Baking soda is used as a home remedy for generations due to its antacid properties. Nevertheless, its benefits are even deeper, and new research can explain why it is an effective aid in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis.

Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, is a kitchen ingredient, which is commonly used as a means for raising cakes.

A half teaspoon of baking soda is often taken to relieve heartburn or acid reflux, and this substance is also used to teeth whitening.

In a new study, published in the Journal of Immunology, researchers from the College of Medicine in Georgia at the University of August reveal that the exact drink of sodium bicarbonate may stimulate the immune system against inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Paul O’Connor, a physiologist at the University of Augusta, and colleagues tested the effects that would have the drinking baking soda, first to the rat, then to humans.

Their experiments speak of a complex story about how this ingredient gives a signal to a special type of cell called “mesothelial cells,” telling them that the body is good and not under attack, which makes the aggressive immune system unnecessary.

Baking Soda and mesothelial cells

Mesothelioma cells connect internal organs, as well as many different cavities in the body. Not only do they prevent gluing of organs and other internal tissues, but also serve other functions, which are not fully studied.
In a new study, O’Connor and the team tested the effect that the baking soda solution would first have rats, and then people, and noticed that this had an effect on the intriguing mechanism.

Baking soda “stimulates” the stomach to produce more stomach acid, which allows it to digest food faster and easier. But, in addition, it also seems that mesothelial cells inherit the spleen, “easier” because there is no threat.

“Certainly drinking bicarbonate affects the spleen and we think it’s through mesothelioma cells,” explains O’Connor.

Mesoteric cells communicate with organs used in small projections called microvilli, and the medium through which they send their message is the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

“From inflammable to antiinflammatory”

What is actually happening? The authors of the study noticed that those who drank a baking soda solution experienced a change in the types of immune cells activated in the spleen. In fact, pro-inflammatory macrophages (M1) have decreased, while levels of anti-inflammatory cells (M2) have increased.

The same types of cells are also found in the blood and kidneys, and the baking soda is used in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. This idea has prompted the authors of a new study to explore the mechanisms through which this substance can help improve kidney function.
“We started to think, how does baking soda slow down the progression of kidney disease?” Says O’Connor.

Initially, the researchers analyzed the effects of sodium bicarbonate solution on the rat with kidney desease, and then again to healthy rats, which acted as a control sample.

Then the researchers noticed that levels of M1 cells in the kidneys fell, while the M2 cells increased.

Both rats with kidney disease and healthy rats showed the same development. And exactly this change has led to the fact that baking soda may have an effect on the inflammatory response at the cellular level.

When researchers recruited healthy medical students and asked them to drink a baking soda solution, it became clear that the anti-inflammatory effect of this substance occurs both in the spleen and in the blood.

“The transition from the inflammatory to the antiinflammatory profile is going on everywhere. We saw him in the kidneys, we saw him in the spleen, now we see him in the peripheral blood. “

Safe Way to Treat Inflammatory Diseases’?

One of the main discoveries of the author was the fact that mesothelioma cells mediated anti-inflammatory signals.

The existing work theory was to transmit the signals to the relevant cells through the nervous vagus, a long cranial nerve that communicates with the heart, lungs and various organs in the abdomen.

But experiments found that this idea was incorrect. When scientists tried to cut off this nerve, this did not affect the behavior of mesothelioma cells. Instead, it became apparent that these cells had more direct communication with the organs they had set than previously thought.

O’Connor and his team became aware of it when they noticed that the spleen movement affected the mesothelium cells that coated it, and signals modulating the inflammatory response were lost.

“We think that the cholinergic (acetylcholine) signals we know mediate in this anti-inflammatory response do not come directly from the vagal nerve that injects the spleen, but from the mesothelium cells that form these connections with the spleen,” explains O’Connor.

The results are starting to give an answer to the question of why bicarbonate may help with autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, and further research on these mechanisms can help optimize the results obtained through this common compound.

“This is a potentially really safe way to treat inflammatory diseases,” concludes O’Connor.

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