Autoimmune diseases are the result of the body’s immune system attacking itself by mistake. This abnormal immune response causes over 80 different types of autoimmune diseases and can affect any part of the body. It is often characterized by inflammation in one or multiple areas.
Doctors and researchers don’t know the cause of many autoimmune diseases. For some, they have identified genetic risk factors. Other autoimmune disease cases are triggered by infections or environmental factors. Common autoimmune diseases include multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes, lupus, and Crohn’s disease.
About 50 million Americans are affected by an autoimmune disease. That’s about 20 percent of the population, or one in every five people.
A study published in the Journal of Immunology looked at the benefits of ingesting baking soda as a way to combat autoimmune diseases. Baking soda is an antacid. Antacids work by neutralizing the acid in your stomach, which results in heartburn relief and reduced inflammation.
Autoimmune diseases are characterized by inflammation in one or multiple parts of the body. Researchers now have evidence that baking soda can encourage the spleen to promote an anti-inflammatory event. In the face of inflammatory diseases, these effects can be therapeutic.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, works in multiple ways. When rats or healthy people drink a solution containing baking soda, it triggers the body to produce more acid to digest the next meal.
Baking soda also works by triggering mesothelial cells that sit on top of the spleen. Mesothelial cells line the body’s serious cavities and internal organs. The purpose of this layer, termed the mesothelium, is to provide a slippery, protective boundary. Mesothelial cells also protect organs by warning them if there is an invader, which triggers an immune response.
The spleen is part of the immune system, and it works to filter the blood. Baking soda sends a message to the mesothelium on the spleen that there is no invader, which passes on the message to the spleen to not over-react. Inflammatory diseases are caused by an abnormal immune system response; baking soda tempers this immune system response.
Some macrophages, a type of white blood cell, are stored in the spleen. There are different types of macrophages. Type M1 promotes inflammation, and type M2 reduces inflammation. In this study, people that drank water with baking soda for two weeks had a reduction in the amount of M1 macrophages and an increase in the number of M2 macrophages. This was coupled with the production of more M2 macrophages, which enhanced the anti-inflammatory response.
Scientists are working to conduct further tests on baking soda. It is potentially a very safe way to treat inflammatory diseases. Baking soda is easily accessible and cost-effective, too.
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