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Mixture of baking soda and lemon juice won’t ‘alkalise’ body

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“How to alkalize your body naturally – homemade remedy for acidity,” reads the headline of a Facebook post shared in Nigeria in January 2021.

It claims a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice will “help you balance the pH and make an alkaline-friendly environment in the body”.

The post also says “the remedy will help you deal with the stomach acid and alleviate acidosis”.

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It was shared on a popular Facebook page, named “The Professor”, which describes itself as a “home of traditional spiritual solutions and herbal mixture therapy”. It has published several other unverified health “cures”.

There is a great deal of misinformation circulating online about the acidity or alkalinity of the body, and how to adjust it. But diet does not influence the body or blood’s pH level – the kidneys and lungs take care of that.

Africa Check has debunked a claim that the Covid-19 virus can be beaten by eating alkaline foods, and another that says cancer is caused by acid in the body.

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But is there any scientific evidence that this particular mixture of baking soda and lemon juice cures acidosis?
Visit doctor instead

Usually, your kidneys and lungs work to maintain the acid-base balance in your body. But acidosis can occur if the bodily fluids contain too much acid. It has several causes and treatment is determined accordingly.

Emmanuel Ekanem, a specialist in gastroenterology and hepatology and professor of pediatrics at Nigeria’s University of Calabar, told Africa Check that people who suspect they have this condition should seek medical advice.

“The body itself maintains its acid levels through an internal mechanism, and saying that a particular mixture is a remedy to acidosis is not correct,” he said.

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Ekanem confirmed that the body’s pH level is maintained naturally and not affected by any treatments such as the one suggested in the Facebook post.

“But if somebody has an illness that changes the acid level in the body, doctors will intervene, and correct it,” he said.

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