BiCARB Study - Does oral sodium bicarbonate therapy improve function and quality of life in older patients with chronic kidney disease and low-grade acidosis?

Study Information

Why are we doing this study?

Many people with reduced kidney function have higher than usual levels of acid in the blood. Higher levels of acid may worsen kidney function, blood vessel health and bone health, as well as stopping your muscles from working as well as they should. This in turn may make people feel tired and reduce quality of life. When these symptoms occur it is called chronic kidney disease.

Acid levels can be treated with sodium bicarbonate (used in baking powder); this is used as a treatment in some people with reduced kidney function and high levels of acid. We do not know whether the benefits of this treatment (on muscle, bone, kidneys, blood vessels and quality of life) are greater that the potential side effects (such as raising blood pressure, fluid retention and having to take extra tablets.)

What is being tested?

Sodium bicarbonate is used in baking powder. It has the ability to neutralise (mop up) the high levels of acid that can occur in the blood when the kidneys do not get rid of acid as well as they should.


Participation in this study is entirely voluntary and you are free to refuse to take part or to withdraw from the study at any time without having to give a reason and without this affecting your future medical care or your relationship with medical or nursing staff looking after you. If you or one of your clinicians decides you should withdraw from the study, we would like your permission to retain and analyze the data already collected.

What are the benefits of taking part in the study?

You will be monitored closely during the study by the study team. The tests will give us information about the function of your kidneys and general well being. If any of these investigations reveal any new abnormality we will either discuss this with your GP (with your consent) or refer you to a specialist clinic (whichever seems most appropriate.)  The study may not immediately benefit you, but if the results of the study are positive this may change the practice of managing patients with reduced kidney function just like you.