Benefits, side effects, dosages and interactions.

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Malic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in apples and pears. It is considered an alpha hydroxy acid, a class of natural acids commonly used in skin care products. Malic acid is also said to be sold in supplement form, offering many benefits.

Health benefits

Malic acid is found in fruits and vegetables and occurs naturally in the body when carbohydrates are converted into energy. While some research suggests that malic acid supplements can help people with certain medical conditions, quality clinical trials are needed.

There is some evidence that malic acid supplements may have the following benefits:

Skin care benefits

When applied to the skin, malic acid is said to reduce the signs of aging, remove dead skin cells, aid in the treatment of acne , and promote skin hydration.

Several early studies published in the 1990s and early 2000s indicate that malic acid may be beneficial when applied to the skin. In tests on animals and human cells, the study authors found that malic acid can help increase collagen production and reverse sun-induced signs of skin aging.

The most recent research on topical malic acid includes a small study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology in 2013. For the study, researchers attributed people with melasma (a common condition characterized by abnormally dark patches of skin) to skin: a skin care regimen that included the use of topical vitamin C and malic acid. With an average follow-up of 26 months, this regimen proved to be an effective short-term treatment for melasma.

Physical performance

Malic acid is also used to enhance athletic performance when taken in supplement form. It is sometimes combined with creatine supplements to enhance the body's absorption of creatine. Proponents argue that malic acid can promote energy production, increase exercise endurance, and help combat muscle fatigue.

In a study published in Acta Physiologica Hungarica in 2015, researchers examined the effectiveness of creatine malate supplementation in sprinters and long-distance runners. After six weeks of supplementation in combination with physical training, physical performance improved significantly. in sprinters, as measured by peak power, overall performance, body composition, and elevated levels of growth hormone. Long-distance runners experienced a significant increase in distance covered.

Kidney stones

Malic acid is a precursor to citrate, a substance believed to prevent calcium from binding to other substances in the urine that form kidney stones. Citrate can also prevent crystals from growing, preventing them from sticking.

According to a preliminary laboratory study published in 2014, consuming malic acid can raise urine pH and citrate levels, reducing the likelihood of stone formation. The study authors concluded that malic acid supplementation may be beneficial for the conservative treatment of calcium kidney stones .

In a 2016 review, scientists suggested that given the high malic acid content of pears, future research should investigate whether a diet rich in pears low in meat and sodium could reduce stone formation .

Fibromyalgia

A pilot study published in the Journal of Rheumatology in 1995 found that taking malic acid in combination with magnesium helped relieve pain and pain in people with fibromyalgia .

For the study, the researchers assigned 24 people with fibromyalgia to be treated with a placebo or a combination of malic acid and magnesium. After six months, those who received the malic acid / magnesium combination experienced significant reductions in pain and pain. However, recent research on the efficacy of malic acid as a treatment for fibromyalgia is insufficient.

Dry mouth

The use of a 1% oral malic acid spray has been investigated as a treatment for dry mouth. A study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety , for example, evaluated the effectiveness of a 1% malic acid spray compared to a placebo in people with dry mouth after taking antidepressants. After two weeks of using the spray, if necessary, those who used the malic acid spray. dry mouth symptoms improved and salivation rate increased.

Possible side effects.

Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of long-term or regular use of malic acid supplements. However, there is some concern that consuming malic acid may cause certain side effects such as headaches, diarrhea, nausea, and allergic reactions.

Although malic acid is generally considered safe when applied to the skin in the recommended amount, some people may experience irritation, itching, redness, and other side effects. Testing new products is a good idea.

Also, alpha hydroxy acids are known to increase the skin's sensitivity to sunlight, so it is important to use sunscreen in combination with skin care products that contain any type of alpha hydroxy acid.

Please note that malic acid should not be used as a substitute for standard care. Treating a disease on your own and avoiding or delaying standard treatment can have serious consequences.

Get Drug Information / Anastasia Tretyak

Dosage and preparation

There is no standard recommended dosage for malic acid. Various doses have been used in adults in studies to investigate the treatment of various conditions.

For example, for fibromyalgia, a product called Super Malic (malic acid 1200 mg and magnesium hydroxide 300 mg) was taken twice a day for six months.

For acne, a cream containing malic acid and arginine glycolate was applied twice a day for 60 days. Finally, for dry mouth, a mouth spray containing 1 percent malic acid, 10 percent xylitol, and 0.05 percent fluoride was used up to eight times a day for two weeks.

The right dose for you may depend on how you are taking the supplement, your age, gender, and medical history. Ask your doctor for personalized advice.

What to look for

Malic acid is naturally found in fruits, including apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, peaches, pears, and plums. Malic acid is also found in some citrus fruits.

In foods, malic acid can be used to acidify or flavor foods or to prevent discoloration of foods. It can also be used with other ingredients in cosmetics.

Using malic acid in daily skin care can help with problems like pigmentation, acne, or aging skin. But keep in mind that when using new products, it is recommended that you make a test patch and avoid the eye area.

If you decide to take a malic acid supplement, the National Institute of Health (NIH) offers advice to consumers. The organization recommends looking for the additional information label on the product. This label will contain vital information, including the amount of active ingredients per serving and other added ingredients.

Finally, the organization invites you to search for a product that has been approved by a third-party quality testing organization. These organizations include the United States Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab.com, and NSF International. A seal of approval from one of these organizations does not guarantee the safety or effectiveness of a product, but does provide assurance that the product has been manufactured correctly, contains the ingredients listed on the label, and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.

Frequently asked questions

  • Some fruits are the main source of malic acid, responsible for the acidity of these fruits. These include green apples and other types of apples , blueberries , grapes, guava , lingonberries, papaya , passion fruit, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, and raspberries .

  • Malic acid is produced by the human body as well as being the main component of fruits, especially acidic ones. Citric acid is found only in citrus fruits .

  • Not at all. In fact, because it is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) , when used in low concentrations, it can help exfoliate dead skin cells and improve the appearance of fine lines and other signs of aging.

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