Inexpensive baking soda can fight against autoimmune disease: Here’s how
New Delhi : Do you keep yourself aside from drinking baking soda? If so, then don’t you ever dare to do so! A daily dose of baking soda reduces the destructive inflammation of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, scientists say. There are some evidences of how the inexpensive antacid can encourage our spleen to promote instead an anti-inflammatory environment that could be therapeutic in the face of inflammatory disease, scientists report.
Scientists say that a daily dose of baking soda may help reduce the destructive inflammation of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
They have observed that when rats are given a solution of baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, it trigger the stomach to make more acid to digest the next meal and for little-studied mesothelial cells sitting on the spleen to tell the fist-sized organ that there's no need to mount a protective immune response.
"It's most likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection," is basically the message, says Dr. Paul O'Connor, renal physiologist in the MCG Department of Physiology at Augusta University and the study's corresponding author.
About a decade ago, it was found that Mesothelial cells provide another level of protection. They have little fingers, called microvilli, that sense the environment, and warn the organs they cover that there is an assailant and an immune response is required.
Scientists think that drinking baking soda tells the spleen to acts like a big blood filter and it is where some white blood cells, like macrophages, are stored. "Certainly drinking bicarbonate affects the spleen and we think it's through the mesothelial cells," O'Connor says.
The conversation, which occurs with the help of the chemical messenger acetylcholine, appears to promote a landscape that shifts against inflammation, they report.
In the spleen, blood and kidneys, they found after drinking water with baking soda for two weeks, the population of immune cells called macrophages, shifted from primarily those that promote inflammation, called M1, to those that reduce it, called M2. Macrophages, perhaps best known for their ability to consume garbage in the body like debris from injured or dead cells, are early arrivers to a call for an immune response.
One of the many functions of the kidneys is balancing important compounds like acid, potassium and sodium. With kidney disease, there is impaired kidney function and one of the resulting problems can be that the blood becomes too acidic, O'Connor lab says. Possible consequences include the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
"It sets the whole system up to fail basically," O'Connor says. Clinical trials have shown that a daily dose of baking soda can not only reduce acidity but actually slow progression of the kidney disease, and it's now a therapy offered to patients.
Studies are currently underway at other institutions O'Connor hopes drinking baking soda can one day produce similar results for people with autoimmune disease.
"You are not really turning anything off or on, you are just pushing it toward one side by giving an anti-inflammatory stimulus," he says, in this case, away from harmful inflammation. "It's potentially a really safe way to treat inflammatory disease."
The spleen also got bigger with consuming baking soda, the scientists think because of the anti-inflammatory stimulus it produces. Infection also can increase spleen size and physicians often palpate the spleen when concerned about a big infection.
Other cells besides neurons are known to use the chemical communicator acetylcholine. Baking soda also interacts with acidic ingredients like buttermilk and cocoa in cakes and other baked goods to help the batter expand and, along with heat from the oven, to rise. It can also help raise the pH in pools, is found in antacids and can help clean your teeth and tub.