Baking soda – sodium bicarbonate. You die without it. No, really. Your body makes it. It prevents and cures a long list of diseases. It also boosts athletic performance. However, most folks do not make enough to counteract poor eating and other lifestyle choices. If any of that piques your interest, then read on to find out why you should supplement with it every day.
Power of Baking Soda
Sodium bicarbonate cures a vast range of sicknesses, including cancer, flu, diabetes, kidney disease, and even the common cold. Yes, cures.
It is almost scary to see the word ‘cure’ applied to this list, isn’t it?
The scary part should be that the FDA doesn’t allow the word ‘cure’ to be applied to anything without its approval.
Guess what? Sodium bicarbonate is one many cures that are not approved by the FDA. Indeed, it will never be approved, since drug companies can’t profit from it. (Keep in mind that the FDA is the enforcement arm of the pharmaceutical industry.) Enough said about that. Now let’s dig into some well-known health realities about baking soda.
A Little Background…
This information gives you a better idea of where sodium bicarbonate impacts your health in the grand scheme of things.
Use in Modern Medicine
In spite its unapproved status, sodium bicarbonate does have a crucial role in certain medical emergencies. Cardiac arrest, for example, has an acidifying effect on the body’s pH balance. Healthy pH should be 7.35 to 7.45. Less than 7.35 is a state of acidosis, which increases the risk of arrhythmias, drops in blood pressure, and reduction in blood flow through the liver. Severe acidosis (pH 7.2) is catastrophic and leads to a quick death – unless sodium bicarbonate can be administered immediately.
Bicarbonate is a buffer that quickly reverses acute acidosis.
EMTs have known about and used sodium bicarbonate for decades. Unfortunately, old-time knowledge by veteran EMTs is now undermined by the ever changing and confusing guidelines from the American Heart Association. You can see some of the details on this topic here in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.
If you are ever unfortunate enough to need the services of EMTs or a hospital emergency room for a heart attack, I sincerely hope you get a sodium bicarbonate IV as quickly as possible. Your life and subsequent recovery could depend on it.
Healthy pH Balance
According to Wikipedia: Two organ systems, the kidneys and lungs, maintain acid-base homeostasis, which is the maintenance of pH around a relatively stable value. The lungs contribute to acid-base homeostasis by regulating carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration. The kidneys have two very important roles in maintaining the acid-base balance: to reabsorb and regenerate bicarbonate from urine, and to excrete hydrogen ions and fixed acids (anions of acids) into urine.
Note the part that says “…regenerate bicarbonate.” What is not obvious is that the amount of bicarbonate needed to maintain healthy pH is not enough in the face of constant acidification by diet and lifestyle. This situation creates chronic acidosis, which means that pH is chronically too low. This is when all manner of diseases ensue.
Also note the role of the lungs in regulating carbon dioxide concentration. It means that pH balance changes with every breath.
What is NOT obvious in these mainstream explanations is the role of pH in oxygenation.
This is super-critical:
As pH goes up (more alkaline), the solubility of oxygen increases. In other words, you can better meet the needs for metabolic oxygen in a more alkaline state. On the flip side, acidosis drives hypoxia … when you literally have too little oxygen for healthy metabolism.
Without getting too nerdy (although I would dearly love to), I’ll just say that acidosis and hypoxia lower your redox potential, which is unhealthy. Indeed, redox potential (also called ‘oxidation-reduction potential’, ORP) is the key to everything healthwise.
You can take a look at the very detailed explanation of redox potential in health, including symptoms when it is too low and a number of strategies to raise it, at Dr. Jack Kruse’s blog here: The Redox Rx: How to Improve Your Redox Potential. It will take you some time to get through it, although the information is very valuable.
Meanwhile, let’s get back to …
Reversing Chronic Acidosis
The consequences of acute acidosis, such as during cardiac arrest, are obvious. What is not so clear to most folks, including the vast majority of medical doctors, is the role of chronic acidosis in human disease. Here is what we know:
Chronic acidosis is the basis for all modern diseases.
Doesn’t THAT get your attention?
The role of chronic acidosis in modern disease has become such a hot topic that lots of folks have created ways to reverse it. The list of strategies, some of which actually work, includes:
- Alkaline water
- Alkalizing/ionizing water machines
- Ionized water
- Hydride ions (aka, ‘Microhydrin’)
- Alkalizing diets
- Sodium bicarbonate
(Not a comprehensive list.)
Certain of these are super expensive (machines – e.g., get a load of Kangan water ionizers). The cheapest, easiest, and simplest strategy is just taking sodium bicarbonate.
By the way, no matter how you alkalize, your body’s pH will not go too high. Kidneys and lungs will make sure of that.
The most important aspects of alkalizing by taking sodium bicarbonate are its health benefits. The results are phenomenal.
The diseases that are curable by sodium bicarbonate make for a long list. Let’s take a look at some examples that give you a good idea of how powerful this simple kitchen substance can be.
Since Arm & Hammer Soda Company is the most well-known manufacturer of baking soda, let’s take a look at what they said about its use against flu nearly a century ago (i.e., pre-FDA meddling):
From a letter by Dr. Volney S. Cheney.
In 1918 and 1919 while fighting the ‘Flu’ with the U. S. Public Health Service it was brought to my attention that rarely any one who had been thoroughly alkalinized with bicarbonate of soda contracted the disease, and those who did contract it, if alkalinized early, would invariably have mild attacks. I have since that time treated all cases of ‘Cold,’ Influenza and LaGripe by first giving generous doses of Bicarbonate of Soda, and in many, many instances within 36 hours the symptoms would have entirely abated. Further, within my own household, before Woman’s Clubs and Parent-Teachers’ Associations, I have advocated the use of Bicarbonate of Soda as a preventive for “Colds,” with the result that now many reports are coming in stating that those who took “Soda” were not affected, while nearly every one around them had the “Flu.”
Recommended dosages from the Arm & Hammer Company for colds and influenza back in 1925 were:
- During the first day take six doses of half teaspoonful of Arm & Hammer Bicarbonate of Soda in glass of cool water, at about two hour intervals.
- During the second day take four doses of half teaspoonful of Arm & Hammer Bicarbonate of Soda in glass of cool water, at the same intervals.
- During the third day take two doses of half teaspoonful of Arm & Hammer Bicarbonate of Soda in glass of cool water morning and evening, and thereafter half teaspoonful in glass of cool water each morning until cold is cured.
We are not talking about any old flu outbreak here, either. What Dr. Cheney referred to, as stated by Stanford University (The Influenza Pandemic of 1918), was:
The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as “Spanish Flu” or “La Grippe” the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster.
Gee, do you think that modern flu would stand up to sodium bicarbonate?
Here is a seemingly tangential thought. Since the Germ Theory of Disease is flawed, our best bet against infection is a natural defense headed by elevated pH and oxygen levels. The simplest strategy to stay that way is by taking sodium bicarbonate daily.
This line of thinking should also get folks to reconsider how to avoid the flu every year. It is certainly NOT the crapshoot that mainstream medicine comes up with for an annual flu vaccine (less than 50 percent effective last year).
Sodium bicarbonate is not only valuable for preventing and treating viral infections. It is also well-known for curing infections by fungi (e.g., vaginitis, yeast overgrowth) and bacteria (e.g., urinary tract infections). Indeed, an alkaline defense from sodium bicarbonate is the simplest and often most effective approach for building resistance to infections in general.
Take this thinking one step further, as Dr. Mark Sircus, the reigning U.S. expert on medical bicarbonate, has done here: Treating Ebola and other Infectious Diseases with Natural Allopathic Medicine. This comment by him is a real thought-provoker:
One plane load of sodium bicarbonate will probably do more for the local populations than all the doctors sweating profusely in all their protective suits.
Great idea, I think.
Low-functioning or non-functioning kidneys do not make enough bicarbonate to cancel out chronic acidosis. Dialysis is the endline for many people.
However, supplementary bicarbonate comes to the rescue once again. Dr. Sircus has also commented on this cure, here: Healing the Kidneys with Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda).
If your kidneys are in trouble, sodium bicarbonate can prevent you from ever needing kidney dialysis. Taking daily sodium bicarbonate has even enabled some folks to get off the use of kidney machines entirely.
Now for the Biggie: Cancer
The acidified and hypoxic environment of cancerous tumors has been known for many decades. The role of acidity in cancer, what causes it, and how to reverse it with bicarbonate are the themes of many articles on the Internet. One such article that seems to be fairly lucid is at CancerActive.com here: Acid Bodies and Cancer.
This is just a start on the information out there about bicarbonate vs. cancer. More details are, of course, available in books for purchase online. One such book, which I just bought myself, is by Dr. Sircus: Sodium Bicarbonate – Second Edition E-Book: Rich Man’s Poor Man’s Cancer Treatment (not an affiliate link). It looks to be pretty thorough, although I will have to reserve additional comments about it until after I look it over.
Many, many books are available about natural cancer treatments. They cover a gazillion treatments. The simplest one, again, is daily consumption of sodium bicarbonate.
SIDENOTE: pH therapy is at the heart of the best natural cures for cancer. Indeed, although sodium bicarbonate is very powerful, an even more powerful pH therapy, which has been documented for more than three decades, is the the cesium chloride protocol. This protocol would be my first choice should I ever develop any kind of internal malignant growth. The best summary of this protocol online is at CancerTutor.com: pH Therapy (a.k.a. Cesium Chloride Protocol).
pH therapies, either by sodium bicarbonate or cesium chloride, are examples of the many, many natural approaches to treating cancer that are light years ahead of the modern medical approaches of burn, butcher, and poison.
Since redox potential is such a crucial component of health, then raising pH and oxygenation are fundamental for prevention and recovery of all health challenges. In answer to the question, ‘What else?’, we could say ‘Everything else’.
You simply MUST have your electrons in place (i.e., high redox potential) to be healthy, period.
I’ll refer you to just one more good book on the topic since, if anything, the title tells you what you need to know: Alkalize or Die by Dr. Theodore A. Baroody. That linked page gives you even more of a glimpse into the topic. The book is one of the better ones that I’ve found on alkalizing, although it does not extol the virtues of sodium bicarbonate as much as it could.
Actually, there is no one size fits all recommendation. A common dosage is 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon in 8 oz of cold water, 2-3 times a day. Treatment of clinical problems (cancer, kidney disease, etc.) demands different dosages.
Worry About Aluminum
This is a moot point. Baking soda contains no aluminum. It never did. Folks confuse it with baking powder, which can contain aluminum.
Baking soda is just sodium bicarbonate, nothing else.
pH and Athletic Performance
Wouldn’t you know it … world class athletes looking for an edge have discovered bicarbonate. High-intensity (mostly anaerobic) exercise creates an excess of lactic acid in the muscles. In other words, muscle acidosis. Sodium bicarbonate is one of the neutralizing agents that competitors in these kinds of events use for reversing acidification by lactic acid.
A fuller explanation, with full scientific references, is offered by SportSci.org here: Neutralize Acid to Enhance Performance.
The meat of the review is summarized in this quote:
Sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate seem to be effective in improving short-term, high intensity performance. There are sufficient data to suggest that buffering agents can improve performances in such events as the 400-m sprint, 1-km cycling time trial, and Olympic rowing. There are not enough data to make recommendations with regard to longer events.
Not to be outdone, the folks at BodyBuilding.com have also weighed in on the use of baking soda. Example articles for your perusal are: All About Baking Soda and Sodium Bicarbonate: Will It Reduce Muscle Soreness?
Yes, sodium bicarbonate can be of benefit for some high-intensity workouts and competitions. Feel free to experiment with it. So far the IOC and the USOC have not banned it. They probably never will.
Supercharging Sodium Bicarbonate
The whole concept around redox potential comes down to electrons. More electrons means more reducing (antioxidant) power. This is a good thing.
Now, without getting into the biophysics of your bioelectrical system (unless someone asks … anyone? anyone?) just realize that you can add electrons to your body in several different ways. Recently I pointed out one way in this article: Best Antioxidant on Earth Costs Nothing. Many, many supplements will also fit the bill, with varying levels of effectiveness.
However, to keep this simple I’ll just say that the BEST overall addition of reducing power to accompany sodium bicarbonate is plain old vitamin C. Lots and lots of vitamin C.
In modern times the most well-known proponent for large doses of vitamin C was Dr. Linus Pauling (see Vitamin C at the Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University). These days it is Capt. T.C. Randall (e.g., see Cutting Through The Vitamin C(onfusion).
Capt. Randall explains the value of balancing vitamin C with sodium bicarbonate (see his recipes in that article). Combining the two truly supercharges your body’s redox potential, since vitamin C is a very powerful electron donor (i.e., reducing agent/antioxidant).
He also has a great book … oh, I promised not to link any more books, didn’t I. Well, you can find it if you are really curious.
Bicarbonate, taken with or without vitamin C, does not work in a mineral vacuum. In fact, upping your pH and oxygenation depends a great deal on a handful of minerals that most folks are deficient in: iodine, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, manganese, copper. NOT calcium. So far I have only written about iodine (Most Important Mineral For Optimal Health). Next on the list will be magnesium.
In fact, I’ve got a simple recipe for making magnesium bicarbonate in your own refrigerator, for those of you who might be concerned about the sodium in baking soda. (It really shouldn’t be a concern, though.) I will put that recipe into an upcoming post on magnesium. If anyone wants it sooner, just ask in the comments section of this article.
All the best in natural health,
Statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information here is not is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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kirk bianchi says
recipe for magnesium bicarbonate.. send it!
how do you intake these daily? : iodine, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, manganese, copper.
Dr. Dennis Clark says
I’m glad you asked. I found this recipe on the Afibbers.org site. Here is a link to the pdf file: http://www.afibbers.org/Wallerwater.pdf
The recipe is super simple. BTW, I know that I owe you an explanation for the mammalian dive reflex. I haven’t forgotten about it, just let is slip for a while. Stay tuned!
Dr. Dennis Clark says
Oh, about the minerals that I take … these are the ones from our site that you asked about:
Iodine: IodoRx (2 tablets a day)
Magnesium: Magnesium w/SRT (6 a day, spread out 2 at a time over the day)
Potassium: gluconate from Physiologics (3 a day, spread out over the day)
Zinc: Zinc 30 (picolinate) (one a day)
Selenium: Selenomethionine (one a day)
Manganese and copper – no separate mineral products, since my multivitamin (Nutrient 950 w/o iron) provides plenty; plus more of the above minerals and more
Reminder, if you order from that site use the ID code ‘dnc42’.
rita Driscoll says
can you send me the recipe for magnesium bicarbonate
Thanks a bunch!
Dr. Dennis Clark says
Sure, Rita…here is the pdf file with a full explanation:
All the best,
Dan Douglas says
Do you think that this would help with night time leg cramping?
Dr. Dennis Clark says
Hi, Dan…Great question, especially since I had been dealing with the same issue. Taking sodium bicarbonate provides sodium, which should be balanced with potassium and magnesium for regulating muscle contractions. The key is ‘balance’. The bicarb itself didn’t give me immediate relief. What worked, though, is salt. Whole, unprocessed salt (e.g., sea salt). I now take a tsp of Redmond’s Real Salt every day. It’s about 5 grams of salt. I no longer get nighttime/early morning leg cramps. The power of salt against all kinds of maladies is amazing. You can get all the details in a book I just read, The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong–and How Eating More Might Save Your Life, by Dr. James DiNicolantionio. Two comments for you: 1) don’t get Himalayan Pink Salt (it’s basically Pakistani roadside dirt); and, 2) be sure to get some extra iodine, zinc, selenium, and magnesium with your salt. Good sleeping!