Kidneys are important organs of our body. The key function of our kidneys is to remove toxins and other waste products from the blood. Other functions include controlling blood pressure, maintaining water balance, and managing the body’s production of essential vitamins for strong bones and muscles.
Apart from these functions, kidneys also maintain ideal acid-base conditions within the body. Any damage to the normal functioning of kidneys can adversely affect the body.
For acute kidney diseases, there is a natural remedy that can help protect kidneys and make them stronger. This remedy involves the multipurpose product – baking soda. Let’s examine what causes kidneys to fail and how baking soda can help them.
Acid-Base Balance And Kidneys
Daily activities like walking, food digestion, and overall metabolism produce acid as the by-product. If your kidneys function normally, they make sure that the excess acid is neutralized and the body’s overall pH balance is restored.1 However, if there is any damage to the kidneys, a pH imbalance may be observed.
There are two main possibilities of a pH imbalance – blood pH can be too basic or it can be too acidic. The condition in which the blood pH is too basic is called metabolic alkalosis. When the body goes through this condition, the kidneys excrete bicarbonate to balance the acid and base in the body.
The condition in which the blood pH is too acidic is called metabolic acidosis. This is a condition in which there is a decrease in the bicarbonate concentration. In this condition, the kidneys will conserve basic substances like bicarbonate to maintain the blood pH.
The kidneys produce bicarbonate naturally to balance the excess acid produced during digestion. Having sugary foods and fatty, fried foods can cause strain to the kidneys that may result in the reduction of the natural production of bicarbonate.
In such conditions, studies have proved that baking soda can help repair kidneys.
Baking Soda And Kidney Repair
A research was carried out by colleagues from the Department of Renal Medicine and Transplantation in London.2 This study involved 134 patients with chronic kidney disease and low blood bicarbonate levels (metabolic acidosis). These patients were randomly selected and some were subjected to sodium bicarbonate supplements (600 mg) taken orally thrice a day and others were provided the usual care for two years.
Over the course of the two-year treatment, researchers evaluated the rate at which the kidneys removed creatinine – a waste product that healthy kidneys remove from the body. The researchers believed that the sodium bicarbonate supplementation could help increase the removal of creatinine in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease and that it would reduce the number of kidney patients whose disease would progress toward renal failure.
Results of the study depicted that those given sodium bicarbonate supplementation had higher levels of blood bicarbonate than those given the usual care. In addition, blood pressure levels in both groups were similar. Chronic kidney disease progressed rapidly in 9% of patients in the bicarbonate group compared to 45% in the usual care group. Therefore, researchers concluded that oral intake of sodium bicarbonate can significantly reduce the rate of decline in kidney function and can lower the chances of renal failure.
Another study involved 264 patients subjected to three different hydration methods one of which included hydration with sodium bicarbonate.3 Results of the study showed that those subjected to the sodium bicarbonate treatment were provided better protection from contrast-induced nephropathy than the other two treatments.
How To Use Baking Soda For Kidneys
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate should only be taken as prescribed by your health professional. Self-medication should be strictly avoided. Depending on the severity of your kidneys’ condition and your body’s requirement, the doctor will prescribe the dosage of sodium bicarbonate.
Generally, doctors may prescribe 3–8 sodium bicarbonate tablets per day. Taking these tablets may cause stomach gas and no other serious adverse effects.4
Some doctors may prescribe the intake of 1–2 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in water twice a day.5
Although studies have provided results about the use of baking soda for repairing kidneys, more research is required in this field to substantiate them further. Before trying any home remedy, it is always advised to consult your health professional first.
|↑1||Malnic, G. “Role of the kidney in controlling acid-base balance.” Child nephrology and urology 9, no. 5 (1987): 241-252.|
|↑2||Baking soda for kidney patients. National Health Service (NHS) Choices.|
|↑3||Ozcan, Emin E., Sema Guneri, Bahri Akdeniz, İlke Z. Akyıldız, Omer Senaslan, Nezihi Baris, Ozgur Aslan, and Ozer Badak. “Sodium bicarbonate, N-acetylcysteine, and saline for prevention of radiocontrast-induced nephropathy. A comparison of 3 regimens for protecting contrast-induced nephropathy in patients undergoing coronary procedures. A single-center prospective controlled trial.” American heart journal 154, no. 3 (2007): 539-544.|
|↑4||Walser, Mackenzie, and Betsy Thorpe. Coping with kidney disease: A 12-step treatment program to help you avoid dialysis. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.|
|↑5||Townsend, Raymond R., Cohen-Stein, Debbie L. 100 Questions and Answers About Kidney Disease and Hypertension. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc; 1 edition, 2008.|