Baking Soda Could Save Kidneys
Researchers from Royal London Hospital say baking soda could be an inexpensive treatment that could slow kidney function decline in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The treatment was also found to improve appetite, in a small study. Baking soda to treat kidney disease, “when used appropriately, can be very effective”, say the researchers.
The study, led by Magdi Yaqoob, MD (Royal London Hospital) is the first of its kind. Baking soda, taken daily to prevent metabolic acidosis in patients with kidney disease could prove to be a blockbuster is larger studies pan out. Metabolic acidosis occurs when bicarbonate levels dip too low, as is the case when the kidneys fail.
"This cheap and simple strategy also improves patients' nutritional status, and has the potential of translating into significant economic, quality of life, and clinical outcome benefits”, suggests Yaqoob. The study of 134 patients showed that baking soda slowed kidney decline by two-thirds in patients given the remedy. Another benefits found by the researchers was improved appetite.
The research group studied the effects of the inexpensive medical treatment in 134 patients, divided into two groups. All were diagnosed with CKD. Patients given one tablet of baking soda to normalize their bicarbonate levels showed slower decline in kidney function compared to the patients who only received usual care.
The study did not have a placebo group for comparison, meaning multicenter studies will have to be performed to validate the current findings.
Baking soda not only slowed the rate of kidney decline by two-thirds, but it delayed the need for dialysis and improved nutritional status of the patients. Only nine percent of patients in the baking soda group experienced rapid progression of kidney disease, compared to forty five percent of the group who did not receive the treatment.