A daily dose of baking soda could transform the lives of patients with failing kidneys, it has been claimed.
New research by British scientists suggests sodium bicarbonate – otherwise known as baking soda – can dramatically slow the progress of chronic kidney disease.
The simple household product used for baking, cleaning, bee stings and acid indigestion is so effective it could prevent patients having to be put on kidney machines, the results show.
Around three million people in the UK suffer from chronic kidney disease, which may have a number of causes. The condition ranges in severity from a mild degree of poor functioning to complete kidney failure. Seriously affected patients may have spend time each day on a dialysis machine which takes over the function of the kidneys.
An estimated 37,800 patients in the UK receive renal replacement therapy, which may involve dialysis or a kidney transplant. The cost of looking after kidney failure patients soaks up 3% of the entire NHS budget. On average, every patient on dialysis costs the NHS £30,000 per year.
The pilot study conducted at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, was the first controlled test of the treatment in a clinical setting. The findings have been published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.