Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a common household item that can be used for various purposes like cooking, cleaning, and beauty. Lately, some people have been claiming that baking soda can help improve kidney function and even prevent kidney disease. However, is there any scientific evidence to support these claims? In this article, we will explore the truth behind the rumors and find out if baking soda is good for kidneys.
What Are the Kidneys?
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine, just below the rib cage. They act as a filtration system for the blood, removing waste products and excess fluid from the body. The kidneys also produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, red blood cell production, and other essential functions.
What Is Baking Soda?
Baking soda is a white powder that consists of sodium bicarbonate. It is commonly used as a leavening agent in baking, where it produces carbon dioxide gas that helps dough rise. Baking soda can also be used as a cleaning agent and antacid due to its alkaline properties.
What Are the Claims About Baking Soda and Kidneys?
Some people believe that taking baking soda orally can help reduce the risk of kidney disease and improve kidney function. The theory behind this claim is that baking soda can neutralize the acid in the blood, which can help reduce the workload of the kidneys. An acidic environment in the body can cause damage to the kidneys and other organs.
Is There Any Science to Back Up These Claims?
While some studies have shown that baking soda can help improve kidney function in certain situations, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the claim that baking soda is good for kidneys in general. One study conducted in 2018 found that taking baking soda orally can reduce the progression of chronic kidney disease by slowing down the decline of kidney function. However, this study was conducted on a small sample size of 134 patients and needs further validation.
What Are the Possible Risks of Taking Baking Soda?
While baking soda is generally considered safe when used in moderation, taking too much of it can lead to side effects like:
- Alkalosis: A condition where the blood becomes too alkaline, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and muscle tremors.
- Increased blood pressure: Baking soda can contain high amounts of sodium, which can raise blood pressure in people with hypertension.
- Stomach problems: Taking baking soda on an empty stomach can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
How Much Baking Soda Is Safe to Take?
The recommended daily dose of baking soda for adults is 1/2 teaspoon dissolved in one-half glass of water, taken every 2 hours on an as-needed basis. It is important not to exceed this dose, as taking too much baking soda can cause the side effects mentioned above.
While some studies have shown that baking soda can help improve kidney function in certain situations, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the claim that baking soda is good for kidneys in general. Taking baking soda in excess can lead to side effects like alkalosis, increased blood pressure, and stomach problems. If you are concerned about your kidney health, it is best to consult a healthcare professional rather than self-medicating with baking soda.
Most Common Questions and Their Answers
Is baking soda beneficial for patients with kidney disease?
While some studies have shown that taking baking soda can improve kidney function in certain situations, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the claim that baking soda is good for kidneys in general. It is best to consult a healthcare professional before taking baking soda if you are a patient with kidney disease.
Can baking soda help prevent kidney disease?
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that taking baking soda can prevent kidney disease. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and staying hydrated, is the best way to reduce the risk of kidney disease.
Is it safe to take baking soda for acid reflux?
Baking soda can be used as an antacid for occasional heartburn and acid reflux. However, it is important not to take too much baking soda, as it can cause side effects like alkalosis and stomach problems. It is best to consult a healthcare professional before self-medicating with baking soda for acid reflux.
What are the benefits of baking soda for the body?
Baking soda can be used for various purposes like cooking, cleaning, and beauty. It can also be used as an antacid and for occasional heartburn and acid reflux. However, taking baking soda in excess can lead to side effects, and it is important to follow the recommended daily dose.
- Bakris GL, Pitt B, Weir MR, et al. Effect of sodium bicarbonate on renal function and blood pressure in hypertensive patients: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(12):821-830. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-150-12-200906160-00003
- Di Iorio BR, Bellasi A, Raphael KL, et al. Treatment of metabolic acidosis with sodium bicarbonate delays progression of chronic kidney disease: The UBI Study. J Nephrol. 2018;31(5):729-741. doi:10.1007/s40620-018-0489-9
- NHS. Kidney disease. Reviewed November 2020. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/kidney-disease/
- University of Rochester Medical Center. Baking Soda: A Safe, Easy Treatment for Chronic Kidney Disease? Published June 21, 2018. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/5328/baking-soda-a-safe-easy-treatment-for-chronic-kidney-disease.aspx