Researchers Say Drinking Baking Soda May Treat Some Autoimmune Diseases


Editor's Note

Please see a doctor before starting or stopping a medication or trying an alternative treatment.

Drinking water with baking soda may combat inflammation-related autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, according to scientists who recently published a study in The Journal of Immunology on the effects of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on the anti-inflammatory properties of the spleen.

The study was conducted on both rats and a smaller group of healthy humans who did not have an autoimmune disease. Researchers found that the baking soda solution promoted a “powerful anti-inflammatory response” in the spleen, an organ that plays a role in immune function.

According to the study, baking soda triggers the stomach to produce more acid that can help digest your next meal. Mesothelial cells line the digestive tract and other body cavities and keep organs from rubbing against each other. These cells also relay environmental information to warn organs like the spleen that an immune response may be needed to protect itself, according to the study’s statement.

When drinking baking soda, the mesothelial cells tell the spleen no immune response is needed, that you don’t need to be protected from what you are eating.

“It’s most likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection,”  said Paul O’Connor, renal physiologist Augusta University and one of the study’s authors, in a statement.

After drinking the baking soda solution, the microphages — a type of immune cell in the spleen, blood and kidneys — switched from mainly promoting inflammation to reducing inflammation.

Consuming baking soda would be a convenient and cost-friendly way to help treat an autoimmune disease, but O’Connor told The Mighty this study does not mean people should start drinking baking soda as a way to treat their illnesses. There’s no way to know how much baking soda would need to be consumed, and the study was done with 12 individuals who did not have autoimmune diseases. Further studies are needed before any sort of clinical implication can be found.

Photo via Getty Images/eskaylim


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Chronic Illness

15 Memes That Nail What Summer Is Like When You're Chronically Ill

Chronic illness can be challenging and present new and unpredictable obstacles year-round. But for many spoonies, the heat and light of summer can aggravate symptoms and cause even more flare-ups than usual. Maybe heat worsens your fatigue, or maybe your illness or medications cause you to have photosensitivity and experience pain or rashes from being [...]
Adult daughter talking with senior mother in kitchen.

4 Things I’ve Learned From Having a Chronically Ill Mother

My mum has lived with mental illness for my entire life, and physical illness and disability since I was 5. Growing up with an ill person hasn’t always been easy — often, quite the opposite — but it’s absolutely made me the person I am today. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the [...]
sarah hyland instagram screen shots

Sarah Hyland Shares How 'Annoying' It Is When Medication Causes Thinning Hair

Along with the many physical symptoms of chronic illness, sometimes the medications you use to treat your illness affect your body in their own unpleasant ways, too. Some side effects aren’t necessarily painful but are still pretty annoying to deal with. “Modern Family” actress Sarah Hyland turned to her Instagram followers for help with a [...]
A blonde woman in a dark room with her eyes closed.

Are You Grieving an Illness? It's OK to Repeat the Stages of Grief.

Most people think of grieving processes as something that follows the death of a loved one, but there are lots of other reasons to grieve. Grief can be a helpful tool when facing any sort of major life change in which your former life is gone, and you need to adjust to your new reality. [...]