While both are dairy products, yogurt and milk have different effects on acid reflux. Read on to find out why yogurt is beneficial for acid reflux and why milk is not.
Yogurt is made by adding a starter or ‘bacterial cultures’ to pasteurized, homogenized, warm milk. In this warm temperature, the bacteria convert lactose (the main sugar in dairy products) into lactic acid. This makes it acidic, with a potential of Hydrogen (pH) ranging from 4 to 5. A pH scale of less than 7 is acidic. Whereas milk is non-acidic, with a pH of about 7.
Interestingly, the acidity level of a food does not determine whether it is an ‘acid-forming food’ or not. Yogurt, though acidic in nature, is a low acid-forming food, because it does not affect the acid-alkaline balance of the body.
Bad bacteria in the digestive tract are one of the causes of acid reflux. Probiotics are microorganisms (certain bacteria and yeasts) that are good for the body. These probiotics or ‘good bacteria’ prevent the bad bacteria from growing rapidly. Probiotics also help in reducing inflammation of the stomach caused by acid reflux.
The bacteria in it release an enzyme in the stomach that makes it easier to break down lactose. Because of its sugar content, lactose is hard to digest.
In a study conducted by Gut and Liver, an international journal of gastroenterology, it was found that cow’s milk aggravated acid reflux among participants. They also found that medication for GERD was ineffective because of milk in the diet. When it was removed from the diet of the participants, their condition improved.
To conclude, although milk has numerous health benefits, it’s one of the foods to avoid for acid reflux.