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The Unexpected Cancer Fighter: Baking Soda

Published by Connealy, MD on June 6, 2024

The Unexpected Cancer Fighter- Baking SodaThe Unexpected Cancer Fighter- Baking Soda

Can Baking Soda (NaCHO3) Help Fight Cancer?

Baking soda, a ubiquitous household item, has garnered attention for its potential anti-cancer effects. Despite its simple nature, research suggests that baking soda’s properties hold promise in combating cancer cells. 

Baking soda increases pH

pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. Our bodies have intricate mechanisms to regulate pH levels in blood, urine, and interstitial fluid, to maintain homeostasis and support optimal physiological functions. The pH of a healthy cell ranges from about 6.8 to 7.4. This acid-alkaline balance is crucial for enzyme function, cellular processes, detoxification, digestion, immune function, and metabolic health.

In many diseases, pH levels can dip to 6.8 due to metabolic imbalances or disruptions in cellular function. Cancer cells, for example, produce large amounts of lactic acid. They release this acid outside the cell, creating an acidic (low pH) external environment, while maintaining an alkaline environment inside the cell. An acidic extracellular environment is essential for cancer progression.

Acidity encourages:

  • Tumor growth
  • Invasion & metastasis 
  • Immune suppression
  • Angiogenesis

While pH imbalance is not the primary cause of cancer, acidic microenvironments within tumors can promote cancer progression. The administration of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is one strategy that has been studied to target acidity in cancer cells. 

Treatment with sodium bicarbonate can include: 

  • Intravenous therapy
  • Oral tablets
  • Ingestion (dissolved in water)
  • Baking soda baths

Sodium bicarbonate is an alkaline substance with a pH of 9. In our bodies, it works by:

  • Reducing acidity in the extracellular environment 
  • Decreasing inflammation 
  • Increasing oxygen delivery to tissues

These factors are essential for treating cancer because low oxygen levels (hypoxia) create a metabolic shift in which lactic acid is produced, lowering the pH of the surrounding environment. Chronic inflammation is another driver of cancer growth and metastasis.

Baking soda reduces acidity: 

Sodium bicarbonate acts as a buffer, meaning it can neutralize the acidic microenvironment of cancer cells. This helps restore a more balanced pH level. By increasing the pH (alkalinity) around cancer cells, sodium bicarbonate creates conditions that are less favorable for their growth and survival, hindering their ability to proliferate and spread.

Baking soda increases oxygen delivery to tissues:

It does this by increasing carbon dioxide (CO2), which helps blood provide oxygen to cells more readily. Tumors usually have areas of low oxygen (hypoxia), and enhancing oxygen delivery to tissues has anti-tumor effects. High CO2 can also induce changes in tumor cell metabolism, promote apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells, and enhance the effectiveness of other cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, while minimizing their toxic side effects.

Baking soda decreases inflammation by: 

Bicarbonate ions generated from baking soda can influence immune responses. They help regulate the activity of immune cells, such as neutrophils and macrophages, involved in the inflammatory process and cancer development. Sodium bicarbonate also has mild antioxidant properties, which can help counteract oxidative stress associated with inflammation. For example, baking soda has been demonstrated to boost T cells ability to fight leukemia.


The following study examines the effects of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) on tumor acidity and metastasis in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer. Researchers found that administration of baking soda has been found to effectively reduce metastasis. This animal model shows lung metastases in control groups compared to those treated with sodium bicarbonate.

Bicarbonate Increases Tumor pH and Inhibits Spontaneous Metastases PMID: 19276390

At first glance, baking soda might seem like just another unproven remedy for cancer, but there’s growing scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness. Of course cancer is complex, and there are numerous approaches to tackling it. However, compelling testimonials and evolving research suggest that baking soda is a tool worth considering.

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