Its also good for cleaning your teeth and its an anti-fungal as well.Daily dose of baking soda could stop kidney patients needing dialysis
A daily dose of baking soda could put an end to dialysis for patients with failing kidneys
A daily dose of baking soda could transform the lives of patients with failing kidneys, scientists claim.
A British team says the kitchen product - also known as sodium bicarbonate - can dramatically slow the progress of chronic kidney disease.
The household staple, used for baking, cleaning, bee stings and acid indigestion, is so effective it could prevent patients from needing dialysis, the results show.
Study leader Magdi Yaqoob, Professor of Renal Medicine at the Royal London Hospital, said: 'It's amazing.
'This is the first randomised controlled study of its kind.'
'A simple remedy like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), when used appropriately, can be very effective.
Around three million people in the UK suffer from chronic kidney disease.
The condition ranges in severity from a mild degree of poor functioning to complete kidney failure.
Seriously affected patients may have to spend time each day on a dialysis machine which takes over the function of the kidneys.
An estimated 37,800 patients in the UK receive renal replacement therapy, which involves dialysis or a kidney transplant.
The cost of looking after kidney failure patients costs the NHS £30,000 a year - soaking up 3 per cent of the entire NHS budget.
Doctors have long wondered about the potential value of baking soda for kidney disease patients who commonly suffer from low bicarbonate levels, a condition called metabolic acidosis.
The pilot study conducted at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, was the first controlled test of the treatment in a clinical setting.
Researchers studied 134 patients with advanced chronic kidney disease and metabolic acidosis.
One group was randomly allocated a small daily dose of sodium bicarbonate in tablet form in addition to their usual care.
Over a period of one year, the kidney function of these patients declined about two thirds more slowly than that of individuals not given the tablets. In fact, their rate of decline was little different from what would be expected with normal ageing.
Rapid progression of kidney disease occurred in just 9 per cent of patients given baking soda compared with 45 per cent of the non-treated group.
Patients taking sodium bicarbonate tablets were also less likely to develop end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis.
The findings were published yesterday in the Journal of the American
Society of Nephrology.
Study leader Magdi Yaqoob, Professor of Renal Medicine at the Royal London Hospital, said: 'This study shows baking soda can be useful for people with kidney failure. That is, as long as the dose is regulated and under supervision.
'What happens is the inflammation of kidney is prevented by baking soda because a chemical reaction takes place limiting ammonia production in the kidney.
'This cheap and simple strategy also improves patients' nutritional well-being and has the potential to improve quality of life and of course a clinical outcome that can remove the need for dialysis.
'Baking soda is not classed as a drug so this study has never been tried before.'
The scientists pointed out that their research was limited by not having a 'placebo group' of patients receiving a 'dummy' treatment.
'Our results will need validation in a multi-centre study,' said Prof Yaqoob.
Dr Kevin Harris, senior medical adviser at Kidney Research UK, welcomed the study.
He said it should 'help to inform future guidelines and assist our research fellows who are currently working extremely hard to ultimately find a cure.'