A quickie on the proper use of Baking Soda as a means
to helping the body maintain safe level of alkalinity... would half a
teaspoon in half glass of water be safe to take, and if so, would it help
to keep the body in a balanced acid/alkaline state?
How many times a week
should this be taken?
I do not think taking baking soda would have any effect on the body pH. It
would have to pass the stomach first, where an acid pH (as low as 2) is
normal and healthy. Your 'wunderdrank' would quickly be neurtralized.
Before discussing the needs of controling it, let us look at the role of
pH in our body first. There are 3 important effects as far as I know. One
is already mentioned: acidity of the stomach. That is needed to kill
bacteria and other germs that are inevitably eaten, and it is an important
protection against infectious diseases. A second important effect is
maintenance of physiological pH in all our body cells. That requires
energy (active proton transport) and the fact that all our body cells
'waste' energy keeping their pH in balance illustrates the importance of
it. In fact, distortion of the pH in a cell will quickly result in death
of that cell. A third important effect of pH is that of blood. Since
carbon dioxide will influence the pH when it goes into solution, the level
of carbon dioxide over oxygen in our blood is carefully balanced in our
lungs. People who suffocate die not because they lack oxygen, but because
they have too much carbon dioxide in their blood, and the blood pH reaches
So, in conclusion, pH is of crucial importance to our body. Should we
worry about it, then?
Not at all, because we can not control it. Biology has worked out an
infinitive sensitive and effective way to do control the pH, and we can't
overrule it even if we tried. The only exception is the pH in the stomach,
which can be turned to less acidic (taking anti-acids) during stomach
complaints. Even so, the 'signal' sent by such complaints should not be
overlooked: when a 'healthy' stomach pH is suddenly causing trouble one
should look for the underlying reason and not just treat the symptoms.
Hope to have given you some insight.
Dr. Trudy Wassenaar
In the absence of some medical condition such as gasteroesophogeal reflux
disorder(GERD), or overeating at a big meal, I don't think that the body
needs any help maintaining the proper pH in the various parts the
digestive system. The pH of the esophagus is greater than about 4.4; the
stomach is about 2-4; the small intestine around 4 again. The body is self
regulating to maintain these ranges and really does not need any
assistance in the absence of some medical condition.
Chronic use of sodium bicarbonate could raise the Na+ ion concentration in
the body, which in some people raises their blood pressure, and so is not
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Update: June 2012