Can Milk Help You Deal with the Effects of Heartburn

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Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease is an incredibly common digestive disorder that affects over 20% of the U.S. population. This is why people are always on the lookout for things to counteract it. This is why questions like “does eating mustard help heartburn” and “do probiotics help with acid reflux”, are extremely prevalent on the internet. However, not all of these home remedies are created equal and some are more effective than others. 

Considering how popular milk is as a remedy for heartburn, we thought it would be useful to explore its effectiveness. If this is something that you want to know more about, read on as we discuss the efficacy of milk when it comes to dealing with heartburn!

What Causes Heartburn?

To really gauge how effective milk can be, we first have to discuss what causes heartburn. Heartburn happens when stomach acid becomes backed up in the esophagus. It gets its name from the burning sensation that’s caused by the stomach acids making contact with the esophagus walls. The stomach acids get in the esophagus due to a weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the muscle that’s responsible for keeping stomach acid out.

Heartburn can be caused by a multitude of different things. For the most part, it is triggered by the food that a person eats. Food that is highly acidic or incredibly fatty can cause heartburn. People who are overweight or pregnant are the most susceptible to this digestive disorder.

Can Milk Help?

At face value, it’s easy to see why people think milk can help alleviate heartburn. Milk is often used as a way to counteract the effects of spicy food. Following this logic, it should be able to soothe the burning sensation that comes with heartburn. In reality, it’s the calcium in milk that can potentially have a significant effect when it comes to dealing with heartburn.

This is because calcium can strengthen the LES, making it more effective when it comes to keeping stomach acid out. In fact, a study highlights how calcium carbonate can increase LES muscle tone, which will go a long way when it comes to preventing heartburn.

The protein in the milk may also be helpful.  This is because milk can stimulate gastrin secretion. Gastrin is a hormone that improves LES contraction. Protein also helps with emptying out your stomach. If your stomach is empty, it makes it far less likely for stomach acid and food to climb back up.

Is Milk an Effective Way to Deal with Heartburn?

Given the information stated above, milk may seem like a great remedy for heartburn. And while it can be quite helpful, it’s important to note that it can also aggravate the problem. As we stated above, heartburn can be triggered by consuming fatty food. Milk is incredibly fatty and could end up triggering your heartburn.

With that being said, everyone’s body is different. What works for one person may not be effective for others. There’s really no harm in trying so we suggest giving it a shot the next time you experience heartburn.

If you are interested to know more about GERD, feel free to check the various resources on Reflux Away. We tackle a wide range of topics including the effects of baking soda on reflux and other uncommon ways to deal with GERD. Visit our site to learn more about this!