Lemon is a tropical fruit, which is rich in vitamin C and citric acid. Citric acid gives lemon its acidity. It also contains riboflavin, iron, thiamin and magnesium and anti-oxidants such as ascorbic acid. The health benefits of lemon were first noticed when it was found effective against scurvy, which is caused by vitamin C deficiency. Since then numerous health benefits have been attributed to this fruit. Lemon juice mixed with water is a popular home remedy for acid reflux. However, this is counterintuitive considering the acidic properties of lemon juice. Below is the info you should know.

Does Lemon Cause Acidity in Stomach?            

Lemon contains citric acid, which gives it its acidic nature. The pH of lemon juice outside the body is acidic with values ranging from 2-3. However, when lemon juice is consumed it is digested and metabolized. The pH of its components after it is digested and metabolized becomes alkaline. Citric acid, which is a strongly acidic component present in lemon, becomes a weak acid and the other components become alkaline. Lemon juice is therefore, acidic outside the body and once in the stomach after it is digested and metabolized it becomes alkaline.

Does Lemon Juice Reduce Acid Reflux and Acidity in Stomach?

Acid reflux is the condition in which the lower esophageal sphincter (which prevents contents of the stomach from entering the esophagus) does not function properly. This causes the contents of the stomach to reach the esophagus and the throat. Lemon juice is alkaline inside the body so it can be used to neutralize the acidity in the stomach and it can be used to treat acid reflux. However, lemon juice can aggravate acid reflux by another mechanism.

Mechanism by which lemon juice can aggravate acid reflux

In patients suffering from acid reflux, acidic contents of the stomach, which contains inactive pepsin travel up the digestive tract up to the esophagus and the throat. When inactive pepsin comes into contact with food containing acidic contents, it gets activated. The activated pepsin breaks down the protein present in the tissues of the esophagus and the throat and causes damages to these tissues. Lemon juice becomes alkaline only after it is digested in the stomach. It is still acidic while in the throat and esophagus. So when the inactive pepsin comes in contact with lemon juice it gets activated, causing damage to the tissues of the throat and esophagus.

Lemon juice can aggravate heartburnin the esophagus and throat burn (characterized by sore throat and chronic cough) in the throat. This effect can vary from individual to individual. This effect of lemon juice can be prevented by drinking small amounts of lemon juice diluted with water, which makes it less acidic.

So does lemon cause acidity in stomach? It can if you consume pure lemon juice without diluting it with water.

Additional Benefits of Lemon Juice in Treating Stomach Problems

The ascorbic acid in lemon has antioxidant properties and protects the stomach from cancer and prevents damage to the stomach lining. This makes lemon juice beneficial for people suffering from peptic ulcers. Calcium carbonate is synthesized from lemon juice in the stomach, which further helps neutralize the acid. Lemon juice contains vitamin C, pectin and fiber that ameliorate the pain and inflammation in the esophagus. Lemon juice also detoxifies the gastrointestinal tract. 

How should you drink lemon juice as a home remedy?

It is always recommended that you drink lemon juice diluted in water. Mixing a small amount of lemon juice in water makes it alkaline, which can neutralize acidity in the stomach and reduce acid reflux. For preparing lemon juice as a home remedy for acid reflux you should mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with 20 ounces of water. You should drink this preparation 20 minutes before your meals to prevent any reactions that can be caused by the contents of your food. Since the benefits of lemon juice in the treatment of acidity vary from person to person, it is advised that you first consume a diluted version of lemon juice for your acid reflux problems. If it does not cause any adverse effects you can increase its concentration gradually.

Lemon juice can erode the enamel of your teeth. It is recommended that you drink lemon juice using a straw to prevent damage to your teeth. So does lemon cause acidity in stomach? No, lemon juice diluted in water can be a good remedy for acid reflux. In spite of all the health benefits it is recommended that you consume lemon juice in moderation.