Baking Soda Cancer Treatment (Sodium Bicarbonate)

Does the Baking Soda Cancer Treatment aka (Sodium Bicarbonate) Work?

One strategy used in intravenous therapies against cancer is sterile, pure, intravenous sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. This is one of many natural substances that can be used in intravenous infusions to address cancer.

A Similarity between Cancer and Candida?

Some writers have explored the idea of a similarity between cancer and candida. In Dr. Simoncini’s book, Cancer is a Fungus, he notes some similarities between the two. Primarily, both are intractable diseases, each hard to get rid of. Dr. Simoncini notes that each can form a solid mass of low penetrability, unlike the dispersed forms of bacterial and viral infections in the body or bodily fluids. Dr. Simoncini notes the problem of surface area in addressing infections. Let’s consider the very important concept of surface area, and how our lives depend on optimizing surface area.
Dr. Colleen Huber has often talked with patients over 16 years of medical practice, about the crucial role of surface area throughout physics, chemistry and biology. In physics, the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us that when heat is transferred from a hot object to a cold object, it happens spontaneously and without energy expended. So a neglected cup of hot coffee spontaneously cools to room temperature, without any effort on our part, losing its heat to the room at large.

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This heat transfer happens without any effort required.

However, we also know that if objects share little surface area, this process will be slow, while objects sharing much surface area will approach the same temperature faster.

In the following drawing, only the narrow sides of the rectangles are near each other.  So there is little opportunity for interaction between the temperatures of each rectangle.

Contrast this little neighboring surface area …

… with this larger neighboring surface area, in which the long sides of the rectangles are near each other.  This gives greater opportunity for heat to flow from the hot rectangle to the cool rectangle.

(Please note that there is no such thing as ‘cold flow.’  Cold is considered to be only the absence of heat, not an entity in itself.)

The same principle of surface area being positively correlated with transfer applies in chemistry.  If the mouth of a river is deep and wide where it enters the ocean, salinity is shared more readily, even to some extent against flow, than in an environment of thin, shallow and / or tortuous routes from fresh water to salt water.  Giving another kitchen example, mixing of two different fluids happens more rapidly by pouring from a cup than through the narrow neck of a funnel.


Now let’s consider surface area in biology, which is the focus of our work.

Human lungs have a surface area of 75 to 100 square meters, the size of a racketball court.  Such huge surface area is needed for processing the enormous amount of oxygen we take in every few seconds, and expelling the carbon dioxide that we produce just as fast.  Every few seconds, we don’t simply take in, and then expel, that half liter of air, but we need to grab each of those oxygen molecules out of that air, as much as possible, for the needs of our cells, and especially – when it comes to cancer treatment – for that oxygen to be an obstacle to cancer establishing itself in the body.

So how do you get the enormous size of a racketball court to fit into a chest-size space? Maximize surface area!  With lots of intricate convolutions. Our lungs are composed of clusters of alveoli, shaped like bunches of grapes, as in the following drawing.

From MMS Life Science,


Emphysema patients suffer from broken down alveoli, and thus too little surface area, leaving them gasping for breath in later stages.  Athletes on the other hand expand their total lung capacity through their training.  Then they can run up stairs without being winded at the top.

Let’s also consider the intestines.  The intestines’ surface area is even larger, up to 300 square meters, the size of a tennis court, but with complicated scrunching and turning to fit into the human abdomen.  Again we see surface area as key to best absorption of nutrients.  If the intestinal walls were a small surface area, much of the nutrients that we consume would go right through us without much benefit, because of minimal opportunity for absorption.  But the large surface area that we do have throughout the intestinal walls leaves much space for nutrient molecules to be transferred into the bloodstream, and thus we can maximally benefit from those nutrients.

Irritable bowel syndrome takes food through the GI tube too quickly.  So even with much surface area, there is little time for adequate absorption, and malnutrition results.  A healthy gut on the other hand takes roughly 18 to 24 hours from eating to elimination, and in this time and contact with the vast intestinal walls, makes great use of the nutrients in our food.

Now regarding the use of sodium bicarbonate, let’s consider the kidneys.  The kidneys have a total filtration surface area of 516 square centimeters.  Let’s say a person has had a loss of oxygen for some reason.  This could occur from too little movement, or poor posture and therefore too little respiration, shallow breaths rather than deep breaths.  This is an acidifying process.

Biochemist Otto Warburg showed that cancer begins with a loss of oxygen, for which he won the Nobel Prize in biochemistry in 1931.  Oxygen is extremely important against cancer, and we will discuss that below. After loss of oxygen (hypoxia) cancer then creates lactic acid, which is known to accumulate during hypoxia, and to produce even more acidity.  This situation creates metabolic acidosis, which is both a result of and a cause of poor health.

The lungs help to compensate by creating a respiratory alkalosis, to counteract the problem of excess acid.  The kidneys help to compensate for this metabolic acidosis in part by using the body’s’ reserves of bicarbonate to buffer the extra acid.

The role of the kidneys in metabolic acidosis is to discharge extra hydrogen ions in urine, and to increase reabsorption of bicarbonate ions, which replenishes lost bicarbonate that had been used to buffer excess hydrogen ions, that is to neutralize the acidity or low pH.  The large surface area for filtration in the kidneys is the venue where maximum accessibility to blood enables these chemical reactions to occur.  If all our kidney filtration units (glomeruli) were placed end-to-end, that would cover 19 km = nearly 12 miles. [1]  However, capillaries are so thin that the total surface area available for filtration is 516 square centimeters, or the size of an average sheet of paper.

Jeffrey Miner shows an excellent electron microscope image of the filtration barrier between blood and urine in the kidneys, at the glomerular basement membrane (GBM). [2]  Notice that the red blood cell (RBC) in the photo below has to deform to fit in the capillary, of which we see the cross-section, surrounded by the GBM.

Miner explains the photo as follows:

Ultrastructure of a typical glomerular capillary loop. A red blood cell (RBC) is present in the capillary lumen, which is lined by an endothelial cell with fenestrations (black arrowheads). The glomerular basement membrane (GBM) is a ribbon-like extracellular matrix that lies between the endothelium and the podocyte foot processes (FPs). The mesangium contains mesangial cells and their associated matrix. A parietal epithelial cell (PEC) is visible lining Bowman’s capsule.

J Miner, The glomerular basement membrane.  May 15 2012. Exp Cell Res.


Diabetes is very hard on the capillaries all over the body, and in the kidneys a severe case of diabetes reduces the filtration to about 20% of typical filtration.

So maximization of surface area has been an essential part of good health of at least the three organs considered above: kidneys, lungs and intestines.

It is likely not among your strongest cancer-fighting strategies to add sodium bicarbonate or oral baking soda to your cancer-fighting regimen; however, it does seem to be used by some to compensate for the lost kidney function in patients with both cancer and diabetes.

Some researchers consider a more alkaline environment to be helpful against cancer. For example, Estrella et al found that tumors of lower pH were more aggressively invasive in surrounding tissue. [3]  And Rofstad, et al found that they were more likely to metastasize. [4]     Shi, et al found that the more acid the microenvironment of the tumor, the more angiogenesis, which is the creation of new blood vessels to feed a tumor. [5]    Silva, et al found that sodium bicarbonate reduced the formation of spontaneous metastases. [6] Potzl et al found that oral bicarbonate given to mice that had lymphoma increased IFN-gamma expression in natural killer cells and increased the number of natural killer cells. [7]

Nevertheless, intravenous sodium bicarbonate or oral baking soda are not what we have found to be among your strongest tools against cancer.  Though we cannot deny its popularity.  Many other natural substances have far more mechanisms against cancer, and more research backing their use.

Movement and exercise are likely far more helpful to increase the pH of the body.  This enables deeper breathing, and thus more air circulating through the lungs, which in turn will alkalinize the body more effectively, as well as depriving cancer of a comfortable low-oxygen environment in which to get established and to grow.  This is why Dr. Huber has also been a broken record, so to speak, about the wonderful value of exercise, because it is the easiest, fastest, cheapest, most efficient way that we have of bringing oxygen into the body, and it is available to everyone on the planet!  From the newborn who squeezes his little hand around his mom’s finger, all the way through the lifespan to the very elderly able to lift a weight even if in a wheelchair, we are all capable of some exertion.  Activity brings more oxygen into the body than when you are sedentary.

Before we look at some of the studies that have shown that oxygen is a powerful way to fight cancer, let’s consider how a tumor acts in the body.  A cancerous cell disrupts membranes of surrounding cells, and its offspring cells burrow down into the basement membrane of the tissue of origin.  Then once crossing that barrier, it accesses blood vessels and lymph, where some of those cells can break off, and float toward new tissue.  At the new area of the body, the cell implants in order to create a metastasis, where it then proliferates to a new tumor, generating its own new blood vessels.  Cancerous cells have disrupted cell signaling with the original tissue, and is so self-sufficient that it can implant elsewhere and start a new tumor or metastasis.


How low oxygen feeds cancer

In a low-oxygen environment, tumor cells show enhanced invasiveness, [8] including in breast cancer, [9] and more metastasis, including in sarcomas, [10] [11] melanomas, [12]  and in cancers of the uterus [13] and of the cervix. [14]  [15].  Also, low-oxygen environments seem to make cancer cells more resistant to apoptosis, [16] which is normal cell death.  That is one of the dangers of cancer is that cancer cells are immortal and just keep going and reproducing.   At least some of the above changes are due to oxygen deprivation altering protein expression which in turn leads to the above results, [17] including in pancreatic cancer.  [18]

Metabolic effects of cancer are common across all types of cancer.  Although oncologists like to say, “But you have — type of cancer, and therefore, you need — chemotherapy,” actually cancers throughout the body have far more in common than any significant difference, especially solid tumors.  So just because cancers of the breast, uterus, pancreas, etc. were studied, as in the studies cited above, we should not for a moment assume that cancers in other organs would behave differently.  That is, a low-oxygen environment is a toxic condition of the body that can lead to an initial cancer, and worsen an existing cancer.


Let’s now apply surface area to how to fight cancer.

Bacterial and other infections are dispersed in the solutions of bodily compartments, and likewise, antibiotics and other anti-microbials that are dispersed in the same solutions have access to each microbe, in the way that liquid easily surrounds tiny dispersed particles that are present in that liquid.

A solid mass on the other hand, such as a cancerous tumor, is approached by one of two routes: either the most superficial layer of the outer surface, or by way of any blood vessels that course through it.  So from the outside of a tumor, we do not have a lot of surface area to work with when fighting cancer.

In the case of a neoplasm, the approach of approximating the most superficial layer has the effect of disrupting the tumor capsule, but that capsule is considered to be more helpful to us than harmful in walling off the cancer from the rest of the body to some extent.

Therefore, a productive route to the core of the cancer, a more threatening assault on its survival, is by way of the bloodstream, which is why oxygen and IV nutrients are utilized for metabolic cancer treatment.  There is more surface area throughout the arteries, arterioles and capillaries that feed a tumor than the circumference of the outer surface of a roughly spherical tumor.

Is cancer a fungus? Does baking soda work on cancer? As for whether cancer is fundamentally a kind of fungus, the jury is still out.

For the cancer patient, sodium bicarbonate (liquid sterile baking soda) and other natural substances delivered by intravenous infusion, are given by a practitioner who is knowledgeable and experienced in this area, with the goal of providing an environment that is unwelcoming to cancer.  If you are interested in learning more about our cancer treatments, please give us a call or set up an appointment at our Tempe, Arizona office.  You can reach us at 480-839-2800.

© 2023 NatureWorksBest



[1] A Bohle, B Aeikens, et al.  Human glomerular structure under normal conditions and in isolated glomerular disease.  Sep 1998.  Kidney Int Suppl.


[2] J Miner. The glomerular basement membrane.  May 15 2012. Exp Cell Res.


[3] V Estrella, T Chen, et al.  Acidity generated by the tumor microenvironment drives local invasion.  Jan 3 2013.  Cancer Res.


[4] E Rofstad, B Mathiesen, et al.  Acidic extracellular pH promotes experimental metastasis of human melanoma cells in athymic nude mice. Jul 3 2006.   Cancer Res.


[5] Q Shi, X Le, et al.  Regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor expression by acidosis in human cancer cells.  Jun 21 2001.  Oncogene.


[6] A Silva, J Yunes, et al.  The potential role of systemic vuffers in reducing intratumoral extracellular pH and acid-mediated invasion.  Jul 22 2013.  Cancer Res.


[7] J Potzl, D Roser, et al.  Reversal of tumor acidosis by systemic buffering reactivates NK cells to express IFN-gamma and induces NK cell-dependent lymphoma control without other immunotherapies.  May 1 2017.  Int J Cancer.


[8] S Pennacchietti, P Michieli, et al.  Hypoxia promotes invasive growth by transcriptional activation of the met protooncogene.  Apr 2003.  Cancer Cell.


[9] L Postovit, M Adams, et al.  Oxygen-mediated regulation of tumor cell invasiveness.  Sep 2002.   J Bio Chem.


[10] DM Brizel, SP Scully, et al.  Tumor oxygenation predicts for the likelihood of distant metastases in human soft tissue sarcoma.  Mar 1996.  Cancer Res.


[11] S Young, R Marshall, et al.  Hypoxia induces DNA overreplication and enhances metastatic potential of murine tumor cells.  Dec 1988.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA.


[12] E Rofstad, T Danielsen.  Hypoxia-induced metastasis of human melanoma cells: involvement of vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated angiogenesis.  Aug 1999.  Br J Cancer.


[13] M Hockel, K Schlenger et al.  Association between tumor hypoxia and malignant progression in advanced cancer of the uterine cervix.  Oct 1996.  Cancer Res.


[14] M Hockel, K Schlenger, et al.  Hypoxic cervical cancers with low apoptotic index are highly aggressive.  Sep 1999.  Cancer Res.


[15] R Cairns, R Hill.  Acute hypoxia enhances spontaneous lymph node metastasis in an orthotopic murine model of human cervical carcinoma.  Mar 16 2004.  Cancer Res.


[16] T Graeber, C Osmanian, et al.  Hypoxia-mediated selection of cells with diminished apoptotic potential in solid tumours.  Jan 4 1996.  Nature.


[17] P Subarsky, R Hill.  The hypoxic tumour microenvironment and metastatic progression. May 2003.  Clin Exper Metastasis.


[18] Q Shi, J Abbruzzese, et al.  Constitutive and inducible interleukin 8 expression by hypoxia and acidosis renders human pancreatic cancer cells more tumorigenic and metastatic. Nov 1999. Clin Cancer Res.

Dr. Colleen Huber is the author of Manifesto for a Cancer Patient (2017).


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