Previously, baking soda was mentioned in a post regarding rediscovery of common cures and its use for oral hygiene. Baking soda has many uses and the list keeps growing. It is used to relieve some kinds of insect bites and stings, applied topically as a paste. It has been found to treat allergic reaction to plants such as poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac to relieve itching. Also lessening the pain from injections and to help in removing splinters from the skin. However, here Maria Cohut, MedicalNewsToday.com, reflects on the benefits of baking soda and new research:
“Baking soda has been used as a home remedy for generations due to its antacid properties. Yet its benefits run even deeper, and new research may explain why it is an effective aid in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis.
Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, is a kitchen staple commonly used as a raising agent for cakes.
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That being said, it has also made a name for itself as a home remedy for various conditions. Half a teaspoon of baking soda is often taken to ease heartburn or acid reflux, for example, and this substance is also used to whiten teeth.
In a new study, whose findings are now published in The Journal of Immunology, researchers from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University reveal exactly how drinking a solution of baking soda could prime the immune system against inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Paul O'Connor, a renal physiologist at Augusta University, and colleagues tested the effects that drinking a baking soda solution would have, first on rats, and then on humans.
Their experiments tell a complex story about how this salt provides a signal to a special kind of cell called “mesothelial cells,” telling them that the body is fine and not under attack, rendering an aggressive immune system unnecessary. Thus, harmful autoimmune responses are averted.
Baking soda and mesothelial cells
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Mesothelial cells line the internal organs as well as many different cavities in the body. Not only do they prevent organs and other internal tissue from sticking together, they also serve other functions, not all of which have been studied in detail.
In the new study, O'Connor and team tested the effect that a baking soda solution would have first on rats, and then on healthy human participants, and they noted that it influenced an intriguing mechanism.
Baking soda “prompts” the stomach to produce more gastric acid, which allows it to digest food quicker and easier. But, in addition to this, it also seems to tell the mesothelial cells that line the spleen to “take it easy,” because there is no threat.
Basically, in O'Connor words, mesothelial cells learn that “[i]t's most likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection.” So they, in turn, do not activate the spleen's “army” of macrophages, or white blood cells tasked with clearing up potentially harmful cellular detritus.
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“Certainly drinking bicarbonate affects the spleen and we think it's through the mesothelial cells,” O'Connor explains.
Mesothelial cells communicate with the organs they line using small projections called microvilli, and the medium through which they send their message is the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.”
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