Friday, March 7, 2008

Bicarbonate of Soda Query

I've had a few people ask me whether just using the bicarb you buy in the supermarket is OK for alkalizing by taking it orally.
ION LIFE user and Naturopath extraordinaire, Des Wiggins kindly filled in my gaps; Here's Des' comments on the use of Bicarb Soda.
Note; Des' comments are in red, the rest is from Derek, one of my clients.

Hi Ian

I was walking through the shops this morning and saw some baking soda on the shelf. I remember a few Alkalarians talking about ingesting it.

1. Is it baking soda found in the shops ok to ingest? I remember Robert Young mentioning something about aluminum contaminants.

Baking powder rather than baking soda is more likely to contain aluminium, but apparently some brands of bicarb soda do contain aluminum. Baking soda generally has an acid ingredient such as cream of tartar. It appears companies are not required to list the aluminimum content. Sneaky? The chemical formulas & reactions for baking soda without and with (respectively) aluminium are as follows:

Reaction: NaHCO3 + KHC4H4O6 = KNaC4H4O6 + H2O + CO2
Reaction: NaAl(SO4)2 + 3 NaHCO3 = Al(OH)3 + 2 Na2SO4 + 3 CO2
2. Reading about sodium bicarbonate from the perspective of a chemist I get the impression that it can make you feel sick or worse if you ingest enough of it. I'm confused, doesn't the body desperately want sodium bicarbonate and would it be safe for me to ingest small amount on a regular basis?
Some people feel sick ingesting less than a teaspoon once a day. Depends on the individual. Safe - yes, but why use it? If one can ingest water with a pH of 10 why bother? A good practice I use is to also use Alkabalance with the pH 10 water. It doesn't appear to raise the pH any further, but you get the added bonus of Ka & Na minerals.

3. Is ingesting bicarbonate even a practical method for alkalizing in day to day life at all? In the sense of be a pleasant thing to put in your mouth several times a day.

Probably not practical and depending who you ask probably not pleasant.

I'm planning on using it when I'm "forced" to eat highly acidic foods to 'cushion the blow' so to speak, as I think it was also Robert Young again who said that the stomach's main purpose was to create bicarbonate. I'll still drink alkaline water but there's only so much alkaline water I can drink without having to be going to the bathroom every 10 minutes. Do you have any advice or experience for those wanting to use the poor man's method of alkalizing on top of what they're already doing? (e.g. safe amount to take etc...)

Poor man's way to get pH water? Get a Melody filter from Ionlife and pay it off over 6 months - interest free even.

Des added an emailed postscript:

just as a by the by I contacted W___M______ (they have the Mc_____ bi-carb soda which appears in all supermarket shelves) and asked if their product has an aluminium content. The girl in the tech department wasn't sure, but did say it contained lead and arsenic. Albeit in small quantities.
I asked if she could e-mail me the heavy metals content and she said the info she just gave me is in internal documents which they don't give out. They have one for the public, but I suspect it may not contain the heavy metal content.
She promised to find out about the aluminium content and let me know. I won't hold my breath waiting for the answer, but when/if I get it I will pass it on to you for your reference in case you are asked in the future.

Ian: I think that will settle a few minds. Thanks so much, Des!

1 comment:

Derek said...

Hi Again,

I'm actually the original poster of this question (Derek). So far it's been interesting reading, thanks Des and Ian! Although there are still a few things I need cleared up.

Firstly I'm not really looking at using bicarb to alkalize water, as I've already got the waterman and alkabalance.

My interest is in using bicarb on top of whatever you are already doing.

What I'm wondering is if is ok to use bicarb as a solid, as I've heard Ian mention that Susan Lark would use bicarb as relief against stress, I got the impression she was using it as a solid and not in water. Also Robert Young is getting people using a combination of the four bicarbonate salts for all sorts of things, what grabbed my attention was his recommended use of it on food to increase alkalinity.

I'm wondering if taking bicarb as a solid in close proximity or even during a meal would lessen the strain on your body's alkaline reserves to counter balance acid forming foods?

Or taking it during the day, like Sang Whang has those time release bicarb tablets, they also got me thinking it would be ok to ingest bicarb as a solid.

So is there any reason why adding extra alkalinity in the form of solid bicarb to you daily routine is a bad idea? Aside from the possible contaminants.

Thanks so much for the info.

Kind regards,