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Baking soda might stave off inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases, research finds


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Photo: Thinkstock/@eskaylim

Though baking soda is often solely thought of as an important ingredient for making the perfect banana loaf, it has recently become a buzzy wellness and beauty ingredient akin to the multitasking turmeric. And now new research has found another reason to worship the powerful powder: When mixed into your drinking water, it might combat inflammation, thereby making it a potentially effective treatment for people who suffer from an autoimmune disease.

The report, published in The Journal of Immunologyfound 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.

Here’s hoping that scientists are on the right track, since so many young women seem to be suffering from autoimmune-related issues and could use a (holistic!) way to relieve symptoms.

Read more about how celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Selena Gomez have dealt with their respective autoimmune issues.

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