The Connection Between Baking Soda and Inflammation

Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles | August 7, 2018

Baking soda is a household staple. We’ve all used it to make fluffy baked goods, clean our bathtubs, brighten our laundry, whiten our teeth and raise pH in our backyard pools. Baking soda is incredibly useful, but can it help improve our health? According to a new study, there’s a possibility!

A study conducted at the Medical College of Georgia gave researchers a first look at the possible connection between inflammation and baking soda. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health and later published in the Journal of Immunology.

In this study, researchers gave both rats and, subsequently, healthy medical students a beverage combining water and the common household item – baking soda. Participants in this study consumed the baking soda and water beverage for two weeks.

After two weeks, researchers found that consuming the baking soda caused the stomach to make more acid to digest the next meal while also sending a message to the spleen that “everything is okay” and that no immune response is necessary. They concluded that the mesothelial cells were responsible for sending this message. They are small cells that cover the spleen and all other organs, serving not only as protection but also immunity support.

In the spleen, as well as in the blood and kidneys, researchers also found that the population of immune cells, called macrophages, changed after two weeks of consuming the baking soda beverage. The macrophages changed from M1, which promotes inflammation, to M2, which decreases inflammation. This anti-inflammatory response lasted for four hours in the humans and three days in the rats.

Researchers are convinced and very hopeful that this study will provide a better understanding of how to safely and inexpensively treat inflammatory diseases, from kidney disease to rheumatoid arthritis, to a host of other autoimmune diseases.

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Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles

Jenn Giles, R.D., C.S.S.D. is all about health and wellness. She has over 15 years’ experience, including a dual master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. She is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She supplements all of this with her spin instructor certification and USATriathlon Level I Coach Certification.

Jennifer is passionate about (actually, obsessed with) the sport of triathlon. She has been personally participating in triathlons since 2000 and running road races since 1992. She is a two-time Ironman finisher and has completed countless numerous marathons. She has been a member of Power Bar Team Elite since 2006 and competed as a member of the 2006 Aquaphor/ Sponsored Athlete Team. She was ranked as USAT All American Honorable mention in 2006 and 2011. Jennifer does all of this along side of her husband, Patrick, who is an equally accomplished triathlete and runner. They try as hard as they can to do all of their training and racing together.

She will tell you, however, that her most important, most rewarding and most challenging job is as a mother of four. She knows first hand the challenges of maintaining optimal fitness, overall good health and achieving goals while raising a family - of which good nutrition is the cornerstone.

Most importantly, she knows how to motivate, inspire and challenge athletes based on their own abilities, strengths and everyday lifestyles. She believes there is an athlete in everyone - no matter what their abilities are – and if those abilities are manifold, then there is an even better athlete in there!

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