Washington, July 17 (ANI): Apart from baking, cleaning, acid indigestion and sunburn, baking soda or sodium bicarbonate has a newfound use-it slows the decline of kidney function in some patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study.
The study, led by Dr. Magdi Yaqoob, at Royal London Hospital, included 134 patients with advanced CKD and low bicarbonate levels, also called metabolic acidosis.
"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," said Yaqoob.
One group in the study received a small daily dose of sodium bicarbonate in tablet form, in addition to their usual care.
For this group, the rate of decline in kidney function was greatly reduced-about two-thirds slower than in patients.
"In fact, in patients taking sodium bicarbonate, the rate of decline in kidney function was similar to the normal age-related decline," said Yaqoob.
The researchers observed that rapid progression of kidney disease occurred in just nine percent of patients taking sodium bicarbonate, compared to 45 percent of the other group.
Patients taking sodium bicarbonate were less likely to develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD) requiring dialysis and also had improvement in several measures of nutrition.
Although their sodium levels went up, this didn't lead to any problems with increased blood pressure.
Low bicarbonate levels are common in patients with CKD and can lead to a wide range of other problems.
"This is the first randomized controlled study of its kind. A simple remedy like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), when used appropriately, can be very effective," said Yaqoob.
The researchers noted some important limitations of their study-there was no placebo group and the researchers were aware of which patients were receiving sodium bicarbonate.
"Our results will need validation in a multicenter study," said Yaqoob.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). (ANI)