Sodium bicarbonate has been used alone and in combination with other agents to help reduce damage or disease to the kidneys caused by the use of a contrast dye during medical imaging. Many studies found positive effects, including significant differences in the rate of kidney problems between people given sodium bicarbonate and those given other agents. There are a number of reviews on the effects of sodium bicarbonate on kidney injury caused by contrast dye.
Many studies and reviews have looked at the use of sodium bicarbonate as a buffer to prevent excess acid, and, when given with anesthesia, it consistently reduced pain associated with the treatment.
Ears (earwax removal)
The use of sodium bicarbonate drops has been shown to help remove earwax in many available studies. Benefits include increased removal of wax, reduced need for further removal, and satisfaction with treatment.
Studies have found that sodium bicarbonate may have a small but positive effect on sprinting performance in men. Other benefits include improved overall exercise performance, time to exhaustion, total work, performance time, and power. More research is needed on the effects of sodium bicarbonate in women.
In general, studies looking at the effects of sodium bicarbonate on acidosis (excess acid in the body fluids) have found mixed or negative results. One review reported that solid evidence is lacking and that sodium bicarbonate may have negative effects on levels of fluid, sodium, and lactate, while other studies suggested that it may negatively affect some aspects of heart health. More research is needed, especially in the elderly, infants, and people who have certain types of acidosis.
Sodium bicarbonate has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of diarrhea with loss of sodium bicarbonate in adults and children. Some studies report that sodium bicarbonate is as effective as sodium citrate for rehydration and treatment of acidosis caused by diarrheal dehydration.
Fluid in the lungs
A review reports that sodium bicarbonate is commonly used to treat fluid in the lungs. However, more research is needed in this area.
Infant development / neonatal care
Sodium bicarbonate may lack significant effects on survival rates before hospital discharge, nervous system disorders, brain disease or disorders, hemorrhage, or seizures in newborn babies. Information is limited, and more research is needed.
In people who have cystinuria (stones in the bladder, kidney, or ureter), the acidity of urine may decrease similarly in those given sodium bicarbonate and those given potassium citrate. More research is needed.
Some studies suggest that toothpaste that contains baking soda may remove plaque more effectively than toothpaste that does not contain baking soda in hard-to-reach places in the mouth. However, further research is needed.
A number of studies report mixed results when sodium bicarbonate is used to treat poisoning resulting from antidepressants, pesticides, and other agents. However, information is limited and of poor quality, and more research is needed.