Worried About Body-Damaging Acidity in Your Diet? Here’s a Simple Fix…

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Articles, Nutrition

While something called “metabolic acidosis” is certainly a serious issue for people with various diseases, you should be aware of the fact that keeping the pH and the acid of your body in proper balance is crucial for performance, for recovery, for weight loss and for general health. This is why consuming a diet with lots of “alkalinic” foods is important, and limiting high acid foods like sugar and alcohol is also important.

A crucial component of acid-alkaline balance is addressed in this guest post by Dr. Mark Sircus, who previously appeared on a BenGreenfieldFitness.com podcast, which you can listen to here. Dr. Sircus excels at using natural products for a wide range of healing methods, is founder of the International Medical Veritas Association, and is someone who most pharmaceutical companies probably wish did not exist, because he understands and uses inexpensive alternatives to pharmaceutical medications like those you are about to read.

At the end of this post are some very practical uses and home remedies which utilize the natural compound you're going to learn about!

“Though I have been using Bob’s Red Mill sodium bicarbonate I have recently received two boxes of Arm and Hammers and I sat for quite a while admiring their boxes and all the information on them.

I have been in touch directly with the company and have been reassured of its absolute purity meaning there is no aluminum in it. Arm and Hammers is as aluminum free as Bob’s Red Mill, which advertizes itself specifically to be aluminum free, and in the process has convinced most people I know that Arm and Hammers has aluminum when it does not.

The proper mixing of bicarbonate concentrate is an issue and certainly this is a major safety concern at every dialysis facility in the world, which use sodium bicarbonate every day.

Oral sodium bicarbonate is used to treat metabolic acidosis in patients with renal tubular acidosis. Since infants and young children are unable to swallow tablets, those affected must ingest sodium bicarbonate in a powder or liquid form. Pharmacy-weighed sodium bicarbonate is expensive and inconvenient to obtain; some pharmacists are reluctant to provide it.

We determined that the sodium bicarbonate contained in 8-oz boxes of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda® was sufficiently constant in weight that dissolved in water to a given volume, it yielded a quantitatively acceptable therapeutic solution of sodium bicarbonate at a cost of approximately 3 percent of that of pharmacy- weighed sodium bicarbonate. Grocery store baking soda can be a safe, economical, and convenient source of sodium bicarbonate for the treatment of chronic metabolic acidosis in infants and young children.[1]

The Church & Dwight name may not be familiar to many people, but their ARM & HAMMER® brand is recognized and respected by just about everyone. That’s because Church & Dwight has been producing ARM & HAMMER brand products for almost 160 years, ever since Austin Church, a physician, and John Dwight, his brother-in-law, began selling their high-quality sodium bicarbonate to grocers in New York City. The most demanding applications are in the area of healthcare, with hemodialysis in particular requiring exceptional purity and consistency. A leading force in modern bicarbonate hemodialysis Church & Dwight’s contribution to modern dialysis dates back to the early 1980s, when medical literature about the benefits of bicarbonate-buffered dialysate over acetate began to appear.

Anecdotal reports, and then clinical studies, showed an improved response when patients were dialyzed with bicarbonate instead of acetate. Beginning in 1982, Church & Dwight applied their technological expertise to the task of establishing exacting standards for hemodialysis grade sodium bicarbonate. Within two years, they were meeting those standards in full-scale production. When USP specifications for sodium bicarbonate used in hemodialysis were published in 1987 and formally issued in 1988, Church & Dwight hemodialysis grade sodium bicarbonate not only met the specifications, it exceeded them.

Bob’s Red Mill costs $2.61 a pound and Arm and Hammers costs less making it the least expensive medicine in the world. Personally I could not tell a difference between the consistencies in the two, both are equally fine. Sodium bicarbonate is widely available in most supermarkets and discount chains across the country at a cost of just over $2 per pound. Many different sizes are available depending on your needs ranging from 1 lb packages up to 14 lb packages. (normally used by people with pools to adjust pool water pH).

Do not confuse baking soda with baking powder which does or may contain aluminum. These are two very different products with baking powder having a mix of baking soda with various acidic ingredients. Make sure you are purchasing pure 100% baking soda or sodium bicarbonate.”

Special Note: For perfect therapeutic bath add one pound or more of sodium bicarbonate with one pound or more of magnesium bath flakes.

[1] Clinical Pediatrics, Vol. 23, No. 2, 94-96 (1984) DOI: 10.1177/000992288402300205


So what is the “take-away” message for you? This: It's OK to use Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, you don't have to purchase the expensive stuff, and it's an affordable and versatile compound that should have a place in your pantry! What are some the ways I recommend using it?

-Mix baking soda with oil of oregano for a 100% natural, inexpensive, and anti-bacterial toothpaste. Simply keep on your bathroom counter, dip your toothbrush in the baking soda, then add 2-3 drops of Oil of Oregano

-Drink a tablespoon mixed in water as an instant antacid and to fix indigestion (as opposed to popping a few chemical-pumped Tums)…

-Mix in a spraybottle, and use on diaper rash and eczema in babies…

-Apply to the skin to soothe bee or wasp stings and mosquito bites, along with sunburn and poison ivy…

-To fix muscle soreness or assist with sleep, de-stressing, and relaxation, mix a cup of baking soda with a cup of magnesium bath flakes post-workout or before bed and soak in the bath for 20-30 minutes.

Do you have other health uses for baking soda? If so, leave them here as a comment to help others!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

8 thoughts on “Worried About Body-Damaging Acidity in Your Diet? Here’s a Simple Fix…

  1. Cathy Cooke says:

    Ben- if you’re drinking Baking Soda, what effect will this have on your stomach acid? I’m concerned it will suppress HCL, when I’m trying to actually improve HCL production…

    1. Not in the amount in the article. If you are interested improving your HCL production look at adding BiOptimizers to your supplement line up. http://bioptimizers.com/greenfield

  2. cruzarm says:

    Hi Ben,
    How about using baking soda as an ergogenic aid? I saw a episode on ZHealth about baking soda being used as an ergogenic aid for endurance training as a buffer of energy production bi-products.


    1. The amount you have to use gives you severe gastric distress long term so it only works for short and intense stuff like 2-15 minute efforts…

  3. Linda says:

    A cool bath with baking soda will help to soothe a sunburn

  4. Follow up from Dr. Sircus:

    Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)

    Everything needs to be taken in balance.

    Millions of people in the world either consume bicarbonate ions in drinking water or have been treated clinically with bicarbonate in hospitals, medical centers, or emergency units for the prevention and treatment of clinical acidosis as well as numerous other conditions. Sodium bicarbonate helps to save countless lives every day.

         Dr. Boris Veysman specialist in emergency medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey describes one emergency room experience: “The emergency department is always noisy, but today the triage nurse is yelling “not breathing,” as she runs toward us pushing a wheelchair.  A pale, thin woman is slumped over and looking gray. Without concrete proof of a “Do Not Resuscitate” order, there’s no hesitation. Click, klang, and the patient has a tube down her throat within seconds. I do the chest compressions. On the monitor, she is flat-lining — no heartbeat. I synchronize my words with the compressions and call out for an external pacemaker. Pumping … thinking: Cardiac standstill … after walking in … with cancer … on chemo. This resuscitation isn’t by the book. “Get two amps of bicarbonate,” I say to the intern. The jugular line takes seconds, and I flush it with sodium bicarbonate. This probably will correct the blood’s extreme acidity, which I suspect is driving up the potassium. The external pacemaker finally arrives. Potent electric shocks at 80 beats per minute begin to stimulate her heart. The vitals stabilize.[1]

         Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) lives up to the image on the Arm and Hammers box, it is the ultimate heavy weight work horse medicine that every healthcare professional and parent should be knowledgeable about and routinely using. When combined with other strong but basic natural substances like magnesium chloride and iodine one has at ones fingertips a trinity of medical super heroes ready to perform scientific medical miracles in a single bound.

     Sodium bicarbonate is a wonder drug and a friend and is a substance you want on hand in quantity especially in today’s times of economic and even worse hardships. It certainly qualifies as a survival medicine and in case of nuclear attack you will want it on hand to protect your family’s kidneys. You will want it on hand for more reasons than you can possibly imagine.

         With bicarbonate we can address cancer, kidney disease and diabetes because bicarbonate deficiencies are a common denominator in these and many other diseases. Bicarbonate is one of these perfect medicines because it is nutritional in nature and can be used until one can maintain pH in a healthy range without it. In the long run there is no substitute for a healthy organic alkaline diet, exercise and alkaline water but we can treat our water supply with bicarbonate to bring its pH up to appropriate levels.

         Today we have the medical community looking down on substances like bicarbonate judging it as inferior and useless when it is anything but as decades of clinical use proves. I present this chapter below from the soon to be published chapter from the second edition of Sodium Bicarbonate – A Full Medical Review, which covers much more than cancer. I hope to have this second edition finished soon. Though sodium bicarbonate can be purchased for next to nothing at the supermarket as baking soda and can be used in baths and taken orally safely it is an extremely serious medicinal that needs to be respected.The medical profession as well as alternative health sites that have commented on its use in cancer have little understanding for how bicarbonate can be used transdermally and orally nor do they understand basic bicarbonate physiology and chemistry. As I have indicated in several chapters on mitochondrial medicine, magnesium bicarbonate (taken in the form of magnesium chloride and sodium bicarbonate used in combination) is the ultimate medicine that the pharmaceutical companies will never equal not if they spent a trillion dollars or invest a thousand years in searching.

    Sodium Bicarbonate Contraindications

         Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is generally well tolerated. However, high doses may cause headache, nausea or irritability. If any of these effects continue or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you develop: muscle weakness, slow reflexes and confusion, swelling of the feet or ankles, black tar-like stools, coffee-ground vomit. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

         Do not use if you are on a sodium restricted diet unless directed by a doctor. Ask a doctor or a pharmacist before use if you are taking a prescription drug. Antacids may interact with certain prescription drugs. Do not administer to children under age 5 without careful consideration. To avoid injury do not take sodium bicarbonate until the powder is completely dissolved and it is very important not to take baking soda when overly full from food or drink. Consult a doctor if severe stomach pain occurs after taking this product.

         “I nearly died after taking this stuff,” said William Graves, who suffered a rupture through the wall of his stomach in 1979 after taking baking soda mixed in water for indigestion after a big meal. The 64-year-old resident of Bethesda,Md., who is editor of National Geographic Magazine, said that only emergency surgery saved his life and that six more operations were needed to repair the damage. Though there are only a few documented cases users need to know of the dangers.

         Adverse reactions to the administration of sodium bicarbonate can include metabolic alkalosis, edema due to sodium overload, congestive heart failure, hyperosmolar syndrome, hypervolemic hypernatremia, and hypertension due to increased sodium. In patients who consume a high calcium or dairy-rich diet, calcium supplements, or calcium-containing antacids such as calcium carbonate (e.g., Tums), the use of sodium bicarbonate can cause milk-alkali syndrome, which can result in metastatic calcification, kidney stones, and kidney failure.

         In rare cases, metabolic alkalosis develops in a person who has ingested too much base from substances such as baking soda (bicarbonate of soda).  Severe metabolic alkalosis (ie, blood pH >7.55) is a serious medical problem. Mortality rates have been reported as 45% in patients with an arterial blood pH of 7.55 and 80% when the pH was greater than 7.65.

         Administration of sodium bicarbonate in amounts that exceed the capacity of the kidneys to excrete this excess bicarbonate may cause metabolic alkalosis. This capacity is reduced when a reduction in filtered bicarbonate occurs, as observed in renal failure, or when enhanced tubular reabsorption of bicarbonate occurs, as observed in volume depletion.[2]

         Metabolic alkalosis is the most common acid-base disturbance observed in hospitalized patients, accounting for approximately 50% of all acid-base disorders.
    Severe alkalosis causes diffuse arteriolar constriction with reduction in tissue perfusion. By decreasing cerebral blood flow, alkalosis may lead to tetany, seizures, and decreased mental status. Metabolic alkalosis also decreases coronary blood flow and predisposes persons to refractory arrhythmias.
    Metabolic alkalosis causes hypoventilation, which may cause hypoxemia, especially in patients with poor respiratory reserve, and it may impair weaning from mechanical ventilation.
    Alkalosis decreases the serum concentration of ionized calcium by increasing calcium ion binding to albumin. In addition, metabolic alkalosis is almost always associated with hypokalemia (low potassium levels), which can cause neuromuscular weakness and arrhythmias, and, by increasing ammonia production, it can precipitate hepatic encephalopathy in susceptible individuals

         The physical signs of metabolic alkalosis are not specific and depend on the severity of the alkalosis. Because metabolic alkalosis decreases ionized calcium concentration, signs of hypocalcemia (eg, tetany, Chvostek sign, Trousseau sign), change in mental status, or seizures may be present.
    Symptoms of Alkalosis

    Confusion(can progress to stupor or coma)
    Hand tremor
    Muscle twitching
    Nausea, vomiting
    Numbness or tingling in the face or extremities
    Prolonged muscle spasms (tetany)

         Tell your doctor if you have: pre-existing heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, or any allergies. Because this medication contains a large amount of sodium, remind your doctor if you are on a low sodium diet. This medication should be used only if clearly needed during pregnancy. Small amounts of sodium bicarbonate have been found to be present in breast milk.  Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor even though he or she probably will not be fully aware of the benefits since they have never tried using it as a systemic medicine for chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.

  5. carmen says:

    I started using baking soda about two weeks ago and strangely enough..I feel better all the way around.
    not as tired, joints don’t ache AS much etc.

  6. Barb says:

    I use baking soda to scour my kitchen sink instead of soft scrub. It’s much safer and more gentle on my hands.

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