El Malic acid is a component found in many of the foods that we eat on a daily basis. Despite already being naturally found in a number of fruit and vegetables, taking malic acid supplements can boost our general health as well as treating various illnesses.
What is malic acid?
Malic acid is a dicarboxylic acid found in vegetables, fruit and produced naturally by the human body. It is mostly found in sour or acidic foods. When eaten, it gives off a smooth and persistent bitter flavour. The most common source of this acid is found in apples. Malic acid has a crystalline structure and is both colourless and soluble in water.
It’s responsible for the acidity of green apples and other unripe fruits
Where is malic acid found?
The richest sources of malic acid are fruit and vegetables, especially green apples. Other reliable sources are: cherries, apricots, cranberries, peaches, rhubarb, prunes, tomatoes, pears currants and raspberries.
What is malic acid used for?
Nowadays, malic acid is used as a food supplement thanks to the important health benefits it offers.
- Malic acid is most commonly used in food products, drinks and personal care products. These include soft drinks, ciders and wines, cream, confectionary products, fruit and marmalade products, desserts, baked goods and personal or medical care products, largely due to its preserving properties.
- It tends to be added to sour foods in order to make them seem sweeter on the taste buds and palate.
- As an ingredient in mouthwash and toothpastes to stimulate saliva production and reduce levels of damaging bacteria in the mouth.
- Malic acid plays a key role in metabolism and bypass of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which has a strong role in energy production rates for all of our body’s cells. Malic acid is used to treat people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, a condition which causes intense muscle and tendon pain.
- This bitter acid also provides a great benefit as a metal chelate helping in turn to detox the body.
- When applied to the skin, it closes the pores, increasing softness of the skin and limiting obvious signs of wrinkles or worry lines.
Malic acid and the Krebs cycle
The human body benefits from malic acid for energy production. For this reason, malic acid is an essential part of the Krebs cycle, which involves energy conversion from different nutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fats and water), thereby generating energy for both aerobic and anaerobic activities. If the body doesn’t have access to sufficient levels of malic acid, this metabolic process simply can’t be carried out in the normal fashion, which could result in symptoms of fatigue.
Eating foods or taking supplements rich in malic acid can help increase its levels found in cells and support the body’s physiological processes.
How does malic acid affect the energy deficit?
Malic acid plays an important role in energy levels, and their deficit results in a loss of this faculty, affecting various quality of life factors. These can include lack of motivation or drive to complete daily tasks, as well as worsening sporting performance.
Malic acid and fibromyalgia
This illness is one of the points that most comes up when talking about malic acid, and although it isn’t considered to treat the condition in itself, the objective of its use is to reduce or mitigate fibromyalgia’s symptoms. The condition is chronic and principally causes unrelenting bodily pain throughout the course of the day.
It also affects various levels of systems of the body, such as muscular, energetic, mental and concentration, gastrointestinal, neurological and hormonal.
- Constant or chronic pain all over the body, in all muscle groups, especially the shoulders, neck, lower back and hips.
- Cramps and muscle spasms, accompanied by stiff muscles.
- Muscular weakness, especially in the limbs.
- Difficulties breathing after doing physical activity.
Boost recovery and reduce pain
Using malic acid as a treatment for fibromyalgia can prevent hypoxia in muscle tissues, which means that it could ultimately help muscle tissues to get hold of more oxygen, boosting energy production in muscle cells and preventing the rupturing of muscle tissue. This tissue breakdown can be one of the reasons the patient experiences excessive pain sensitivity.
Fibromyalgia patients can find that their physical performance and recovery are boosted in every training session, as well as experiencing more muscular resistance.
Magnesium malate (malic acid and magnesium) to treat fibromyalgia
Many people combine malic acid with magnesium in order to try to counter the joint and connective tissue pains caused by the condition.
It has been clearly demonstrated that magnesium alleviates various symptoms caused by fibromyalgia, including pain.
Magnesium has an excellent calming effect on the body and is shown to have positive effects on muscle tissue. When combined with malic acid, it seems to significantly help relieve fatigue and pain.
Furthermore, malic acid has massive benefits for the body in terms of immune system stimulation and energy production. This helps soothe fatigue (chronic fatigue syndrome) which is often fully associated with fibromyalgia.
- Start with 600mg of malic acid and 150mg of magnesium twice a day
- Go up to 1200mg of malic acid and 300mg of magnesium
Malic acid benefits
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Malic acid has been shown to provide benefits for both the metabolism and the body’s energy production. This is largely thanks to the role it plays in the Krebs cycle, by intervening in systematic bodily reactions that help cells generate energy provided by food.
This energy creation process takes place in the mitochondria found in cells and requires a range of different enzymes and cells to be able to take place. Acid is an intermediate compound that acts as a catalyst for energy production and is able to stimulate a higher ATP production, which is a source of energy. Putting aside its obvious role in the Krebs cycle, malic acid also helps boost recovery after exercise, countering the buildup of lactic acid.
Boosts muscle strength
Malic acid boosts muscle strength, performance and recovery after doing exercise. It has the ability to quickly reverse feelings of weakness, fatigue or muscle tiredness. Malic acid also restores energy for the body and promotes mental alertness.
Reduces metal toxicity
Malic acid’s capacity to connect to toxic metals such as lead and aluminium and subsequently deactivate them, makes it a “metal chelate”. Malic acid reduces the amount of any heavy metal in the body and lowers the risk of suffering liver damage or brain conditions such as Alzheimers.
Improves dental hygiene
Malic acid is a popular ingredient in the making of toothpaste and mouthwash due to its antiseptic effect which reduces levels of bacteria in the mouth. It also stimulates saliva production which helps reduce presence of bacteria and promote better dental hygiene overall, with the most notable benefits being healthier teeth and gums.
Improves skin condition
Malic acid is used in cosmetic products designed to exfoliate the skin. It can promote smoother, softer, firmer and younger looking skin.
Aids good digestion
Malic acid can be used to boost the stomach’s digestive function through the supply of a sufficient amount of hydrogen for the stomach’s acidification. Between 1000 and 1500mg of malic acid can supply an ample amount of hydrogen necessary for triggering the release of pepsin. Low production levels of chlorohydrin acid (stomach acid) is a common and potentially serious condition known as hypochlorhydria.
Hypochlorhydria can lead to a number of health conditions and nutritional deficiencies. A vast number of nutrients and minerals depend on adequate amounts of stomach acid for their correct working and use, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, sodium, chrome, copper, manganese and selenium.
How should you take malic acid?
The recommended dose is 600mg, three times a day, with powder being the presentation of choice in terms of comfort and practicality. Although malic acid is considered safe for use, it can produce various side effects. These can include: rashes, hives and a feeling of pressure on the chest if the product is consumed in excess.
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