Evidence Humble Baking Soda Helps Reduce Inflammation
A paper published a couple of weeks ago in the Journal of Immunology, provides evidence that baking soda helps reduce inflammation. This cheap, safe, alkaline substance is found in most kitchens. Scientists from the Medical College of Georgia reported in the Journal of Immunology that daily dosing with it was found to encourage our spleen to promote an anti-inflammatory environment in the body that could be therapeutic in the case of inflammatory disease.
“It’s potentially a really safe way to treat inflammatory disease.”
Baking soda, which is also known as sodium bicarbonate, is alkaline, and when taken in a solution before a meal becomes a trigger to encourage the stomach to increase production of stomach acid to digest the next meal.
But the scientists found that it also acts on cells lining the outside of the spleen. These cells, known as mesothelial cells, are believed to be involved in controlling the immune response.
So instead of mounting an inflammatory immune response, these mesothelial cells can, under the appropriate conditions, trigger a regulatory immune response, ie a response that signals a reduction in inflammation.
It seems that the correct conditions for the cells on the spleen to do this is when baking soda is taken on a regular basis.
Dr. Paul O.Connor, renal physiologist from the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University and the report’s corresponding author, believes that the message the body is receiving as a result of taking the baking soda is,
“It’s most likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection.”
The spleen is part of the immune system and acts as a blood filter. It is also where some white blood cells like macrophages are stored. The MCG scientists think that drinking baking soda sends a signal to the spleen to ‘go easy’ on the immune system.
Macrophages are best known for their function of removing debris from the body such as dead or injured cells and are also ‘first responders’ in the case of an immune response. Macrophages can be either M1, the type that promote inflammation when the body requires that response to deal with an injury or threat, or they can be M2, which are the type that reduce inflammation and have more of a regulatory function.
The scientists found that drinking water with baking soda added for two weeks shifted the macrophages found in the spleen, blood and kidneys primarily from inflammatory M1 to the anti-inflammatory M2 type.
In the case of kidney disease the scientists found that a daily dose of baking soda reduced M1 and increased anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages slowing the progression of kidney disease.
Dr. Paul O’Connor says, “You are not really turning anything off or on, you are just pushing it toward one side by giving an anti-inflammatory stimulus. It’s potentially a really safe way to treat inflammatory disease.”
This is really good news since inflammation is at the root cause of virtually all disease. If inflammation can be reduced in the body by merely taking baking soda on a daily basis, the improved health ramifications are huge.
We have all heard it stated that keeping the body alkaline leads to better health outcomes than being acidic, but the means by which this might be true has never seemed obvious. This is especially so considering that the alkalinity/acidity (known as the PH) of the blood is controlled within a very tight range otherwise we do not live much longer.
Now it seems there is an explanation of the mechanism at work in the body by which ‘being alkaline’ gives us health benefits by acting on the spleen and reducing the M1 macrophages and increasing the anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages in the body.
How much to take? Research on the internet indicates that ¼ teaspoon twice a day on an empty stomach is a good starting point, but as with anything we are all individual, so adjust as needed. If you are on medication or are being treated for a disease, please check with your health care professional that taking baking soda is safe for you. Otherwise see if baking soda helps reduce inflammation for you.
Trying to promote an anti-inflammatory state, Edith and Tim at CoolWellbeing Foundation
Reference: Oral NaHCO3Activates a Splenic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway: Evidence That Cholinergic Signals Are Transmitted via Mesothelial Cells. The Journal of Immunology, 2018; ji1701605 DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1701605