Evaluation of the benefits of neutral bicarbonate ionized water baths in an open-label, randomized, crossover trial

Sci Rep. 2024 Jan 13;14(1):1261. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-51851-9.

Abstract

We previously demonstrated that neutral bicarbonate ionized water (NBIW) bathing enhances blood flow by bicarbonate ions and described the underlying mechanism. However, additional clinical investigation was warranted to investigate the efficacy of NBIW bathing. Hence, we performed a randomized, open-label, crossover trial to examine the effects of NBIW bathing on mental stress, sleep, and immune function. Participants who regularly felt stressed were randomly assigned to NBIW or regular bathing for 4 weeks. Mental stress was assessed with the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ) and the Profile of Mood States Second Edition; sleep quality, with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Japanese version (PSQI-J) and actigraphy; and immune function, with laboratory tests. PSQI-J scores and actigraphy sleep latency and bed out latency improved significantly more with NBIW bathing than with regular bathing (p < 0.05). Furthermore, NBIW bathing reduced both stress-induced fluctuations in CD4+ and CD8+ T cell counts and fluctuations in the naive to memory T cell ratio and neutrophil phagocytosis, indicating improved immune function. These findings suggest that daily NBIW bathing could improve mental stress, sleep quality, and immune function and bring about positive health effects in those who experience stress in their daily lives.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Baths*
  • Bicarbonates*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Humans
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Water

Substances

  • Bicarbonates
  • Water