by Joseph Mercola
May 07, 2018
(sodium bicarbonate or NaHCO3) has a number of
medicinal uses and benefits. It’s commonly known to
have alkalinizing, antacid and electrolyte
shown drinking baking soda solution can help
pregnant women who are having a slow or difficult
labor to avoid C-sections in about 20 percent of
cases by neutralizing acid in the womb
by the National Institutes of Health suggests baking
soda may be a safe and effective treatment for
autoimmune diseases by priming your immune system
suggests drinking baking soda infused water
activates an anti-inflammatory pathway that is
mediated by the neuronal-like function of
mesothelial cells that line your internal organs
Baking soda is
also useful against other aches and pains, including
heartburn and ulcer pain, and may enhance sports
performance (a strategy known as soda doping)
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate or NaHCO3), popularized
by Arm & Hammer more than 150 years ago, is a staple in many homes
for baking and cleaning purposes, but this inexpensive ingredient
also has a number of medicinal uses and benefits.
It rates right up there
with hydrogen peroxide as one of the most inexpensive and safe
health tools around, so it makes sense to learn all you can about
the many uses of baking soda.
It's commonly known to have alkalinizing, antacid and electrolyte
When taken internally,
baking soda is thought to raise the pH of your blood. This appears
to be the basic premise behind its recommended use against colds and
influenza symptoms, recounted in a 1924 Arm & Hammer booklet on the
medical uses of baking soda.2,3
Taking one-half to 1 teaspoon or so of baking soda dissolved in a
glass of water is also an inexpensive way to ease heartburn.
Long-distance runners have also engaged in a practice known as "soda
doping" - taking baking soda capsules - before races to enhance
performance - a measure thought to work similarly to carbohydrate
In this case, by increasing the pH of your blood, this practice is
thought to offset the acidity produced in muscles during intense
While I do not suggest or
recommend you try this at home, use of baking soda has also been
shown to improve speed among swimmers.4
Research 5 has also shown drinking baking soda solution
can help pregnant women who are having a slow or difficult labor to
avoid C-sections in about 20 percent of cases by neutralizing acid
in their womb.
This could spell the
difference between life and death in developing countries and/or
instances where C-section is not an option.
May Be an Inexpensive Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases
Most recently, research funded by the National Institutes of Health
suggests baking soda may be an effective treatment adjunct for
rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases.
According to this study,6,7
led by renal physiologist Paul O'Connor and published in The
Journal of Immunology, drinking a solution of water and baking soda
appears to prime your immune system against inflammation.
Although this study suggests some benefits from baking soda for
rheumatoid arthritis, there are far more fundamental approaches that
should be tried before this as detailed in "Inspiring Account of How
to Put Rheumatoid Arthritis into Remission."
Additionally, one could
avoid lectins for autoimmune diseases like RA.
The theory was initially tested on rats, and later in human
According to O'Connor, baking soda may indeed be "a really
safe way to treat inflammatory disease," 8 including
As reported by Medical
News Today: 9
tell a complex story about how this salt provides a signal to a
special kind of cell called 'mesothelial cells,' telling them
that the body is fine and not under attack, rendering an
aggressive immune system unnecessary.
autoimmune responses are averted. Mesothelial cells line the
internal organs as well as many different cavities in the body…
Basically, in O'Connor words, mesothelial cells learn that,
likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection.'
So they, in turn, do
not activate the spleen's 'army' of macrophages, or white blood
cells tasked with clearing up potentially harmful cellular
drinking bicarbonate affects the spleen and we think it's
through the mesothelial cells,' O'Connor explains."
Alters Immune Cell Activation, Triggering Anti-Inflammatory Response
Mesothelial cells are found in your blood and kidneys, and baking
soda is already used in the treatment of chronic kidney disease.
It was this that led the
researchers to explore the mechanisms by which baking soda benefits
renal function, slowing the progression of kidney disease.
It was during this
investigation they noticed that baking soda shifted the balance of
immune cells in the kidneys, boosting anti-inflammatory immune cells
while simultaneously decreasing inflammatory cells.
Further tests revealed baking soda has the same anti-inflammatory
effect on blood and spleen as well.
But how does it do this?
Mesothelial cells, which
line your internal organs, communicate with the organ in question
microvilli that emit a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine,
and this appears to be an important part of the equation.
A previous hypothesis suggested the anti-inflammatory signals were
being transmitted through the vagus nerve, which connects your gut,
brain and other organs. Experiments revealed this idea did not hold
Even when the
was completely severed, it did not suppress the anti-inflammatory
signaling of the mesothelial cells.
Eventually, they realized the inflammatory response is being
mediated via acetylcholine signals through the microvilli connecting
the mesothelial cells and the organ they line.
response triggered by drinking baking soda-infused water was found
to continue for a minimum of four hours.
As explained by the
"Following oral NaHCO3
loading, macrophage polarization was shifted from predominantly
M1 (inflammatory) to M2 (regulatory) phenotypes, and FOXP3+CD4+
T-lymphocytes increased in the spleen, blood, and kidneys of
anti-inflammatory changes in macrophage polarization were
observed in the blood of human subjects …
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."
Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Is Fraught With Health Hazards
Considering the devastating side effects inherent with rheumatoid
arthritis drugs, the idea that something as safe and inexpensive as
baking soda water may alleviate the inflammation driving this and
other autoimmune diseases is as welcome as it is intriguing.
Indeed, the drugs
commonly prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis are among the most
dangerous on the market.
These include prednisone, TNF-alpha inhibitors (sold under brand
names such as Humira, Enbrel and Remicade. Side effects of these
drugs include infection and an increased risk for cancer), and harsh
anticancer drugs like methotrexate.
Chronic use of
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics like Tylenol can
also result in life-threatening liver and/or kidney damage.
Acetaminophen is actually the No. 1 cause of acute liver failure in
It's tragic that
conventional medicine doesn't promote lifestyle changes before drugs
for arthritis as, in my own practice, about 80 percent of my
arthritic patients were able to achieve significant improvement or
complete remission simply by following my nutritional and lifestyle
In 2015, I interviewed a former patient of mine, Sarah Allen,
about her successful remission.
You can review that
interview, and a summary of the most important lifestyle changes
required to control this condition, in "Inspiring Account of How to
Put Rheumatoid Arthritis Into Remission," hyperlinked earlier.
Medicinal Uses for Baking Soda
In addition to the examples given at the beginning of this article,
baking soda can also be beneficial for a number of other conditions
Keep in mind, you do not
need to seek out aluminum-free baking soda, as all baking soda is
The aluminum issue is
related to baking powder, some brands of which may contain aluminum