New research on an old home remedy may prove useful in treating common autoimmune diseases — such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis — as it “turns off” inflammatory responses.
This home remedy has been used for generations. And I often think of it when I come to Baltimore and see the illuminated Bromo Seltzer Tower far above the skyline.
I’ve sung the praises of this simple, natural solution many times, as it’s a great solution for heartburn or acid reflux. And it’s much safer than of those dangerous proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs).
That’s because it works to ease heartburn and acid reflux by triggering the stomach to make more acid, which thereby prompts digestion. Low stomach acid is actually the real cause of indigestion. And that’s why PPIs — which suppress stomach acid — cause more damage in the long run.
Of course, I’m talking about simple sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). And as a new study shows, we’re only just beginning to learn about its many uses in the human body…
Sodium bicarbonate tames immune response
For the new study, scientists at the Medical College of Georgia conducted experiments in both animal and human trials, using this inexpensive, over-the-counter antacid.
The research focused baking soda’s effect on specialized connective tissue cells (called mesothelial cells), which line the internal organs and body cavities.
Mesothelial cells have little, finger-like protrusions called microvilli. Microvilli survey and monitor the internal environment and warn your organs of potential molecular and cellular invaders, and signal when your immune system should mount a protective inflammatory response.
In fact, in patients with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, mesothelial cells may sense threats when there aren’t any. As a result, they can signal the body to attack the non-existent invader through inflammation, which can make your current condition worse or increase your risk of developing additional diseases.
Fortunately, for patients with in autoimmune diseases, researchers have learned that baking soda thwarts the unnecessary inflammation triggered by these cells.
Reduce inflammation and increase relief — naturally
In this study, researchers gave rat and humans subjects a sodium bicarbonate-water solution for two weeks.
Turns out, in both subjects, the mesothelial cells in the spleen, kidneys, and blood stopped promoting inflammation — and instead started reducing it! In fact, one dose of baking soda solution produced anti-inflammatory effects that lasted for at least four hours in humans and up to three days in lab animals.
Talk about an important breakthrough!
When I worked in Washington, D.C. in the 80s and 90s, some scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had the arrogance to conclude they already knew everything there was to know about the basic anatomy of the human body.
But clearly, we still have a lot to learn. And simple baking soda is leading to some profound discoveries about basic anatomy and physiology.
So, if you suffer from chronic inflammation or an autoimmune disease, you may want to talk to your doctor about adding a simple sodium bicarbonate solution to your daily regimen. I personally find it can be quite helpful to quickly soothe what ails you.
My go-to baking soda remedy
- ½ to1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 8 oz glass of water (You can use still filtered water because the baking soda will turn it into a seltzer. You can have it cool or at room temperature, to your taste. But the baking soda will dissolve and be ready faster at higher temperatures.)
Mix baking soda into water, stirring until it’s fully dissolved. Then drink! Repeat this up to 6 times a day, with doses spaced at least 2 hours apart. Add a twist of lemon to enhance the taste.
(One word of caution: Baking soda contains sodium, so if you’re limiting your sodium content for health reasons, please consult with a healthcare professional before beginning this regimen.)
Of course, inflammation lies at the root of so many common chronic diseases, not just autoimmune diseases. So, this remedy could ultimately prove useful for a whole host of ailments — including heart disease, cancer, and obesity.
“Drinking baking soda could be an inexpensive, safe way to combat autoimmune disease,” Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.com) 4/25/2018