MALIC ACID

OTHER NAME(S):

2-Hydroxybutanedioic Acid, (-)-Acide Malique, (+)-Acide Malique, Acide 2-Hydroxybutanédioïque, Acide malique, Acide (R)-Hydroxybutanédioïque, Acide (S)-Hydroxybutanédioïque, Ácido málico, (-)-Malic Acid, (+)-Malic Acid, D-Malic Acid, L-Malic Acid, Malic Acid, Malate, (R)-Hydroxybutanedioic Acid, (S)-Hydroxybutanedioic Acid.

Overview

Overview Information

Malic acid is a chemical found in certain fruits and wines. It is sometimes used as medicine.

Malic acid is used most commonly for dry mouth. It is also used for fibromyalgia, fatigue, and skin conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.

In foods, malic acid is used as a flavoring agent to give food a tart taste.

In manufacturing, malic acid is used to adjust the acidity of cosmetics.

How does it work?

Malic acid is involved in the Krebs cycle. This is a process the body uses to make energy. Malic acid is sour and acidic. This helps to clear away dead skin cells when applied to the skin. Its sourness also helps to make more saliva to help with dry mouth.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Dry mouth. Using a mouth spray containing a malic acid seems to improve symptoms of dry mouth better than using a saline mouth spray.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Acne. Early research shows that applying an alpha hydroxy acid cream containing malic acid helps reduce signs of acne in some people.
  • Fibromyalgia. Taking malic acid in combination with magnesium seems to reduce pain and tenderness caused by fibromyalgia.
  • Fatigue.
  • Warts.
  • Scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis).
  • Aging skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of malic acid for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Malic acid is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. Malic acid is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as a medicine.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if malic acid is safe. It might cause side effects such as skin and eye irritation.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Malic acid is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. There isn't enough reliable information to know if malic acid is safe to use as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid in amounts greater than what is normally found in food.

Low blood pressure: Malic acid might lower blood pressure. In theory, malic acid might increase the risk of blood pressure becoming too low in people prone to low blood pressure.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for MALIC ACID Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

SPRAYED IN MOUTH:

  • For dry mouth: Mouth sprays containing 1% malic acid alone or with 10% xylitol, and 0.05% fluoride have been used up to 8 times daily for 2 weeks.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 184 - Direct Food Substances Affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe. Available at: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=786bafc6f6343634fbf79fcdca7061e1&rgn=div5&view=text&node=21:3.0.1.1.14&idno=21#se21.3.184_11069.
  • Fiume, Z. Final report on the safety assessment of malic acid and sodium malate. Int J Toxicol 2001;20 Suppl 1:47-55. View abstract.
  • Gardner WH. "Chapter 5: Acidulants in food processing." CRC Handbook of Food Additives, Second Edition, Volume 1. Ed. Furia TE. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press LLC, 1968.
  • Jensen WB. The origin of the names malic, maleic, and malonic acid. J Chem Educ 2007;84(6):924.
  • Kelebek H, Selli S, Canbas A. Cabaroglu T. HPLC determination of organic acids, sugars, phenolic compositions and antioxidant capacity of orange juice and orange wine made from a Turkish cv. Kozan. Microchem J 2009;91(2):187-192.
  • Saleem R, Ahmad M, Naz A, et al. Hypotensive and toxicological study of citric acid and other constituents from Tagetes patula roots. Arch Pharm Res 2004;27(10):1037-42. View abstract.
  • Amended Safety Assessment of Malic Acid and Sodium Malate as Used in Cosmetics. Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel. Updated May 19, 2017. http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/malic%20acid.pdf. Accessed January 24, 2018.
  • Baldo A, Bezzola P, Curatolo S, Florio T, Lo Guzzo G, Lo Presti M, Sala GP, Serra F, Tonin E, Pellicano M, Pimpinelli N. Efficacy of an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA)-based cream, even in monotherapy, in patients with mild-moderate acne. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Jun;145(3):319-22. View abstract.
  • Bardellini E, Amadori F, Conti G, Veneri F, Majorana A. Effectiveness of a spray containing 1% malic acid in patients with xerostomia induced by graft-versus-host disease. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2019;24(2):e190-e194. View abstract.
  • CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 SUBCHAPTER B. 184.1069 Malic Acid. Food and Drug Administration Department Of Health And Human Services. Updated April 1, 2017. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=184.1069. Accessed January 23, 2018.
  • Chiriac A, Brzezinski P. Topical malic acid in combination with citric acid: an option to treat recalcitrant warts. Dermatol Ther. 2015;28(6):336-8. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 184 - Direct Food Substances Affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe. Available at: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=786bafc6f6343634fbf79fcdca7061e1&rgn=div5&view=text&node=21:3.0.1.1.14&idno=21#se21.3.184_11069.
  • Fiume, Z. Final report on the safety assessment of malic acid and sodium malate. Int J Toxicol 2001;20 Suppl 1:47-55. View abstract.
  • Gardner WH. "Chapter 5: Acidulants in food processing." CRC Handbook of Food Additives, Second Edition, Volume 1. Ed. Furia TE. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press LLC, 1968.
  • Gómez-Moreno G, Aguilar-Salvatierra A, Guardia J, Uribe-Marioni A, Cabrera-Ayala M, Delgado-Ruiz RA, Calvo-Guirado JL. The efficacy of a topical sialogogue spray containing 1% malic acid in patients with antidepressant-induced dry mouth: a double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Depress Anxiety. 2013 Feb;30(2):137-42. View abstract.
  • Gómez-Moreno G, Cabrera-Ayala M, Aguilar-Salvatierra A, et al. Evaluation of the efficacy of a topical sialogogue spray containing malic acid 1% in elderly people with xerostomia: a double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Gerodontology. 2014;31(4):274-80. View abstract.
  • Gómez-Moreno G, Guardia J, Aguilar-Salvatierra A, Cabrera-Ayala M, Maté-Sánchez de-Val JE, Calvo-Guirado JL. Effectiveness of malic acid 1% in patients with xerostomia induced by antihypertensive drugs. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2013 Jan 1;18(1):e49-55. View abstract.
  • Jensen WB. The origin of the names malic, maleic, and malonic acid. J Chem Educ 2007;84(6):924.
  • Kelebek H, Selli S, Canbas A. Cabaroglu T. HPLC determination of organic acids, sugars, phenolic compositions and antioxidant capacity of orange juice and orange wine made from a Turkish cv. Kozan. Microchem J 2009;91(2):187-192.
  • Russell IJ, Michalek JE, Flechas JD, Abraham GE. Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with Super Malic: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover pilot study. J Rheumatol 1995;22:953-8. View abstract.
  • Saleem R, Ahmad M, Naz A, et al. Hypotensive and toxicological study of citric acid and other constituents from Tagetes patula roots. Arch Pharm Res 2004;27(10):1037-42. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.