Malic Acid – What Is It, Benefits, And Side Effects

Malic Acid – What Is It, Benefits, And Side Effects

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Commonly associated with apples, malic acid is a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables. It is quite beneficial for treating fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome and can have desirable effects on your oral health as well. Some studies suggest malic acid offers a few other benefits too. In this post, we will look at these benefits.

What Is Malic Acid? What Does It Do For Your Body?

Malic acid is naturally found in fruits and vegetables and is also produced in our bodies when carbohydrates are converted into energy. The natural form of malic acid is called L-malic acid, and the one synthesized in the laboratory is called D-malic acid. Malic acid provides the sour or bitter taste commonly associated with fruits and vegetables.

It produces the chemical energy required for managing bodily discomfort, energy production, general detoxification, and oral hygiene. That is just an overview. Now let’s get to the details below.

What Are The Benefits Of Malic Acid?

Primarily used for treating fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, malic acid is also known to boost oral health and cleanse the liver. Studies show it can also boost energy.

1. Treats Fibromyalgia And CFS

Studies have revealed that malic acid can help treat the pain associated with fibromyalgia. And it is especially effective when taken in combination with magnesium. The acid also increases tolerance to exercise, which otherwise gets difficult for people suffering from the condition. Research is also being done to check if low magnesium levels can contribute to fibromyalgia.

Malic acid improves overall muscle performance, and this can ease chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The acid also boosts energy levels and improves the condition.

2. Boosts Oral Health

Studies show how malic acid can improve xerostomia or dry mouth. It stimulates the production of saliva and treats the condition. The production of saliva also reduces the harmful bacteria in the mouth – this means malic acid can serve as an oral detox. Which is one reason it is used in toothpaste and mouthwashes.

You can also use malic acid to whiten your teeth. It acts as an astringent and removes surface discoloration. You can use strawberries for this purpose. Mash a couple of them in a bowl and add a pinch of baking soda. Apply this mix to your toothbrush and brush for several minutes. Rinse with water right away and follow with a mouth rinse to protect the enamel. Repeat it just once every two or three months. Don’t overdo it – as malic acid may corrode your teeth as any acid food would do.

3. Improves Liver Health

Malic acid is also an effective metal chelator – which means it can bind to the toxic metals accumulated in the liver and deactivate them. Malic acid is also known for crumbling gallstones – this enables them to pass smoothly through urine, thereby cleansing the liver.

Removing gallstones in the gallbladder allows for more bile production and bile flow, and this lowers the amount of cholesterol and fat in the liver – and helps reverse fatty liver disease.

4. Can Treat Gout

Though there is less research on this, some sources suggest that malic acid can fight gout due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Good During Pregnancy

Research is limited. However, one study states that malic acid present in fruits and vegetables can improve the absorption of iron – a mineral that is very important during pregnancy.

6. Can Aid Weight Loss

Some sources say that taking malic acid can aid fat break down by muscles. There is limited information on this, however. Please consult your doctor.

7. Can Make Your Skin Flawless

Malic acid can brighten the skin and smoothen its texture – which is one reason it is used as a common ingredient in anti-aging creams. It also acts as a humectant – it retains moisture, keeping the skin hydrated. In one study, old wounds were greatly improved after an ointment made from malic acid and petroleum jelly was applied.

The acid is also known to balance the pH of the skin. It can also remove a build-up of dead cells – and this works great in treating acne. Applying diluted apple cider vinegar to your skin and washing off after 10 minutes can help. You can do this twice or thrice a week.

Malic acid might also treat candida – although there is not enough research on this.

8. Can Boost Hair Health

Washing your hair with malic acid is known to eliminate bacteria and dandruff. It also can give your hair a nice shine. Malic acid neutralizes the pH levels of the hair follicles and removes dirt deposits stuck to the hair.

It can also prevent hair loss. Simply wash your hair with diluted apple cider vinegar (twice or thrice a week, before shampooing), which is a very good source of malic acid.

We are done with the benefits. But how can you make sure you get the benefits of malic acid regularly?

What Are The Foods Rich In Malic Acid?

Following are foods and products rich in malic acid.

  • Fruits – Apples are the richest sources. Other fruits include bananas, cherries, grapes, lychees, mango, nectarines, oranges, and strawberries.
  • Vegetables – Vegetables rich in malic acid include broccoli, beans, carrots, peas, and potatoes.
  • Beverages – These include carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, powdered iced tea, fruit-flavored drinks, and alcoholic ciders and wine.
  • Medical And Personal Hygiene Products – These include throat lozenges and cough syrups, toothpaste, and mouthwashes.
  • Other Edibles – These include hard and soft candies, chewing gum, fruit preserves, and some bakery items with fruit fillings.

But we recommend you primarily focus on fruits and veggies for your malic acid needs. The beverages and other edibles we have mentioned are not always healthy.

What Is The Recommended Dosage Of Malic Acid?

The dosage usually ranges from 1,200 to 2,800 milligrams per day. Malic acid is usually used with magnesium, and in that case, the recommended dosage is 280 milligrams per day.

But wait, how do you know if you even need malic acid in the first place? Well, some of the most common indications include chronic conditions characterized by discomfort and fatigue.

Though exceeding the dosage doesn’t usually cause any undesirable effects, some individuals might experience side effects.

What Are The Side Effects Of Excess Malic Acid?

  • Issues With Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Though malic acid is safe, we don’t know about the safety of malic acid supplements during this period. Please consult your doctor before using them.

Though we are uncertain (due to lack of studies), some sources say that malic acid might lower blood pressure. In this case, it might cause your blood pressure to go way too low – which might be a problem if you are already on blood pressure medications. Hence, consult your doctor.


Though malic acid is quite commonly found in fruits and veggies, it sure deserves your special attention. Ensure you get enough of it every day – it does good for your health.

Tell us how this post has helped you. Simply leave a comment below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is malic acid stronger than citric acid?

Yes, malic acid is stronger than citric acid. When added to food products, malic acid contributes to extreme tartness. It also is used with or in place of citric acid in sour sweets.

Is malic acid soluble in water?

Yes. In scientific terms, carboxylic acids with short carbon chains are soluble in water. Malic acid is one such acid, and hence, it is soluble in water.

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