Malic acid is an organic dicarboxylic acid found in wines, sour apples, and other fruits. Phosphoric acid is an acidulant added to cola drinks. An acidulant is a substance added to food or beverages to lower pH and to impart a tart taste. Malic acid is also used a flavoring agent in the processing of some foods. In addition to food uses, malic acid is sometimes used in cosmetics to adjust the pH.
Preliminary studies indicate that malic acid may reduce injury from ischemic reperfusion injury and reduce blood pressure. However, there is insufficient available evidence in humans to support the use of malic acid for any medical indication.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
* Key to grades
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use B: Good scientific evidence for this use C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work) F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)
Tradition / Theory
The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to malic acid.
Side Effects and Warnings
Reports of malic acid related adverse effects are currently lacking. Although not well studied in humans, malic acid may irritate the skin and eyes when applied to the skin (topically). In a homeopathic pathogenetic trial of Acidum malicum 12 cH, no serious adverse reactions occurred. Use cautiously in patients with sensitive skin, eyes, allergy or sensitivity to malic acid.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Malic acid is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
Although not well studied in humans, malic acid may reduce blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking blood pressure lowering agents.
Chronic feeding of malic acid may increase weight gain and change eating habits. Although not confirmed in human studies, caution is advised when combining with weight loss agents due to conflicting effects.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Although not well studied in humans, malic acid may reduce blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking blood pressure lowering herbs or supplements.
Chronic feeding of malic acid may increase weight gain and change eating habits. Although not confirmed in human studies, caution is advised when combining with weight loss herbs or supplements due to conflicting effects.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.