Neutralize Pepsin in the Throat (Deactivate Pepsin for Acid Reflux)


If you have acid reflux namely Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) the issue that causes most of the problems is pepsin. When pepsin gets into the throat it can cause a host of problems.

Therefore, it’s important that we stop pepsin from causing these problems in the throat. We can do this by neutralizing pepsin along with a host of other ways to help the problem.

Here in this article we will break it all down so you know exactly what you should do to stop pepsin once and for all.

What is Pepsin?

Before we talk about how to neutralize and stop pepsin we should firstly talk about what pepsin is. If you didn’t know pepsin is an enzyme that is produced in the stomach that is meant to aid in digestion. Namely pepsin is a digestive enzyme that helps to digest and break down proteins.

Usually when you eat more proteins whether that be meat or other forms of protein your stomach will produce more pepsin to help break down the protein in the stomach. It’s a completely natural process of digestion and the stomach.

How Does Pepsin Get into the Throat?

As you might have imagined pepsin is not meant to be in the throat. So, when pepsin does enter the throat it can and often does cause a host of problems.

The most typical way that pepsin gets into the throat is by acid reflux. Not just any kind of acid reflux but the gaseous kind of acid reflux. It’s important to note this as the typical kind of acid reflux such as liquid reflux would not be able to reach up to the throat. Whereas with gaseous reflux pepsin can rise all the way into the throat. This kind of acid reflux that affects the throat is called LPR or silent reflux.

There are many potential reasons why you may be refluxing pepsin up into your throat. Of course, acid reflux or LPR may be considered the broad reason or problem though there is often a root cause or multiple root causes of the problem.

To name a few of them you have a problem with the valve above the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is meant to tighten up and remain closed when the stomach is digesting food. The problem sometimes arises when this valve is not working correctly which causes the acid and in this case pepsin to rise up and out of the stomach and into the esophagus and throat.

Another reason could include a motility problem (meaning the stomach and gut are not flowing properly as they should be). Another reason could be SIBO which means small intestine bacterial overgrowth, this leads to a bacteria imbalance in the small intestine which can cause a pressure imbalance, and this sometimes causes acid reflux. These are just a few of the reasons why pepsin gets into the throat and larynx area. For more information on LPR check are complete guide here.

What Problems Does Pepsin Cause?

Pepsin can cause a host of problems mainly in the throat and larynx areas. To give you an idea here are some of the more common problems when someone has pepsin in their throat:

Post nasal drip

Sore throat

Burning throat

Dry throat

Throat clearing


Feeling of lump in the throat

How to Neutralize Pepsin in the Throat?

As you can see when you get pepsin into your throat it can lead to a host of problems, therefore it’s important to stop it and neutralize it by any means possible. Luckily for us there are a handful of ways that pepsin can be neutralized. It’s important to note that when pepsin is neutralized it can no longer be reactivated and cause any of the problems like we mentioned above.

There has been research done that shows that pepsin is deactivated by water with a pH greater than 8. What this basically means is that when water with pH greater than 8 goes into the throat and pepsin it becomes deactivated.

Therefore, you have a few options, the first is to drink alkaline water with a pH of at least 8, every time you drink it, it will neutralize any pepsin it comes in contact with in the throat and esophagus. You can read more about alkaline water here.

Your second option is to make your own alkaline water which you will spray into your throat periodically throughout the day. It will have the same effect as drinking alkaline water. Basically, what you need is a spray where you can add your own water like these ones on Amazon.

You should buy some store-bought alkaline water and then add baking soda to it. What baking soda does is it makes the water more alkaline which makes it very effective at stopping and neutralizing the pepsin.

Add about 8 oz (250ml) of water to a glass along with half a teaspoon of baking soda and mix well. Once it’s mixed you should add it to your spray bottle. Then you should spray this 2-4 times into the back of your throat, ideally breathing in through the mouth when you do it. Again, you should do this periodically throughout the day, usually after eating. You can do it as often as needed, but I would suggest 3-4 times per day.

This method is great for stopping pepsin and you almost certainly will see an improvement within a few days after doing it. Though it’s important to mention that you should also be trying to stop the pepsin from coming up as well in addition to this.

The best way to stop the pepsin from coming up is by doing a lower acid and more natural diet. This kind of diet has been proven to greatly reduce symptoms for people with LPR and problems with pepsin in their throat. I have created my own in-depth diet plan that follows these recommendations which you can check here – Wipeout Diet Plan. The diet follows the low acid regime which usually helps people see great improvement usually in under 2 weeks’ time!

In addition to the diet, you can also try an alginate medication. A medication such as Gaviscon advance (UK version) or Reflux Gourmet (US product). These products have an important ingredient sometimes called alginate. This alginate is an extract from seaweed.

When you take these meds it basically will sit on top of the stomach’s contents creating a barrier like effect which stops acid and pepsin from coming up into the esophagus and throat. You usually should take them after meals and before bedtime for the best effect. Check our article on it here – Why Gaviscon Advance is the Best Gavsicon.

Important Related Questions

What Happens if Your Pepsin Travels to Your Throat?

It can cause a host of problems such as sore throat, throat burning, lump in the throat feeling, coughing, throat clearing to name a few.

Does Gaviscon Neutralize Pepsin?

No Gaviscon does not neutralize pepsin though some kinds of Gaviscon can help to stop pepsin from reaching the throat and causing problems there.

What Foods Activate Pepsin in the Throat?

Any foods that have under a pH of 5 will activate the pepsin more. Meaning more acidic foods often make the symptoms worse. Therefore, stopping and limiting foods of this kind can help control symptoms and allow the throat and the digestive system to heal from the problems.

Can Pepsin Damage the Esophagus?

Yes pepsin can potentially damage the esophagus. While this can happen it’s more likely that pepsin will irritate the throat as the throat and the larynx area are not built to deal with pepsin whereas the esophagus offers more protection from things like pepsin.

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