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what are the health benefits of baking soda?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 17, 2010 at 8:51 PM

there seems to be tonnes of good stuff attached to baking soda: skin, hair, no poo. so what all do you use it for, other than for baking ofcourse?

2409652284b79b166d6ddad5ad6b0491

(0)

on October 17, 2013
at 11:26 AM

People don't drop dead instantly they decline in health for years and then illness and disease show up. I don't know why everyone wants to mess with their stomach acid, it's meant to be acidic to process the foods that enter it and make the nutrients available. If you alkalize your stomach your going to have a putrified mess and bacterial overgrowth. As we age we have less hydrochloric acid in our stomach and that can be a problem.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 20, 2012
at 11:45 AM

Yes, it's too easy to say "Grok didn't eat it so we shouldn't either". Natural is not necessarily optimal.

72a1e3ccf044c2fe1f994e10927e18a8

(183)

on August 02, 2010
at 09:17 AM

Just because it 'wasn't in evolution' doesn't mean it doesn't have the potential to be healthy. Just like if there was a fruit in nature that was spoilt by maggots, it would be 'natural' (maggots are natural, fruits are natural). A bit of a joke but just to say. hey, I wouldn't eat it. Anyway, if you are set on your decision just to eat things that people could've eaten before, baking soda(NaHCO3) is in animal blood (Na+ ion and bicarbonate ion both exist in all mammalian blood). So there's always that Decisions, decisions...

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7 Answers

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4
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 18, 2010
at 03:56 AM

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) reduces stomach acids when taken orally. Since reduced stomach acid can cause long term problems like increased bacteria survival, it's probably not something you should get in the habit of ingesting. Your stomach is acidic for good reasons. Ironically, the pancreas also secretes sodium bicarbonate naturally to help neutralize your stomach acid as it travels out of the stomach. The body does not want the acid to be so acidic later in the digestive process once it is past the stomach.

Personally, I have yet to see any decent evidence for the whole alkaline/acid food diet thing anyway. Everything that hits your stomach is going to be acidified by the acid in your stomach. Later, the body knows how to control the acid/alkaline levels in the body so that it is exactly the way it should be at all times, unless of course you get very sick and your body no longer is able to keep itself balanced efficiently. Also, it should be noted that exercising is the main cause of acidity in the blood, due to lactic acid, and yet exercise is good for you and the body knows exactly how to deal with good levels of exercise. My opinion is that acidity and alkalinity in food is not what you should be worried about. Just keep healthy and the body will easily keep itself in a preferred balance. Unless I see some kind of logical evidence to the contrary, I will keep that opinion. The only thing I do see about some of that acid/alkaline advice is that it advises to cut out a lot of foods that probably are not good for you for other reasons, so I would not be surprised if many people feel healthier on the diet. I jus tdon't believe it is the acid that is the problem with those foods.

As for sodium bicarbonate/baking soda, it is found naturally disolved in many mineral springs so grok probably would have encountered it and perhaps even drank it often in dilute form if he/she was near a spring. I guess theoretically, grok might have been able to find some baking soda type stuff as precipitated salts near natural water sources. It does taste salty and could have been a flavoring, but probably only for a few populations in some areas. I find baking soda has a nice fresh smell to it when disolved in water that does in fact remind me greatly of a mineral spring. I sometimes use it to rinse my hair as it seems to get some of the oil out without totally stripping all the natural oils.

It is also an integral component of the best deskunk concoction I know. Mix baking soda and hydrogen pyroxide together with just a dash of liquid detergent and coat the dog (or skunk sprayed object) with it (do not get in eyes as it will sting) and then rinse and repeat. After two washings your dog may still have a slight skunk smell but it will be mild and very tolerable.

This same concoction-baking soda, hydrogen pyroxide, and a dash of detergent- is also very effective for cleaning and destinking vibram 5 finger shoes. Just rub inside and then rinse with water and let dry and at least for me, the shoes smell fresh and clean afterwards and remain so for a while before I need to reapply. -Eva

1
72a1e3ccf044c2fe1f994e10927e18a8

(183)

on August 01, 2010
at 09:22 AM

I know that you didn't want direct dietary information, but just in case someone else searches this:

In regards to the acid/ alkaline load. I am doubtful that anything short of eating like 5 Tums (some people do this for the calcium... not a good strategy for the aforementioned reason of reducing your body's defense to bacteria) changes the net 'acid/alkaline load because your pancreas releases bicarb into the intestinal space to neutralize the HCL from the stomach, deactive enzymes, prevent your intestinal lumen from being burnt.Because the bicarb ion is part of a buffer system, the difference in pH change with the addition of some dietary bicarb is likely entirely negligible. But hey, thats just my opinion.

Also, bicarb when used in baking as a leavening agent the reaction is HCO3- (bicarb) + H+ (other source of acid in recipe) --> H20 + CO2 (gas which makes things rise)

Since its typically in baking and the reaction is irreversible CO2 is in gas form( leaves the reaction surface, lechatlier's principle) there is probably literally no bicarb left at the end of the baking process.

Baking powder on the other hand might be a bit nastier often having corn starch and other stuff as an additive which sticks around. But these are some minimal amounts. I work as a pharmacological chemist and I've seen even trace amounts of compounds work with synergestic activity. Which is to say there is a much larger difference between 0 and 0.000001%, but I still wouldn't worry about it. Hey there are like 12000 people around you scarfing down baked goods and Tums which tons of this stuff and they aren't dropping dead instantly. So live life, my friend.

2409652284b79b166d6ddad5ad6b0491

(0)

on October 17, 2013
at 11:26 AM

People don't drop dead instantly they decline in health for years and then illness and disease show up. I don't know why everyone wants to mess with their stomach acid, it's meant to be acidic to process the foods that enter it and make the nutrients available. If you alkalize your stomach your going to have a putrified mess and bacterial overgrowth. As we age we have less hydrochloric acid in our stomach and that can be a problem.

0
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on October 17, 2013
at 12:29 PM

I've read it has the benefit of increasing CO2 when used as a bath additive.

0
5aea8701f8ee392efb28ee748864b19b

on September 22, 2013
at 06:32 AM

Baking soda has a lot of benefits and I love it! I wouldn't recommend eating it, but I do believe its good for brushing your teeth and cleaning your tongue.

0
5616fc9858d4ed3b54492ddb96dfb6e4

on May 06, 2013
at 05:15 PM

i think that baking soda is disgusting and bad for your body. i have researched it for many weeks now and it is fucking gross. DONT EAT IT.

0
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on July 18, 2010
at 02:29 AM

Where in evolution did we eat baking soda or the substitute?

72a1e3ccf044c2fe1f994e10927e18a8

(183)

on August 02, 2010
at 09:17 AM

Just because it 'wasn't in evolution' doesn't mean it doesn't have the potential to be healthy. Just like if there was a fruit in nature that was spoilt by maggots, it would be 'natural' (maggots are natural, fruits are natural). A bit of a joke but just to say. hey, I wouldn't eat it. Anyway, if you are set on your decision just to eat things that people could've eaten before, baking soda(NaHCO3) is in animal blood (Na+ ion and bicarbonate ion both exist in all mammalian blood). So there's always that Decisions, decisions...

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 20, 2012
at 11:45 AM

Yes, it's too easy to say "Grok didn't eat it so we shouldn't either". Natural is not necessarily optimal.

0
48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 17, 2010
at 10:51 PM

I read in the Paleo for Athletes that it can be taken to help lower blood acidity or something to that effect during endurance events. I drank it once during a triathlon a long time ago (mixed with warm water for quicker absorption) midway through a race - though I can't say I noticed any difference from just drinking water other than the taste.

Actually, I was wondering if it might help when eating acid producing foods to get a better acid-base balance (e.g. have some when eating meats, or the occasional non-paleo food item when on travel)? Or maybe as a less inactive ingredient laden form of antacid?

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