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In making water alkaline, how much baking soda is too much? I wish they said what constituted a “large amount”…. yikes.

wickedchicken / Originally posted on Alkaline water: a scam?


Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) intoxication can be devastating, especially in infants. The 1995 paper “Baking Soda: A Potentially Fatal Home Remedy” in Pediatric Emergency Care led Arm & Hammer to start placing warning labels against use in children under 5 on all their cartons.Too much bicarbonate can overwhelm our kidneys’ ability to excrete it, leading to a metabolic alkalosis, which can lead to seizures or even death.

To answer your question, as little as a few pinches can sicken an infant, but based on the series of case reports in adults it appears to take tablespoons for folks with normal kidney function to get into trouble. This is why I encourage anyone trying the three-quarters-of-a-teaspoon-per-quart of water regimen suggested in Alkaline water: a scam? to do it under the supervision of a physician to make sure you don’t have a condition that would preclude such a trial. And there are other ways to lower blood pressure without fear of toxicity: see, for example, my video Fill in the Blank.

Image Credit: followtheseinstructions / Flickr


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

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