Can we use milk as natural antacid? Does milk help in reducing acidity? Is milk natural antacid? Are other milk products such as ice cream, yogurt useful as natural antacids?
These are the questions asked when one is looking at milk for reducing stomach acidity.
In answer, We hear such contradicting statements as,
Here is my experience and information about how and when milk works as a natural antacid and when it doesn't.
Not all heartburn remedies work for everybody. Many natural antacids work only for mild acidity and heartburn problem and milk is one of them.
If a person is lactose intolerant, milk will not work as a heartburn remedy but will cause indigestion.
For some people, drinking milk gives an immediate relief but it is short-lived relief. Once digestion of the milk starts, more acid is produced and acid reflux problem becomes worse.
Severe and chronic acidity and heartburn need lifestyle changes to cure it. Milk and ice cream will not work in that case; milk is not a permanent heartburn and acidity cure.
Like most natural acidity and heartburn remedies, milk works for some in case of mild acidity problem.
Milk and ice cream are only temporary acidity pain relief measures.
As mentioned above, for long-term relief and heartburn cure, lifestyle changes only will work.
Having said that, let us see
Milk itself is weak acid. When it mixes with the strong stomach acid that is causing irritation, milk reduces the strength of the stomach acid and so acts as a temporary antacid.
The calcium in milk coats the stomach lining and protects it from the irritation. Commercial antacids contain calcium carbonate.
The fat content in milk may increase acidity. So if you want to use milk as antacid, use skimmed, low fat milk. Skimmed milk may help in reducing acidity without causing acidity increase.
A small quantity of milk (few sips or half a cup) can help acidity but drinking milk in large quantities may increase acidity.
The temperature of the milk matters too in controlling irritation caused by excess stomach acids. Cold, chilled milk helps in reducing the burning sensation caused by the acid.
If you have eaten a spicy meal, having a small scoop of ice cream will cool your stomach. It is better to have plain vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate and other flavors may add the acidity sensation.
Dairy milk yogurt is very useful in improving digestion. Make sure it is fresh and not sour.
You may try plain or vanilla flavored chilled yogurt by itself or blend it with some cold water or ice to make into a lassi - Indian cold, yogurt based drink. It can reduce the burning sensation in your stomach after a heavy, spicy meal.