Advanced scientific research and procedures provide hope. Yes, hope. But what about time and desperation? While foolproof cures to cancers are yet to be discovered, do what you can – all that you can – to make a cancer-inflicted life better (yours or not).
Baking soda and lemon – Digging deeper
Touted for their antioxidant and alkalizing properties, it was just a matter of time before lemon and baking soda were proclaimed as the new panacea, especially with regard to the dreaded “C.”
Are foods capable of altering the pH of blood?
If you have done a bit of groundwork research, you would have come across many websites, and sources of info answering this question with an outright “No!” That would debunk so many myths, would not it?
Taking a closer look
For anyone who has knowledge about how the body works, and maintains homeostasis (read: balance), he or she will be in agreement when we say, the body is equipped with intricate mechanisms to ensure that the pH of the blood remains unchanged and slightly alkaline – around 7.4 (with a little buffer between 7 and 7.7).
These mechanisms include carbon dioxide exhalation through the lungs, bicarbonate removal by the kidneys, and the constant circulation of blood.
Also, strong stomach acids overpower the individual pH of different foods. This means that when foods are broken down, and transported to the intestine, they are all on the same page.
Why does the body need to maintain its pH so strictly?
It is simply because cellular enzymes are very pH specific. Any deviation in pH would mean you are really sick.
Is it true that cancers survive in an acidic environment?
Yes. This is how it works!
Acids contain hydrogen ions that steal and hold on to any oxygen they can lay their hands on. This is precisely why acid rain causes death of aquatic life – by making oxygen unavailable to aquatic life. Something like this.
Cancer cells cause surrounding tissue damage by creating an acidic microenvironment and depriving normal cells of oxygen.
Cancer cells multiply at an abnormally fast pace. Just like all cells, they produce acids as a by-product of metabolic reactions. Normally, the body removes these acids and maintains its slightly alkaline pH. However, the abnormally high metabolic rates of cancerous cells do not give the body enough time to keep up.
This causes accumulation of acids around tumors, creating an acidic microenvironment. This means “suffocation” of normal healthy cells.
Tumor acidity tends to correlate with cancer aggressiveness. It is a self-instigating acid-driven cycle.
This is where sodium bicarbonate (nothing but baking soda) enters.
It is but natural to think of neutralizing the acid micro-environments around tumors to inhibit, if not kill, tumor cells. Well, that is exactly what scientists decided to investigate. They began by studying mice.
They found that oral administration of bicarbonate significantly reduces the metastases of breast and prostate cancers. It does so by:
- Increasing the pH in the tumor’s microenvironment (so it specifically targets cancer cells and not normal cells).
- Reducing the involvement of lymph nodes, and the liver in transporting cancer cells to other parts of the body.
- Preventing cancer cells from colonizing other unaffected organs.
It does not, however, affect the number of tumors already in circulation. All in all, that is cancer prevention on multiple levels!
But is the intrinsic pH of foods not masked in the body?
Despite the body’s natural resistance to changes in pH, sodium bicarbonate has demonstrated pH altering properties in the study mentioned above.
The more significant question – How much is enough?
Extremely alkaline conditions can cause the kidney to overwork (because the kidney removes excess bicarbonate). This may result in a serious condition called alkalosis.
Dosage being so crucial, one study estimated that 12 grams of baking soda per day (for an adult weighing 65 kg) would be able to neutralize the acid produced by a tumor, roughly 1 cubic millimeter in size. Doses of more than about 30 grams per day are likely to cause severe health problems. Now imagine how much baking soda you would need for growing tumors, and at what cost!
In addition to dosage, the existence of successful clinical trials is imperative when placing your trust in an especially questionable natural cure.
A clinical trial was being carried out. However, the study did not progress to Phase II (that is when drugs are tested on patients, and not on healthy individuals like in Phase I). This means that further investigation and human testing is still required.
That being said, baking soda shows great potential in the treatment of cancer, and more so in conjunction with existing conventional cancer treatment protocols.
Coming to lemons
If had along with lemon (citric acid), baking soda will react with the acid in lemon, in a typical acid-alkali neutralization reaction. This causes its own pH to change, no longer being alkaline itself, or allowing lemon to remain acidic.
This immediately advises against using lemon together with baking soda. You will miss out on the benefits of both.
On its own, however, lemon contains limonoids (plant chemicals abundant in citrus fruits that give it that tart taste). Limonoids have shown potential as anti-cancer agents by preventing the proliferation of human breast cancer cells.
While lemons along with other citrus fruits show potential in treating cancers, here are some points yet to be considered:
- How effective are they against different types of cancers?
- How much lemon should you have for it to be effective (considering that the active ingredient was isolated and concentrated in the studies)?
Having said that, lemons definitely have anti-cancer properties. In hindsight, think of the difference you were making by selling those lemonades when you were ten!
Again, lemons are not an alternative to chemotherapy and conventional cancer treatments. They act as catalysts and enhancers in your recovery along with a host of other health benefits.
While baking soda and lemon may not (yet) be your cancer Patronus, consume them – just not together, and without expecting the impossible.