Baking powder due to its antacid properties has been used by generations as a renowned home remedy. Yet the new research has explored marvelous benefits of baking soda that can actually relieve you from a lot of things especially arthritis, an autoimmune disease. Baking soda is actually pretty good in treatment for arthritis .
Baking soda, chemically known as sodium bicarbonate, is mainly a kitchen ingredient usually used as a raising agent in baking. It is not only known for its healing properties for the people having arthritis but a home remedy for those having heartburn or acid reflux too. And it is also very effective in whitening the teeth too.
A new study whose findings are published in The Journal of Immunology, the researchers from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University explained that how drinking a solution of baking soda boosts our immune system against autoimmune or inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Paul O’Connor, a renal physiologist at Augusta University and his colleagues studied the effects that drinking a solution of baking soda makes on the body, first of rats and then of humans.
Their experiments exposed a complex behavior of human cells known as “mesothelial cells”, the salt provides a specific signal to these cells that the body is working totally fine and not under any kind of attack. Thus, the body averts the autoimmune system from getting active and the cells do not show any inflammatory response against these autoimmune diseases making it unnecessary.
How Baking Soda connects with Mesothelial Cells:
Mesothelial cells line the internal organs of the body and various cavities as well. They usually prevent different organs and tissues from sticking together, also they perform various functions as well in the body which are yet unknown.
A new and recent study published by O’Connor and his team has revealed some intriguing facts that a solution of baking soda makes on rats and human bodies as well. They noticed a great influence in the human mechanism.
Baking soda stimulates the stomach to produce more of gastric acid which helps to digest food, which means it is good for digestion. Moreover, they noticed that it initiates a behavior in the mesothelial cells of the body especially of “spleen” to “take it easy” and there is no threat outside. Thus, it helps the body to not initiate any response against it’ own self.
In O’Connor’s own words, mesothelial cells learn that “it’s most likely a hamburger, not a bacterial infection.” So, spleen, in turn, does not activate its army of ‘macrophages’ or ‘white blood cells’ which gears up to clean all the cellular debris as soon as they get any signal.
O’Connor further explains, “Certainly drinking bicarbonate affects the spleen and we think it’s through the mesothelial cells.”
Mesothelial cells have small protrusions known as “microvilli” with which they connect the organ they are lining. And they communicate with the organs through the neurotransmitter named acetylcholine.
Inflammatory to Anti-inflammatory
So, what happens in actual? The researchers noted that drinking a solution of baking soda prompts certain immune cells in the spleen. Which in actual raises the levels of anti-inflammatory cells (M2) while the number of pro-inflammatory macrophages (M1) fall.
The same kind of cells are also found in kidney and blood and so baking soda can also be used in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. The very idea gave a new flux to researchers to investigate for the mechanisms through which this substance can improve the renal functions too.
“We started thinking, how does baking soda slow progression of kidney disease?” say O’Connor.
At first, the scientists made an experiment on a rat model of kidney disease to see the effects of baking soda solution and then again on healthy rats took as the control sample.
Here, the researchers noticed a fall in M1 cells in the Kidney while those of M2 cells increased.
Both rats showed the same development with drinking the baking soda solution, the one with the disease and the other without the disease. And it was this shift in the cells that forced the researchers to say that baking soda could actually influence the inflammatory response at the very cellular level.
when a group of healthy medical students was asked to drink the solution of baking soda by researchers, it became apparent that the substance influenced the anti-inflammatory response in the kidneys as well as in the blood.
“The shift from inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory profile is happening everywhere. We saw it in the kidneys, we saw it in the spleen, now we see it in the peripheral blood.”
What is the safe way to treat inflammatory disease?
The most evident fact revealed by these researchers was that these were mesothelial cells that mediated the anti-inflammatory response in the body.
Another existing working theory says that the signals were transmitted to the relevant cells through the vagus nerve, along with the cranial nerve that communicates with the heart, lungs, and various organs in the abdomen.
But later on, experiments revealed that it was not correct. This appeared when they cut off this nerve but still, the mesothelial cells showed the same response. So, it became evident that mesothelial cells have a more direct communication with the organs they are lining than of thought previously.
O’Connor and his team became aware of this fact when they moved the spleen and noted that it did affect the mesothelial cells and thus lost the signal that influenced their inflammatory response.
“We think the cholinergic (acetylcholine) signals that we know mediate this anti-inflammatory response aren’t coming directly from the vagal nerve innervating the spleen, but from the mesothelial cells that form these connections to the spleen,” explains O’Connor.
The results thus became more evident with the studies that why baking soda help with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and further research in this domain can reveal more about its mechanisms and can help the scientists to optimize the results obtained with this compound.
O’Connor concluded that “its potentially a really safe way to treat inflammatory diseases.”
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