Is Kefir Good for Acid Reflux? Benefits and Risks to Know

Believe it or not, there’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as experiencing acid reflux. From the constant burning sensation in your chest to the occasional stomach pains, it’s a condition that can quickly take over your life. Fortunately, there are several treatments available, ranging from medication to lifestyle changes. One of the more popular remedies is kefir. But is this delicious fermented drink really good for acid reflux?

Kefir is a type of probiotic drink made from milk and kefir grains. According to various studies, probiotics have been shown to be beneficial for acid reflux and other digestive problems. This is because probiotics can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, reducing inflammation and helping the digestive system function more effectively. Kefir, in particular, is full of these good bacteria, making it an excellent probiotic option for those seeking acid reflux relief.

Of course, like any medical treatment, kefir may not be for everyone. Different people respond to different remedies, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you suffer from acid reflux, it’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor before trying new treatments, including kefir. That said, many people have experienced improved symptoms after incorporating kefir into their diets, so it may be worth giving it a try.

What is kefir?

Kefir is a fermented drink that originated from the Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe. It is made by adding kefir grains, which is a combination of bacteria and yeast, to milk. The kefir grains then consume the lactose in the milk, producing lactic acid, carbon dioxide, and ethanol. This process results in a sour and slightly effervescent drink that is both refreshing and nutritious.

The traditional kefir recipe uses cow’s or goat’s milk as a base, but it is also possible to use non-dairy milk alternatives such as soy or coconut milk. The drink has a tangy and slightly sour taste, which can be customized depending on the length of the fermentation process and the type of milk used. Kefir can be consumed plain or used as a base for smoothies, salad dressings, and dips.

What are the potential causes of acid reflux?

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus (known as the lower esophageal sphincter) fails to close properly, allowing stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus. This can cause discomfort ranging from a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn) to difficulty swallowing and regurgitation.

  • Diet: Certain foods, such as spicy or acidic foods, can irritate the lining of the esophagus and lead to acid reflux symptoms. Other common triggers include fatty and fried foods, caffeine, alcohol, and chocolate.
  • Obesity: People who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience acid reflux, as excess weight can put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter and make it easier for stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus.
  • Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, increasing the risk of acid reflux. The growing baby can also put pressure on the stomach, pushing acid back up into the esophagus.

In addition to these factors, certain medications (such as aspirin and ibuprofen), smoking, and medical conditions like hiatal hernia and gastroparesis can also increase the risk of acid reflux.


Author: Robinson, E. M.
Title: How to get rid of acid reflux in throat naturally
Journal: Medical News Today
Year of Publication: 2021

Robinson, E. M. (2021). How to get rid of acid reflux in throat naturally. Medical News Today.

What are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a medical condition that occurs when the stomach’s acidic contents flow back up into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. The most common symptoms of acid reflux are:

  • Heartburn: This is a burning sensation in the chest that often begins after eating and can last for a few minutes to several hours. It can be worse when lying down or bending over.
  • Regurgitation: This is the sensation of acid backing up into the throat or mouth. It can cause a bitter or sour taste in the mouth and may also lead to vomiting.
  • Dysphagia: This is difficulty swallowing and can occur due to inflammation or strictures in the esophagus.

Other symptoms of acid reflux may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Hoarseness or sore throat
  • Coughing or wheezing

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor. Acid reflux can cause serious complications if left untreated, including ulcers, strictures, and Barrett’s esophagus, which can lead to esophageal cancer.

How is acid reflux typically treated?

Acid reflux is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. For most people, reflux occurs occasionally after eating certain foods, but for some individuals, it can be a chronic issue. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat acid reflux, ranging from lifestyle changes to medication and surgical procedures.

  • Lifestyle changes: Simple changes in eating habits and lifestyle can often alleviate symptoms of acid reflux. These may include avoiding trigger foods like spicy or fatty foods, eating smaller meals, and avoiding lying down after eating. Lifestyle changes also include losing weight, quitting smoking, and raising the head of your bed to prevent reflux at night.
  • Medications: For more severe cases of acid reflux, medications like antacids or H2 receptor blockers can help to reduce symptoms. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are also often prescribed for long-term treatment of chronic reflux. These medications reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach and can be effective for people with persistent symptoms.
  • Surgical procedures: In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying issues that cause acid reflux. One of the most common procedures is called a Nissen fundoplication, which involves wrapping the top of the stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent reflux from occurring.

While there are many effective treatments for acid reflux, it’s important to consult with your doctor or a gastroenterologist to determine which approach is best for you. Additionally, some people have found relief from acid reflux by incorporating probiotics like kefir into their diets.

What are some potential side effects of kefir?

Kefir is an excellent source of probiotics and has numerous health benefits such as improving digestion, boosting the immune system, and reducing inflammation. However, like with any other food or supplement, kefir may cause side effects. Here are some of the potential side effects of kefir:

  • Stomach upset: Kefir is a acidic and tart beverage, which can cause some people to experience stomach discomfort, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
  • Allergic reactions: Kefir is a dairy-based product, and people who have a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance should avoid it. Drinking kefir can cause symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
  • Interaction with medication: Kefir contains high amounts of vitamin K, which can interfere with blood-thinning medications like Warfarin. People who are taking this medication should consult with their doctor before consuming kefir.

Overall, kefir is considered safe for most people, and side effects are rare. However, it’s essential to consume kefir in moderation and listen to your body’s reactions. If you experience any adverse side effects, stop consuming kefir and consult with your healthcare provider.

How does kefir affect the gut microbiome?

Kefir is made by fermenting milk with kefir grains, which are clusters of yeast and bacteria. These microorganisms help create a diverse and beneficial ecosystem in the gut. Kefir contains over 30 strains of bacteria and yeasts, including lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, and streptococcus. As a result, it has been shown to be effective in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.

  • Increased microbial diversity: Kefir is known to increase the number and diversity of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can help improve digestion and overall health.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects: Certain strains of bacteria in kefir have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce inflammation in the gut and throughout the body.
  • Improved gut barrier function: Kefir may also help improve gut barrier function by increasing the production of mucus in the gut, which can help protect the intestine from harmful bacteria and other toxins.

In addition, kefir has been shown to be effective in treating and preventing various gastrointestinal disorders, including acid reflux. Its probiotic properties help to balance the gut microbiome and reduce inflammation, which can help alleviate symptoms of acid reflux.

Overall, kefir is a great addition to a healthy diet and can help improve gut health and prevent a variety of digestive problems.

What are the potential benefits of kefir?

Kefir, a type of fermented milk, has long been regarded as a healthful food. Its potential benefits seem to be endless, ranging from improving digestion to boosting your immune system. Here are some of the most prominent benefits that kefir can offer:

  • Improved Digestion: Kefir is particularly rich in probiotics, the good bacteria that live in your gut and help break down and digest food. Consuming kefir can help regulate your digestive system, relieve bloating, and even ease symptoms of acid reflux.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Inflammation is a natural response of your body to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation is linked to numerous health conditions. Kefir contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation throughout your body.
  • Better Immunity: Probiotics found in kefir can help boost your immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies and white blood cells. This can help you fight off infections and prevent illnesses.
  • Improved Bone Health: Kefir is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin K2, all of which are essential for strong and healthy bones. Drinking kefir regularly can help prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Reduced Risk of Allergies: Some studies have shown that consuming kefir during pregnancy and breastfeeding can reduce the risk of allergies in infants. Kefir contains immunomodulatory compounds that can help regulate your immune system and prevent allergic reactions.
  • Lowered Risk of Heart Disease: Kefir contains bioactive peptides that can help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease. Drinking kefir regularly can help improve your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Possible Cancer Prevention: Some studies have suggested that kefir may have anti-cancer properties and can help prevent the growth of cancer cells. More research is needed to confirm these findings, but it’s clear that kefir can be a healthful addition to your diet.

With all these potential benefits, it’s hard not to try and incorporate kefir in your diet in some way. Whether as a drink or a key ingredient to a recipes, make sure to add kefir as part of your food choices!

How to incorporate kefir into your diet

If you’re looking to add more kefir to your diet to help with acid reflux, there are plenty of ways to do it. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

  • Drink it straight: One of the easiest ways to incorporate kefir into your diet is to simply drink it straight. You can find ready-made kefir at most grocery stores, or you can make your own at home.
  • Smoothies: Kefir can be a great addition to smoothies. Simply blend kefir with your favorite fruits and veggies for a tasty and nutritious treat.
  • Salad dressing: You can use kefir as the base for a healthy salad dressing. Mix kefir with some herbs and spices to create a delicious, creamy dressing.

If you’re not sure how to use kefir, start with small amounts and gradually increase your intake as your body gets used to it. You may find that you feel better when you consume kefir regularly.

Here is a table that shows some serving size suggestions:

Kefir Serving Amount of Kefir
Drink 8 oz.
Smoothie 6 oz.
Salad dressing 2 Tbsp.

Remember to always listen to your body and speak with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns. Incorporating kefir into your diet can be a delicious and healthy way to help manage acid reflux symptoms.

Other Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux

If kefir is not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other natural remedies available when it comes to treating acid reflux. Here are some examples:

  • Ginger: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can help soothe the esophagus and reduce acid reflux symptoms. Try brewing ginger tea or adding fresh ginger to your meals.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe vera has a natural anti-inflammatory effect on the esophagus, making it a popular remedy for acid reflux. Look for aloe vera juice at your local health food store and drink a small amount before meals.
  • Chamomile: Chamomile tea has a calming effect on the digestive system and can help reduce acid reflux symptoms. Sip on a warm cup of chamomile tea after meals.

In addition to these remedies, there are also some changes you can make to your lifestyle that may help alleviate acid reflux symptoms:

Elevate the head of your bed: Elevating the head of your bed by 6-8 inches can help keep stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus during the night.

Don’t eat within 3 hours of bedtime: Eating too close to bedtime can increase the risk of acid reflux symptoms occurring during the night. Allow your body time to digest before lying down to sleep.

Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods are known to trigger acid reflux symptoms, such as chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and high-fat or spicy foods. Avoiding these foods may help reduce the frequency and severity of acid reflux symptoms.

If you do experience acid reflux symptoms despite these natural remedies and lifestyle changes, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They may recommend medication or further testing to determine the cause of your symptoms and develop an individualized treatment plan.

Foods to avoid for acid reflux sufferers

Acid reflux is a medical condition that occurs when the acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus. It causes symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and difficulty swallowing. While some foods can help treat acid reflux, others can make the condition worse. To reduce symptoms of acid reflux, it is recommended to avoid consuming the following foods:

  • Caffeine: Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, and some soft drinks. It increases the production of stomach acid, which can worsen acid reflux symptoms.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, causing acid reflux to occur more frequently.
  • Spicy foods: Spicy foods can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms.
  • Fatty and fried foods: Fatty and fried foods take longer to digest, increasing the production of stomach acid and causing acid reflux symptoms.
  • Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, contain high levels of acid, which can worsen acid reflux symptoms.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are highly acidic and can trigger acid reflux symptoms.
  • Mint: Mint can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, causing acid reflux symptoms to worsen.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains caffeine and other stimulants that can worsen acid reflux symptoms.
  • Onions: Onions can cause acid reflux symptoms due to their high levels of acid.
  • Soda: Soda is highly acidic and can worsen acid reflux symptoms.

The Impact of Dietary Choices on Acid Reflux Symptoms

It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for treating acid reflux. Dietary choices that trigger symptoms in one person may not have the same effect on another. Tracking your diet and noting which foods trigger acid reflux symptoms can help you make more informed choices and better manage your acid reflux. Consuming a well-balanced diet and avoiding food triggers can improve quality of life and potentially reduce medication use.


Food Impact on Acid Reflux Symptoms
Caffeine Increases production of stomach acid, worsens symptoms
Alcohol Relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, worsens symptoms
Spicy foods Irritate lining of esophagus, worsen symptoms
Fatty and fried foods Take longer to digest, increase production of stomach acid, worsen symptoms
Citrus fruits Contain high levels of acid, worsen symptoms
Tomatoes Highly acidic, trigger symptoms
Mint Relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, worsens symptoms
Chocolate Contains caffeine and other stimulants, worsens symptoms
Onions High levels of acid, trigger symptoms
Soda Highly acidic, worsens symptoms

While dietary changes alone may not completely cure acid reflux, avoiding trigger foods can significantly reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Consult with a doctor or registered dietitian to develop a customized plan for managing acid reflux.

Bottom line: Give kefir a try for acid reflux relief

In conclusion, kefir is a healthy and nutritious beverage that may provide some relief from acid reflux symptoms. Its probiotic content can strengthen the gut microbiome and improve digestion, while its anti-inflammatory properties may soothe the esophageal lining and reduce discomfort. However, it’s worth noting that not everyone will benefit from kefir equally, and some may even experience adverse reactions. Therefore, we recommend consulting with your healthcare provider before adding kefir to your diet. Thanks for reading, and come back soon for more health and wellness insights!