Does Milk Help Acid Reflux?

Milk has been a popular home remedy for acid reflux for centuries. But does it really help? We'll look at the science behind this natural remedy and see if it has any merit to it. In addition, we will explore other remedies for controlling acid reflux. 

About Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid travels back up to the oesophagus which causes irritation. The frequent occurrence of acid reflux often leads to chronic acid reflux, known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).


To find out if you have acid reflux, here are some of the main symptoms you may experience:

  • Heartburn (a burning feeling at the center of your chest). This usually happens after eating or while lying down.
  • Frequent hiccups 
  • Bloating
  • Burping 
  • Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing)
  • Unpleasant sour taste in the mouth due to stomach acid

Causes And Risk Factors 

Many people suffer from acid reflux from time to time. It can be caused by certain factors or lifestyle traits. Acid reflux is often triggered by:

  • Eating large meals or eating meals late
  • Consumption of certain foods and drinks, e.g. fatty and spicy foods, alcohol, carbonated drinks, chocolates, and coffee.
  • Smoking
  • Some medications like Ibuprofen, aspirin or other anti-inflammatory painkillers 
  • Stress and anxiety. 

Other common risk factors for acid reflux include:

  • Pregnancy 
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Increase in hormones like oestrogen and progesterone
  • Hiatus Hernia 

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common chronic form of acid reflux in which the contents of the stomach flow backward into the oesophagus. It is usually a lifelong condition.  However, patients with intermittent symptoms can only be treated during symptomatic periods.

Unlike acid reflux which happens occasionally, GORD symptoms occur frequently but are similar to those of acid reflux. GORD is treated with lifestyle changes, diet, over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs1

Milk And Acid Reflux 

Acid reflux is known to cause severe discomfort to the individual, especially if it is a chronic condition. It was seen that diet plays an important role in controlling acid reflux symptoms, and is the first line of therapy for people with GORD symptoms1. Eating certain foods (eg. ginger, yogurt, nuts and seeds, etc.) can relieve the symptoms of acid reflux to an extent.

Does Milk Help To Relieve Acid Reflux?

There is no single answer to the question of whether or not milk helps relieve acid reflux. Although milk is a recommended natural home remedy, it is important to note that milk comes in two different types- whole milk (which contains fat) and skimmed milk (fat-free milk). The high-fat content of whole milk makes acid reflux worse, but skim milk is an effective remedy that temporarily relieves acid reflux symptoms1.

Plant-based milk such as soy, almond, oat, and coconut are recommended for people suffering from chronic acid reflux. This is because plant-based milk is low in fat and therefore suitable for people with gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is advised to consume low-fat milk to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux.

Can Milk Worsen Symptoms?

Although milk offers several nutritional benefits, drinking the wrong type of milk can worsen symptoms of acid reflux and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Milk and other dairy products high in fat content tend to increase symptoms of acid reflux.  

Which Foods Can Aggravate Acid Reflux? 

Diet plays an important role in relieving or worsening the symptoms of acid reflux. For people who have gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, an improper diet can have painful consequences.

Here is a list of foods that are likely to trigger and worsen your acid reflux symptoms:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Spicy foods
  • Coffee
  • Carbonated drinks/soda
  • Alcohol
  • Fried foods
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Cheese

Unless you want to eliminate these foods, try to consume them in moderation and avoid eating them late at night. 

Treating Acid Reflux 

A combination of lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications is effective in controlling acid reflux. Here is a list of some things you can do to control the symptoms of acid reflux:

  • Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms
  • Eat in moderation and at slow pace
  • Reduce your carbonated drinks intake, as these drinks make you burp, which promotes stomach acid production and this is pushed up your oesophagus. If you are aware of your acid reflux, it is recommended to avoid these type of drinks.
  • Do not sleep immediately after eating. Stay awake for at least 3 hours after eating2
  • Smoking can cause the symptoms as the nicotine content in cigarettes triggers the stomach acid.

Foods To Help With Acid Reflux

There are a variety of food options you can choose from that help prevent and control acid reflux symptoms. 

  • Whole grains are a good source of fibre and can help absorb stomach acid3. Fibre fills you up, making you less likely to overeat. Overeating can contribute to heartburn.
  • Vegetables and non-citrus fruits
  • Foods that contain a lot of water can aid in diluting and weakening stomach acid (for example, watermelons or herbal tea).
  • Yogurt provides probiotics that support your digestive tract. It’s also a good source of protein. It helps relieve acid reflux symptoms. 
  • Healthy fat:  Fat is an essential nutrient in your diet. It's best to replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and other healthy fat options.

Natural Remedies

The natural remedies you need to relieve acid reflux symptoms may be right in your kitchen. These natural remedies can help provide short-term relief from acid reflux. 

  • Ginger tea: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and has been used throughout history for gastrointestinal problems. Add a few slices of ginger into a cup of warm water and sip until you feel better. 
  • Chamomile tea: Chamomile is a medicinal plant that helps with stomach problems and indigestion. Drink a cup or two daily to relieve any acid reflux symptoms you may be having.
  • Honey: Research suggests honey increases mucus production and promotes healing, which may help treat reflux.
  • Aloe Vera juice: Aloe Vera is believed to help relieve symptoms of gastro-oesophageal disease4.

Clinical Treatments 

There are different over-the-counter medications (antacids and proton pump inhibitors) that can be used to treat GORD symptoms. Remember to talk to your doctor to learn more about the best treatment options.


Milk can be a remedy for acid reflux in certain individuals. Studies have shown that there are types of milk that relieve or worsen the symptoms of acid reflux. Therefore, drinking milk which was fat-free and/or plant-based relieves the symptoms to an extent. However, this condition requires a combination of lifestyle changes and medication to reduce the chances of recurrence.

If you suffer from chronic acid reflux, it is advised to talk to your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you.


  1. John Hopkins Medicine [Internet]. [Cited 2022 September 01]. Available from:
  2. Harvard Health [Internet]. [Cited 2022 September 01]. Available from:
  3. Gastrology Consultants [Internet]. [Cited 2022 September 01]. Available from:
  4. Schulz RM, Ahuja NK, Slavin JL. Effectiveness of nutritional ingredients on upper gastrointestinal conditions and symptoms: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2022;14(3):672. doi:10.3390/nu14030672


  1. Math MV, Khadkikar RM, Kattimani YR.  Honey--a nutrient with medicinal property in reflux. Indian J Med Res. 2013;138(6):1020-1021.
  2. NHS [Internet]. [Cited 2022 September 01]. Available from:
  3. NHS [Internet]. [Cited 2022 September 01]. Available from:
  4. NHS [Internet]. [Cited 2022 September 01]. Available from:
  5. NHS [Internet]. [Cited 2022 September 01]. Available from:
  6. NHS  Inform [Internet]. [Cited 2022 September 01]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Amanda Yad-El Ugboji

Bachelors of science Public- Bsc Public health, Babcock University, Nigeria

Amanda is a public health entrepreneur and content creator with a strong passion for health communications.
She enjoys using her skills to contribute to projects aiming for sustainable health for all and equity. Related to this, Amanda is passionate about public health education.
She has two years of experience as a freelance writer, and her other skills include writing, blogging and public speaking."

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