The report, published in The Journal of Immunology, found that when a sample of healthy medical students and rats ingested a mixture of baking soda and water, the substance alerted the stomach to make more acid for digestion and prevented the organ from misinterpreting food as a harmful intruder, thereby thwarting the signal that would mount an immune response, AKA inflammation.
Drinking baking soda with water lessened inflammation and inflammatory responses in the kidneys, the spleen, and the peripheral blood, the study found.
The authors of the study explain in an press release that the lessening of inflammation and inflammatory responses happened throughout the body. "We saw it in the kidneys, we saw it in the spleen, now we see it in the peripheral blood," says study co-author and renal physiologist Paul O'Connor, PhD. While this change lasted in the rats for three days, it lasted in humans for at least four hours.
One important caveat to the study is that the human subjects were healthy rather than diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, even though the purpose of the study was to discover whether baking soda might help in the latter situation. Still, this research is considered "first evidence" that the variable might be a significant treatment. "It's potentially a really safe way to treat inflammatory disease," Dr. O'Connor says.
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