Malic acid is found in a lot of the foods we eat. This naturally occurring organic compound is found in a lot of fruits: apples and apple juice are especially high in malic acid. Although malic acid can be found in these foods, many people opt to take malic acid supplements to treat a variety of disorders and to help improve their health. Malic acid is often used as a preservative and food additive. This mild acid is not harmful if the daily dosage does not go over the recommended daily amounts.
Think of malic acid as an energy conductor in the body. It also plays a vital role in cell metabolism. Besides producing energy, malic acid is also beneficial in keeping the muscles from tiring too quickly, boosts the immune system, promotes the proper functioning of the heart, nerves and muscles, helps maintain oral health, decreases the toxic effect from some metals and leaves you with firmer, smoother skin.
- Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Fibromyalgia is best described as a condition that causes pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. A total lack of energy along with muscle fatigue is another symptom of fibromyalgia. Most of the symptoms seen in patients with fibromyalgia are the same symptoms as those with chronic fatigue syndrome. Malic acid helps reverse the muscle fatigue in these two disorders, effectively lessening the severity of the symptoms from both disorders. Malic acid gives CFS and fibromyalgia patients a boost in the level of energy they have, while improving the overall quality of their muscle activity.
- Heart Disease: An early study that was published in 2013 found that patients with cardiovascular problems greatly benefited from daily malic acids supplements.
- Energy Boost: Besides being able to help reduce pain levels, malic acid is a great supplement to increase overall energy. This is definitely a good thing for those who have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. People who have added malic acid to their daily diet experience a marked reduction in their fatigue, as well as having more energy than they have had in a while.
- Metal Toxicity: Over time toxic metals build up in the body. This build-up could lead to major health problems with your brain or liver. Malic acid has the wonderful ability to bind itself to these toxic metals and help them find their way out of the body.
- Oral Hygiene: Malic acid makes a great antiseptic that keeps any germs in the mouth in check, while reducing the overall risk of mouth infections. Malic acid is a very popular ingredient found in a lot of toothpastes and mouthwashes; this is because malic acid activates saliva production and helps keep bacteria from reproducing and infecting the whole mouth.
- Skin Care: Malic acid is not only good for the insides of your body, but it is also great for your skin. A common additive in many skin care products, malic acid is best known for its exfoliating properties. Because malic acid can penetrate deeply into the skin, it makes a great product to use if you want to improve your skin pigmentation or smoothness, or if you just want a better complexion.
Possible Side Effects of Malic Acid
There has not been much research done on malic acid, so not much is known about long-term use. It is known that too much malic acid may cause nausea or diarrhea in some people. As a skin product, malic acid is generally safe, however, a few people may experience signs of skin irritation like redness or a rash, and itching. Also, malic acid may cause your skin to become over-sensitive to sunlight. Always use sunscreen when you use products containing alpha-hydroxy acid.
Foods That Contain Malic Acid
As noted earlier, apples have the highest malic acid content of all fruits. However, these fruits also have a high level of malic acid in them: strawberries, peaches, cherries, nectarines, lychees, mangoes, tomatoes, and bananas. Malic acid is also found in many different candies and drinks, due to it being a wonderful flavor enhancer. Naturally sweet, it is also found in diet sodas and most all artificially sweetened beverages, as well as in unsweetened gum, and gummy candies. Malic acid is used in a lot of foods that use artificial sweeteners because the acid has a natural way to mask unpleasant flavors caused by these artificial sweeteners.
Interactions With Medications
Studies to date have not shown any problems taking malic acid supplements along with your medicines. It is always possible that some side effects do exist. Therefore, it is important that you talk to your doctor about any benefits or risks you may face if you add malic acid supplements to your diet.