Question & Answer

Does baking soda prevent or treat cancer?

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The Evidence

  • Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
  • The claim that baking soda may prevent or treat cancer may have arisen because of the idea that cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment. Some people may think that using baking soda to make our bodies less acidic (or more alkaline) could prevent cancer from growing and spreading.
  • There have been no research studies in humans testing baking soda as a cancer treatment. This means there’s no high-quality evidence to back up its use for this purpose.
  • Studies using animals have indicated that baking soda might be effective when used with cancer treatments, but this doesn’t imply that baking soda by itself can stop or heal cancer.

 Guidelines and recommendations

  • We searched several national and international organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Health Service Executive (HSE), for related guidelines and recommendations.
  • We did not find any guidelines or recommendations relating to baking soda and cancer.

Things to Remember


  • Lead Researcher: Dr. KM Saif-Ur-Rahman, Senior Research Methodologist, Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Cochrane Ireland, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Galway.
  • Reviewed by: Prof Declan Devane, Professor of Health Research Methodology, Deputy Dean, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Galway, Scientific Director, HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network Director, Evidence Synthesis Ireland. Director, Cochrane Ireland.
  • Topic advisor:  Prof. Sinéád Lydon, Associate Professor, Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, University of Galway.
  • Public and Patient Advisor: Anne Daly, Public and Patient Involvement in research (PPI) advisor, PPI Ignite, University of Galway.
  • Journalist Advisor: Dr. Claire O’Connell, PhD in cell biology, Masters in Science Communication. Contributor to The Irish Times, writing about health, science and innovation.

Conflict of Interest Statement: The authors have no financial or other conflicts of interest for this health claim summary.