From a Tiny Seed of Truth

Sep 12 2016 Published by under Acid-Base Disorders, Kidney Function

A colleague helpfully pointed me to a website that could put me out of business. The headline promised to repair your kidneys naturally with one ingredient.

I had to know more! Here's the magical advice:

Repairing the kidneys after damage just may lie in a common household item, which you probably already have in your kitchen cabinet. Yes, we are talking about baking soda. In this articled we are going to show you how to cleanse and improve the function of your kidneys with just ½ tsp. of baking soda,every day.

The site goes on to try and explain the magic of sodium bicarbonate, implicating a variety of body systems.

So what's the tiny seed of truth? Acid may be bad for our kidneys.

Being alive generates acid. Metabolizing the food we eat produces acid. Our kidneys produce bicarbonate to neutralize this acid, as well as excreting it in the urine. There is some evidence that higher loads of acid may promote kidney problems, including chronic kidney disease and stones. Eating a lower acid load, by minimizing meat and maximizing fresh fruits and vegetables, may slow the progression of kidney problems.

So could ingesting baking soda help? Yes, but probably not at the level recommended.

1 teaspoon of baking soda can neutralize ~72 mEq of acid. Net acid production for children is 1-2 mEq/kg body weight/day. So a lean, 70 kg adult likely produces at least 70 mEq daily. This dose of baking soda would neutralize about half of that.

The real payoff here is the advice at the bottom of the article, recommending less meat and more fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet seems to be good for everything!

Besides, baking soda is pretty nasty.

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