Posted on May 15, 2018, 9 p.m.
Baking soda ingested in daily doses may help to decrease damaging inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence has been provided in a first of how this inexpensive over the counter antacid encourages the spleen to promote an anti-inflammatory environment which may be therapeutic in cases of inflammatory disease, as published in the Journal of Immunology.
It has been shown by scientist that when model animals of healthy humans drank baking soda solutions it becomes a trigger for the stomach to make more acid to digest the next meal, and for mesothelial cells on the spleen to tell the organ there is no need to mount protective immune responses.
Body cavities are lined with mesothelial cells, they also cover the exterior of organs to keep them from rubbing together. It was found about a decade ago that mesothelial cells provide another protection with their microvilli, that are like little fingers, which sense the environment and warn organs of invaders that an immune response is needed.
Drinking baking soda seems to tell the spleen to take it easy on the immune responses, this conversation occurs with help from the chemical messenger acetylcholine, which appears to promote landscape shifts against inflammation. In the spleen, blood, and kidneys the population of macrophage immune cells after drinking baking soda mixtures for two weeks was found to be reduced, shifting from primarily M1 to those that reduce inflammation called M2. Known for the ability to consume waste in the body such as debris from dead or injured cells macrophages are early arrivers to calls for immune responses.
One of the kidneys functions is balancing compounds like sodium, acid, and potassium. In case of kidney disease the kidney becomes impaired, blood can become too acidic as a result, consequences can include increased risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Daily baking soda doses have been shown in clinical trials to not only reduce acidity but also slows progression of kidney disease. Anti-inflammatory impacts begin to unfold when reduced numbers of M1s are replaced with M2s after consuming the baking soda compound.
Same responses were observed in models without actual kidney damage. Studies with healthy medical students who drank baking soda in a bottle of water and had similar responses. Shifts from inflammatory to anti-inflammatory everywhere from the kidneys, to the spleen, to peripheral blood. Increased conversion of proinflammatory cells to anti-inflammatory ones paired with production of more anti-inflammatory macrophages are likely to be the cause of shifting landscapes. Shifts were also seen in other immune cells like regulatory T cells that typically drive down immune responses and help keep the body tissues from being attacked by the immune responses. Anti-inflammatory shifts were sustained for four hours in humans and 3 days in the model animals.
Shifts tie back to mesothelial cell and conversations with the spleen that are assisted with acetylcholine, which are thought to mediate the anti-inflammatory response coming from the cells that make the connections to the spleen rather than the vagal nerve innervating the spleen. Mesothelial cells’ neuron like behavior was not impacted when the vagal nerve was cut. Fragile mesothelial connections were broken and the anti-inflammatory response was lost when the spleen was moved or removed.
Drinking baking soda is hoped to produce similar results for patients with autoimmune disease by the researchers. It is a really safe way to potentially treat disease, nothing is really being turned off, merely pushed aside with an anti-inflammatory stimulus. The spleen was also observed to increase in size after consuming baking soda which is thought to be results of the anti-inflammatory stimulus it produces.
Materials provided by Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Sarah C. Ray, Babak Baban, Matthew A. Tucker, Alec J. Seaton, Kyu Chul Chang, Elinor C. Mannon, Jingping Sun, Bansari Patel, Katie Wilson, Jacqueline B. Musall, Hiram Ocasio, Debra Irsik, Jessica A. Filosa, Jennifer C. Sullivan, Brendan Marshall, Ryan A. Harris, Paul M. O’Connor. Oral NaHCO3 Activates a Splenic Anti-Inflammatory Pathway: Evidence That Cholinergic Signals Are Transmitted via Mesothelial Cells. The Journal of Immunology, 2018; ji1701605 DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1701605