Malic Acid Information and Benefits

Malic acid is an alpha-hydroxy organic acid that is sometimes referred to as a fruit acid. It is referred to as a fruit acid because malic acid is commonly found in apples as well a variety of other fruits. However, it is also found in plants and animals and human beings. Malic acid is a key intermediate in the major biochemical energy-producing cycle in cells known as the citric acid or Krebs cycle located that takes place in the cells' mitochondria in most living organisms.

Benefits and Uses of Malic Acid

Many medical professionals believe that malic acid may be beneficial when used in connection with fibromyalgia. However, results have been mixed in studies of malic acid's possible effects in those with fibromyalgia. In one study, fibromyalgia patients were randomized to receive a combination of 200 milligrams of malic acid and 50 milligrams of magnesium per tablet (three tablets twice a day) or placebo for four weeks. This was followed by a six-month, open-label trial with dose escalating up to six tablets twice a day. Outcome variables were measures of pain and tenderness, as well as functional and psychological measures.

No clear benefit was observed for the malic acid/magnesium combination in the lower-dose blinded trial. But in the open-label trial, at higher doses there were significant reductions in the severity of all three primary pain/tenderness measures. Follow-up is needed.

Dosage and Administration

Malic acid is rarely used as a supplement for healthy individuals. The doses used in the fibromyalgia studies were 1,200-2,400 mg of malic acid in combination with 300-600 mg of elemental magnesium.