Sodium bicarbonate — more commonly known as baking soda — is a natural substance with a multitude of uses and health advantages. Contributing significantly to baking soda’s impressive list of benefits is its alkalizing properties, which means it reduces acidity.
Several articles online, including from leading sources of health-related content like Healthline and Medical News Today, have discussed alkaline foods as a potential prevention, treatment, or even cure for cancer. But are these assumptions true? Let’s find out.
What is the link between cancer and baking soda?
An acidic environment is where cancer cells thrive. Advocates of baking soda as a powerful ally against cancer believe that reducing acidity in the body (making it more alkaline) may play a role in preventing tumors from growing and spreading.
Unfortunately, research suggests that the baking soda theory is futile, and that the human body maintains a stable pH level regardless of what we eat. However, although baking soda cannot prevent cancer from occuring, some research suggests that the natural substance might be a powerful and effective complementary treatment for cancer patients. The latter means you may use baking soda in addition to, but not in replacement of, your current treatment.
Continue reading to get an in-depth overview of the medical research examining the relationship between cancer and acidity.
What are pH levels?
The pH scale measures acidity. It ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. A pH level of 7 is neutral, meaning it is neither acidic nor alkaline.
The human body has a tightly-controlled pH level of approximately 7.4, which means that the blood is slightly alkaline. Although the overall pH level remains constant, levels vary in certain areas of the body. For example, the stomach has a pH level between 1.35 and 3.5. It is more acidic than the rest of the body because it uses acids to digest food. Urine is also a naturally acidic solution. Therefore, testing the pH level of urine will not give an accurate reading of the body’s pH level.
There is an established connection between pH levels and cancer, however.
Cancer cells have a tendency to alter their environments. As mentioned, they prefer to live in an acidic environment, so they typically convert glucose (sugar) into lactic acid. Therefore, the pH levels in or around an area where cancer cells have developed can drop into the acidic range. As a result, tumors can grow and spread to other parts of the body much easier.
What does the research say about cancer and acidity?
The results of a 2009 study revealed that injecting sodium bicarbonate into mice lowered tumor pH levels and slowed the progression of metastatic breast cancer. Furthermore, several other studies have evaluated the role of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are drugs prescribed for the treatment of acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), as a complementary treatment for people with cancer. Here are some notable findings:
- A 2015 study found that high doses of the PPI esomeprazole improved the antitumor effect of chemotherapy among women with metastatic breast cancer.
- A 2015 study focused on examining the effects of PPI omeprazole in combination with chemoradiotherapy (CRT) treatments for rectal cancer revealed that omeprazole helped alleviate common side effects of CRT, as well as enhanced the effectiveness of cancer treatment and decreased the chances of recurrence.
These studies had small sample sizes, but the results are promising. Similar large-scale clinical trials are currently underway.
Using baking soda alone cannot prevent or cure cancer. However, research shows that there may be no harm in using sodium bicarbonate as an alkaline-promoting agent. Of course, consult your doctor before making any modifications to your diet and medication, and never discontinue a prescribed cancer treatment without your physician’s consent.
Do I have other options?
If you are looking for a safe alternative to harmful conventional cancer therapies, choose New Hope Unlimited. Our medical team consists of specialists in comprehensive cancer treatments for over 200 types of malignancies. Contact us now to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.