the walls of fluid containing cavities within the body.
The study was conducted at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health. The researchers’ message is:
Our data indicate that oral NaHCO3 activates a splenic anti-inflammatory pathway and provides evidence that the signals that mediate this response are transmitted to the spleen via a novel neuronal-like function of mesothelial cells.
The Georgia Medical College study determines the mechanics of how baking soda manages all of the wonderful things it does despite its efficacy not being heralded by the “orthodox” medical industry.
Their research discovered the spleen’s role in mitigating inflammation beyond raising acidic pH levels to higher alkaline levels, which is a recognized attribute of baking soda even in mainstream medicine.
The spleen creates macrophages, large white blood cells that clear cellular and microbial debris, and lymphocytes or killer cells that go after bacterial and viral infections. This is an aspect of the immune system, which if unnecessarily overstimulated, creates chronic inflammation
The Georgia Medical College researchers observed that when rats or healthy people drink a solution of small amounts of sodium bicarbonate it ironically becomes a trigger for the stomach to make more acid to digest the next meal.
Regarding the inflammation/autoimmune disease link, after drinking water with baking soda for two weeks, the population of macrophages shifted from those that promote inflammation, (M1), to those that reduce it (M2).
The researchers became aware that the little-studied mesothelial cells sitting on the spleen receive cholinergic messages telling the fist-sized organ that there’s no need to mount a protective immune response.
This eliminates an unnecessary inflammatory response, which may become an endless immune response feedback loop leading to a cytokine storm, which can be fatal, or chronic inflammation, the precursor to almost all autoimmune diseases.
Corresponding author of the recent Georgia study, renal physiologist Dr. Paul O’ Connor, explained in the medical college’s press release:
Certainly drinking bicarbonate affects the spleen and we think it’s through the mesothelial cells.
Clinical trials have shown that a daily dose of baking soda can not only reduce acidity, it actually slows progression of the kidney disease, and it’s now a therapy offered [by a few] to patients.
We started thinking, how does baking soda slow progression of kidney disease?
The shift from inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory profile [from small amounts of baking soda] is happening everywhere. We saw it in the kidneys, we saw it in the spleen, now we see it in the peripheral blood. (Source)
Understanding Other Applications of Baking Soda
Even heart attack victims recover more quickly with sodium bicarbonate IV infusions to create the foundation to allow rapid improvement out of any critical condition. Yet the American Heart Association (AHA) has discouraged the practice leading to less paramedic and ER injections of sodium bicarbonate during cardiac arrest emergencies.
The diminishing role of injecting sodium bicarbonate into victims outside of hospitals has come into question after its role has proven itself in real life cardiac events. The Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) questions the AHA policy.
Frequent and earlier use of NaHCO3 has been associated with higher resuscitation rates and with better long-term outcomes in prehospital cardiac arrest. The impressive improvement in outcome in the prolonged arrest group suggests that abandoning use of bicarbonate would be premature. (Source)
The key is not only baking soda’s highly alkaline pH factor of 9, it is its alkalizing effect or alkalinity through the body’s buffering system that sets it apart from alkalized water and other current fads. The body’s buffering mechanisms confuse this issue for most consumers.
For example, lemon, limes, and apple cider vinegar are acidic. But they are buffered to create alkalinity in body tissues.
Baking Soda Better than Expensive Alkaline Waters
Dr. Mark Sircus, DOM and author of Sodium Bicarbonate: Full Medical Review, recommends using a small amount of baking soda mixed in water instead of alkalized waters which he says do not create alkalinity when buffered by the body’s various systems. (Source)
It’s also worthy to consider that different parts of the body require different pH levels, some acid and others alkaline. But the blood is where the balance of ideal balance of 7.2 to 7.45, or slightly alkaline, needs to be.
People with sodium intake concerns may want to consider using supplements that are combinations of sodium and potassium bicarbonate to maintain a healthy balance of sodium and potassium. Dr. Sircus quotes water expert Robert Slovak:
Baking soda is still beloved! It delivers the goods – real alkalinity – while most popular alkaline pH drops from well-known “health experts” are a hoax at $35-$40 for pennies worth of caustic chemical in 2oz of water. Just note that for some people baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) may supply too much sodium so they can substitute potassium bicarbonate or mix the two. (Source)
Note: As a supplement, consuming a half-teaspoon of baking soda or more (depending on health conditions) thoroughly mixed in purified water daily should be done well away from eating, two hours or upon awakening, in order to not interfere with the necessary existing acid content of the stomach while food is being processed for digestion in the small intestines.
Baking soda has even performed miracles for cancer patients. One famous anecdotal example comes with the episode of Vernon Johnston’s metastasized prostate cancer cure that you can review here.
Intense dosing with baking soda alone or using molasses or maple syrup as the Trojan Horse bait for sugar hungry cancer cells needs to be done for two weeks with a week off to prevent over-alkalizing.