Baking soda is often used as an inexpensive home remedy to treat a range of health conditions, including insect bites, indigestion, and sunburn. New research suggests that it we might soon add autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, to the list.
Scientists at the Medical College of Georgia have found some evidence that baking soda could help reduce the destructive inflammation that causes and aggravates these conditions. Their study, published in The Journal of Immunology, looked at how baking soda may lessen the immune response by communicating key messages to the spleen through the help of a chemical messenger.
In the study, rats were given drinking water with baking soda for two weeks, as was a contral group of healthy medical students. During that time , the population of immune cells called macrophages in the rats and in the medical students changed from primarily those that cause inflammation to ones that reduce it. The study authors believe that baking soda acts as a trigger to tell the cells that line our body cavities that there’s no need to produce a protective immune response. Baking soda may aid the conversion of proinflammatory cells to anti-inflammatory cells, as well as promote the growth of more anti-inflammatory macrophages.
The lead author stated that one day, drinking water with baking soda may be an effective way to combat inflammatory responses in people with autoimmune disease.
Sourced from: the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Therese Borchard is a Senior Editor of HealthCentral, covering Mental Health & Wellness, Brain & Nerve Health, and Skin Health. She has written for a variety of websites, including CNN, The Huffington Post, Everyday Health, and Psych Central, and is the author of Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes and The Pocket Therapist. Founder of the online depression communities Project Hope & Beyond and Group Beyond Blue, Therese advocates on behalf of those who live with depression and other mood disorders. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter @thereseborchard.