Baking soda has a wide variety of uses that range from whitening teeth to cleaning dishes. A study published in The Journal of Immunology added another purpose to the already versatile compound. Researchers from Augusta University in Georgia found that baking soda may also help reduce inflammatory conditions.
Why is a balanced body pH level important?
The pH balance refers to the levels of acids and bases in your blood. For that reason, it is also commonly referred to as the acid-base balance.
It is important that your body maintains a healthy balance between alkalinity and acidity. Alkalinity refers to the levels of base in your blood while acidity refers to the levels of acid. The normal blood pH level is 7.4; zero signifies high acidity and 14 refers to high alkalinity.
The body regulates this balance through the lungs and the kidneys. The lungs release carbon dioxide, a slightly acidic compound. The kidneys, on the other hand, excrete acids or bases into the blood as needed.
Any pH imbalance can cause several diseases in the lungs and the kidneys. A high acidity level is called acidosis while a high base count is called alkalosis.
A lot of diseases experienced by people today are associated with acidosis. (Related: High levels of dietary acid destroy important body functions.)
Acidosis and inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection. There are two types: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the short and healthy type of immune response. On the other hand, chronic inflammation is persistent, like a fire that is out of control. Chronic inflammation may cause progressive damage to the body, permitting the development of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis.
Acidosis is involved in various pathological conditions, including inflammation, ischemia, and tumor microenvironments. An acidic environment helps activate various cells in the body, which are needed to keep the pathological condition under control. However, the study by the Augusta researchers found that the effects of acidosis on white blood cells (specifically, monocytes and macrophages) in these conditions go two ways. In monocytes, acidosis exhibits anti-inflammatory properties because it impedes inflammatory mediators. On the other hand, acidosis promotes inflammation in macrophages.
Baking soda helps reduce inflammation
So where does baking soda fit into all this?
The Augusta researchers were particularly interested in treating chronic inflammation in acute and chronic kidney injury. Previous studies have shown that drinking water mixed with baking soda can slow down kidney decline among patients with chronic kidney disease. The researchers wanted to test this hypothesis by examining cells from humans and rats.
The researchers administered a solution comprising two grams of baking soda dissolved in 250 mL water to both rats and 12 healthy human participants. For two weeks, the participants drank the baking soda-water mixture every day.
They also introduced six other humans who did not take baking soda for comparison.
The research team discovered something astonishing among the participants who drank the baking soda-water mixture. They found that the macrophages (the immune cells) changed functions. Instead of promoting inflammation, they began reducing it.
In their analysis, the researchers hypothesized that baking soda helps calm down the autoimmune response, producing an anti-inflammatory reaction. Furthermore, the human participants exhibited a shift from inflammatory reactions to anti-inflammatory ones in the stomach, spleen, kidney, and peripheral blood.
Their discovery contributed further to the research backing up the potential of using baking soda in treating chronic inflammation, and correspondingly, more serious diseases. Before attempting to use this remedy, make sure to first consult with your healthcare provider.
To learn more about natural anti-inflammatory remedies, visit ImmuneSystem.news.