Gas, bloating and diarrhea are the most common symptoms of lactose intolerance. People with lactose intolerance replace lactose dense milk with modern buttermilk which is a kind of fermented milk prepared by adding useful bacteria to pasteurized milk.
It’s because according to studies buttermilk can decrease 26 percent of lactose components and can reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance like abdominal upset and diarrhea (1). However, another common abdominal discomfort aka constipation is not associated with lactose intolerance.
So Does buttermilk cause constipation or prevent it? Well, buttermilk can cause constipation because it does not contain fiber. Fiber is essential for stool softening and maintaining the flow (2).
Moreover, buttermilk contains a little amount of magnesium which is an anti-constipation macromineral. Studies have shown that consumption of high magnesium can prevent constipation by increasing stool frequency (3).
Also, you may get constipated after consumption of buttermilk in some other circumstances. However, these factors are not always directly associated with buttermilk. These factors are (4)
- Dental problem
- Little water consumption
- Inadequate intake of dietary fiber
- Overweight or obesity problem
However, in certain circumstances, fiber-free buttermilk is good for constipation. These are chronic constipation patients with delayed transit time and idiopathic constipation patients.
It’s because studies have shown that fiber restricted diet can reverse the constipation problems of people with idiopathic constipation and chronic constipation patients with delayed transit time (5, 6).
Note: This article will cover the stomach disorders (gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation) and their relationship with both modern buttermilk and traditional buttermilk.
Does Buttermilk Cause Gas?
Buttermilk does not cause gas because it is free from the fiber. Studies have shown that both soluble and insoluble fiber produces gas (7). However, buttermilk contains a little lactose and too much consumption of buttermilk can cause troubles for people with lactose intolerance.
As gas is a common side effect of lactose intolerance excessive intake of buttermilk can increase the intake of lactose. Which in turn, may cause gas for lactose intolerant individuals.
Also, if you are suffering from IBS, then buttermilk can cause gas because of its high FODMAP value. According to studies low FODMAP diet can reduce both gas and bloat in IBS patients (8).
Does Buttermilk Cause Bloating?
Buttermilk does not cause bloating if you maintain the normal intake level. The zero fiber density of both traditional and modern buttermilk keeps bloating problems at bay. According to studies consumption of high fiber foods increases the risk of bloating in healthy adults (9).
However, buttermilk is not completely lactose-free and because of this, surplus consumption of buttermilk can trigger the symptoms of lactose intolerance. That’s why a high consumption of buttermilk can promote bloating through lactose imbalance.
Also, the high FODMAP behavior of buttermilk is another cause behind bloated on too much buttermilk consumption.
Is Buttermilk Good for Acid Reflux?
Buttermilk is absolutely good for acid reflux because it contains a high amount of lactic acid. Lactic acid helps in digestion and it may prevent acid reflux or heartburn. Moreover, buttermilk contains a very little amount of acidity producing nutrients like fat and vitamin C.
Studies have shown that high-fat foods can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and cause acid reflux (10). Also, another study contributed that vitamin C or ascorbic acid can trigger acid reflux because of its high acidic nature (11).
However, both traditional and modern buttermilk contains very little amount of vitamin C and fat. One cup of modern buttermilk(245 grams) contains 2.62 grams of fat and 2.45 mg of vitamin C compared to 8.11 grams of fat and 0 mg of vitamin C of traditional buttermilk (12, 13).
This tiny amount of acidity triggering components helps to make buttermilk one of the best choices to deal with acid reflux.
Is Buttermilk A Laxative?
No, buttermilk is not a laxative as it is fiber-free and contains a very little amount of magnesium. Both of these nutrients play an essential role in stool frequency improvement and softening it.
That’s why foods with high fiber and magnesium components are considered the best natural laxatives which aid in the regulation of stools. However as discussed earlier, people with delayed transit time related to chronic constipation and idiopathic constipation can use fiber-less buttermilk to relieve constipation problems.
In these two cases, buttermilk can act as a natural laxative for constipation.
Is Buttermilk Good For Bowels?
Normally buttermilk is not good for bowels. The absence of fiber makes buttermilk an ineffective remedy for smooth and steady bowel production. Moreover, it lacks another bowel-friendly nutrient density aka high magnesium.
However, adding some high fiber and magnesium-rich ingredients can make buttermilk good for bowels. You can consume these great buttermilk recipes for constipation relief. Moreover, these recipes are easy to prepare.
Let’s check the top buttermilk recipes for constipation relief.
Almond buttermilk: Almond is a great source of probiotics that aid in healthy bowel movement. Moreover, almonds are high in fiber and magnesium. That’s why adding almonds with buttermilk can make the recipe a perfect remedy for smooth bowel movement.
Ginger buttermilk: Ginger buttermilk is prepared by mixing raw ginger. Ginger is beneficial for gut health and contains fiber. Because of this ginger buttermilk can be an effective recipe to control bowel problems.
Buttermilk macadamia mix: Macadamia nuts can help is constipation relief by increasing bowel frequency. That’s why added macadamia nuts with buttermilk can be an effective drink to deal with bowel discrepancies.
Fermented milk or buttermilk is a very popular creamy byproduct of milk that is widely used to prepare biscuits, cakes, and muffins. There are two types of buttermilk i.e the traditional buttermilk and modern buttermilk. Both of these two variants are free from fiber and contain very little magnesium.
These two factors make buttermilk not suitable for constipation control. In fact, because of this nutrient density, buttermilk can cause constipation. However, the zero-fiber formula of buttermilk helps to get rid of gas and bloating for healthy adults.
Also, buttermilk is beneficial for acidity control because of its very little vitamin C and fat component. However, buttermilk is high in FODMAP which may cause stomach trouble for IBS patients.