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Several decades ago, doctors advised drinking milk to ease an upset stomach. However, this advice is no longer commonly given. In the years since, research has established that drinking milk, though it provides temporary relief to an upset stomach, actually makes the problem worse in the long run.
Milk Increases Gastric Acid Production
Milk has a lower pH than the gastric acid that the stomach secretes for digestion. Therefore, it was formerly believed that milk would help ease the acidity of an upset stomach. It does for a few hours, by coating the stomach lining and acting as a buffer against excess acid. However, it then stimulates the stomach to produce more gastric acid, actually making the problem worse.
This issue applies to other drinks such as coffee, tea, and beer. If you have an upset stomach, the best medicinal remedy is to take an antacid, rather than trying to soothe the discomfort with beverages other than water.
Milk is Still Healthy and Nutritious
However, to clarify, drinking milk does not cause an upset stomach if you are feeling well. Milk is highly nutritious and drinking it, if you are lactose-tolerant, is recommended. Milk should merely not be consumed to ease an upset stomach already in progress.
For more information on stomach issues and treatments for stomach pain, book an appointment at the Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health.