Use Probiotics for Acid Reflux

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/29/2024

Living with acid reflux can be very difficult, and can make simple activities like eating a meal with friends uncomfortable. Understanding what causes this issue is the first step in managing it.

Learn about acid reflux, common factors that cause it, and what steps you can take to promote the health of your digestive tract.

Understanding the Role of Probiotics in Acid Reflux Management

When acid reflux appears in your digestive tract, it can destroy the microbiome of your gut.

In such scenarios, probiotics step up as a potential solution.

The Gut-Brain Connection and Acid Reflux

Your brain and gut are connected by the vagus nerve. This communication pathway allows them to influence each other’s actions.

How Probiotics Aid Digestion

Lactic acid bacteria and yeast, two types of probiotics, are efficient waste management systems. They aid digestion while keeping the environment healthy.

This keeps conditions unfavorable for 'bad' bacteria who love disorderly conduct.

This goes beyond mere theory; it has been shown that 79% of people benefited from reduced acid reflux symptoms after taking probiotics.

The Impact of Antibiotics on Acid Reflux

Antibiotics are commonly used to combat infection, but they can also destroy helpful gut bacteria and lead to conditions such as GERD or acid reflux. Wiping out the beneficial gut flora can lead to digestive issues like GERD and acid reflux.

The Consequences of Antibiotic Use on Gut Health

When antibiotics enter the gut's microbiome, they can destroy harmful pathogens and helpful probiotics alike.

This state is called dysbiosis - an imbalance in the gut microbiome that can contribute to several health problems, including acid reflux.

When antibiotics disrupt our internal ecosystem, we're left vulnerable to increased stomach acidity. Nevertheless, there's still a way to combat this.

The Importance of Bile Salts in Managing Acid Reflux

Acid reflux can be a real pain, but bile salts might have the answer. Microbes produce these compounds in your large intestine, essential in neutralizing acid in your small intestine.

High acidity can cause a range of unpleasant issues, including ulcers and acid reflux. But thanks to our microbial friends, we've got a natural defense mechanism.

The Role of Microbes in Bile Salt Production

Diving deeper into the gut world reveals fascinating insights about these microscopic beings. Microbial production is not random; it's crucial for maintaining balance within our guts.

Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any significant diet-related or health-related changes.

Dietary Recommendations for Acid Reflux Relief

Acid reflux can feel like a constant battle. But, making dietary changes can help manage symptoms and bring relief.

Incorporating Probiotic-Rich Foods into Your Diet

Foods rich in probiotics are excellent for gut health. They aid digestion and maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut.

Probiotics are found naturally in foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Regularly incorporating these foods into your diet could make you less prone to acid reflux attacks.

The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Betaine Hydrochloride

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is another powerful tool against acid reflux due to its acidity, which helps balance stomach pH levels.

Betaine hydrochloride also aids digestion by increasing the production of gastric acids, which may reduce heartburn incidents caused by low stomach acid conditions such as hypochlorhydria.

The Connection Between Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, a common digestive issue, can be traced back to an unexpected source: the small intestine. Specifically, it's linked to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), an imbalance in our gut microbiome.

Understanding SIBO and Its Impact on Digestive Health

SIBO occurs when there is excessive growth of bacteria in the small intestine. This bacterial overpopulation interferes with our normal digestion process and leads to symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, and acid reflux.

The link between SIBO and acid reflux is how these bacteria affect your body’s natural pH balance. When too many harmful bacteria reside in your gut, they produce gases as part of their metabolism.

This causes regurgitation of fluids such as lactic acid or bile into the stomach, leading to what we know as heartburn or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). These are essentially different terms for that unpleasant sensation known as acid indigestion.

​Source and Type of Probiotics

The source and type of probiotics can significantly impact their effectiveness in supporting gut health. Probiotics can be derived from various sources, including fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, as well as in supplement forms such as pills or liquids.

Are liquid probiotics better than pills? The answer often depends on personal preference and individual needs.

Liquid probiotics can be more easily absorbed by the body, making them suitable for those with digestive issues or difficulty swallowing pills.

Additionally, liquid probiotics may have a quicker onset of action due to their liquid form, potentially offering faster relief for particular digestive concerns.

However, the choice between liquid and pill probiotics ultimately comes down to personal preference, convenience, and the specific health goals of each individual.

Consulting with a healthcare professional can help determine which type of probiotic best fits your needs.


Living with acid reflux can be challenging, impacting daily activities and social interactions. However, understanding the underlying causes and implementing effective management strategies can significantly improve your quality of life.

Probiotics emerge as a promising solution, maintaining gut health and reducing acid reflux symptoms. By incorporating probiotic-rich foods, apple cider vinegar, and betaine hydrochloride into your diet, you can actively combat acid reflux.

Consulting with a healthcare professional ensures personalized guidance tailored to your specific needs. Armed with this knowledge, you're empowered to take control of your acid reflux and embrace a life free from discomfort and digestive distress.

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