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Approximately 15 million American’s take antacid over the counter pills such as Tum’s, Alka-seltzer or rolaids, prilozec among others. An antacid medication works to suppress a natural process in the body to reduce discomfort from acids. These are known as proton pump in inhibitors. They inhibit the body and reduce the production of acid by blocking the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid.

Every part of your body has a different pH. Your organs, blood etc. Overall most people are too acidic meaning that their pH is lower than it should be. A scale of 1-14 signifies the pH scale. The lower the number on the scale the more acidic, the higher the number the more alkaline. Some organs and tissue need to be more acidic than others as that is part of their nature. The skin for example is meant to be more acidic than other parts of the body because it’s an external excreting organ. The gut and digestive organs are generally slightly acidic and our body produces stomach acids to break down foods. The problem lies when someone’s body is acidic and then they continue to eat acidic (or acid forming foods) on top of that.

This is when heartburn, acid reflux and other effects may occur. A healthy diet is comprised of mostly alkaline foods but some acidic foods also. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans is a great base and there is a nice balance of alkaline and acidic foods for the body to find it’s own balance. A diet with soda, sugary drinks, coffee, breads, snacks, junk food, fast food is primarily an acidic diet meaning that the body’s pH will adjust over time to become more acidic. A healthy diet is crucial to balance your body’s pH overall.

Antacids are a common medication taken to offset the effects of an acidic body that produces too much acid that cause heartburn or acid reflux. The problem with taking these antacid medications long term is that they do have side effects.

Antacid medications have side effects such as vitamin B12 deficiencies, pernicious anemia, bone fractures, and C. difficile infections. Not only that but based on new research heart attacks can also be added to the list of antacid medication side effects.

Researchers found that PPI’s (proton pump inhibitors) have been found to reduce nitric oxide (NO) levels. Nitric oxide is a chemical molecular compound that improves and increases blood flow and circulation. Nitric oxide is responsible for expanding the blood vessels, increasing blood flow and decreasing plaque growth and blood clotting in the body.

Antacids limit your body in it’s natural ability to do this by decreasing nitric oxide levels. This means that your blood vessels are more constricted and blood flow is more limited which increases risk for heart disease, heart attack and a heart that essentially ages faster.

What can you do?

Thankfully there is an alternative and it not only costs less but it’s all natural so there are no known side effects like antacid medications have. Most over the counter anti-acids contain some form of bicarbonate, which is baking soda! Essentially these OTC medications are baking soda mixed with other harmful compounds that harm your health long term so you can simply skip the med and ingest baking soda.

You can simply take half a teaspoon of baking soda and mix that into a half cup of water and drink that an hour after your meal. This will help to give some alkaline balance to your body.

Beyond that this is also beneficial for your Kidney’s. In one study, British researchers found that patients treated with advanced kidney disease and metabolic acidosis with oral sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in conjunction with their usual treatment for two years. The sodium bicarbonate¬†slowed the rate of decline in kidney function by a surprising 66%! and a minimal 6.5 percent of the patients treated with sodium bicarbonate required dialysis by the end of the study. The control group still needed 33 percent of it’s participants to be on dialysis.

Baking soda has also been used as a cancer treatment. It’s been found that baking soda can alter the pH of the tumor without upsetting the pH of the blood and other healthy tissue in the body. With animal testing they have found that baking soda can make tumors more alkaline and inhibit metastasis, the growth of the cancerous tumor.

So, by simply ingesting a little bit of baking soda you can work your way off that antiacid medication, improve kidney health and keep the body’s pH levels balanced which may help in preventing cancerous tumors in the first place. Makes you want to have more baking soda on hand a little bit doesn’t it?

Image: wikipedia