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Baking Soda May Be Key Ingredient for Kidney Patients

Progression of chronic disease appears to slow with daily tablet, study finds

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- A dose of baking soda a day may slow the progression of chronic kidney disease, a new study has found.

The study included 134 advanced chronic kidney disease patients with metabolic acidosis, a condition caused by low bicarbonate levels. The patients were randomly divided into two groups, one of which took a small daily tablet of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

The rate of kidney function decline was about two-thirds slower in the patients who took sodium bicarbonate than in other patients. Rapid progression of kidney disease occurred in 9 percent of patients taking sodium bicarbonate, compared with 45 percent in other patients, the researchers found.

The study found that patients taking sodium bicarbonate showed improvement in several measures of nutrition, and, even though their sodium levels increased, there were no problems associated with higher blood pressure. These patients were also less likely to develop end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis.

The findings appeared online July 16 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

"This cheap and simple strategy has the potential of translating into significant economic, quality of life and clinical outcome benefits," researcher Dr. Magdi Yaqoob of Royal London Hospital in England, said in a news release from the American Society of Nephrology.

Low bicarbonate levels in patients with chronic kidney disease can lead to other health problems, said Yaqoob, who added that a "simple remedy like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), when used appropriately, can be very effective."

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about chronic kidney disease.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Society of Nephrology, news release, July 16, 2009

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