Discovery: Baking Soda Improves Vision
Scientists from Harvard Medical School and the University of Salus found that sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is able to change the visual signals generated by the rods and cones, photoreceptors responding to light. In rods and cones small molecule called cGMP binds the absorption of photons with the electrical activity of photoreceptors.
In the light cGMP is destroyed and ion channels are closed. Positively charged sodium ions leave the rods and cones. Because of this, the membrane potential becomes negative (hyperpolarization occurs). Sodium bicarbonate affects an enzyme called guanylate cyclase responsible for cGMP synthesis directly.
According to experts, baking soda limits the photon reaction and accelerates its recovery. As a result, sensitivity to light is reduced and the ability to track moving objects is improved. When some genetic defects are observed, the levels of cGMP in the rods and cones reach abnormally high rates. Photoreceptors are destroyed, after which they can not be recovered. In the future, the researchers plan to find out whether it is possible to improve vision and to cope with a variety of disabilities with the help of baking soda.
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