Is milk good for diarrhea?

Milk for heartburn? It really helps

Some assumptions about the well-being of the stomach and intestines appear to us to be well-established general knowledge. But it is by no means everything that sounds plausible at first glance. Three common misconceptions about the effects of schnapps, cola and milk - and what's behind them

1. Schnapps promotes digestion

High-percentage alcohol after meals can reduce the unpleasant feeling of fullness after a meal that is too lavish, but it does not promote digestion - on the contrary: it actually delays it. Because alcohol has been shown to have a relaxing effect on our muscles, including those in the stomach wall. Normally the stomach muscles knead what you eat after you eat it, but alcohol makes you slack. The food pulp then lies longer in the stomach and is transported more slowly towards the intestines. Digestive problems can be the result.

Only certain aperitifs such as sherry or aniseed schnapps - but taken about half an hour before a meal - may improve digestion. This is due to the bitter substances it contains, which stimulate the stomach, liver and gall bladder to release digestive juices. This effect can be achieved even better with a glass of bitter lemon or grapefruit juice - because they are free from alcohol.

2. Pretzel sticks and cola help with diarrhea

With diarrhea, the body loses large amounts of water and electrolytes, including elements like potassium. For a long time, even some doctors believed that they could compensate for the loss of fluids and minerals with cola and salt sticks. In the meantime, however, it is scientifically proven that the high sugar content in the cola actually increases the amount of water released from the body into the intestines and worsens the diarrhea. In addition, the caffeine stimulates the kidneys to excrete increased potassium.

Pretzel sticks do not do any harm, but they hardly provide any potassium or other minerals, but mainly sodium. Special electrolyte solutions from the pharmacy are more recommended. They contain water, sugar and salts in ideal concentrations so that the body can absorb them well.

However, you should strictly adhere to the mixing ratio specified on the package, because too high a concentration will otherwise aggravate the diarrhea.

3. Milk neutralizes stomach acid

When acidic gastric juice rises up the esophagus, it can cause a very uncomfortable feeling: heartburn. As an antidote, it is often recommended to drink milk - because it supposedly neutralizes the acid.

But that's nonsense: milk is actually slightly acidic itself. The fact that a sip of milk often has a soothing effect on acute heartburn is simply because the liquid flushes the esophagus free of acid from the stomach. This effect can be achieved even better with a glass of tap water.

And a study by the University of Texas on almost 400 test subjects even suggests that consuming milk increases the risk of developing heartburn
can - presumably due to its fat content.

However, studies have shown that chewing gum has proven to be an effective remedy for heartburn: It stimulates the production of saliva - and unlike milk, it actually has a neutralizing effect.