Malic acid
Malic acid

Background

Malic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid found in certain fruits and wines. It's used in foods and cosmetics, and sometimes as medicine.

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 in people with dry mouth. Malic acid is also involved in the Krebs cycle. This is a process the body uses to make energy.

People commonly use malic acid for dry mouth. It is also used for acne, fibromyalgia, fatigue, wrinkled skin, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Malic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid. Don't confuse it with other alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
When taken by mouth: Malic acid is commonly consumed in foods. Malic acid is possibly safe when used as a medicine for up to 6 months.

When applied to the inside of the mouth: Malic acid is possibly safe when used in a mouth spray or lozenge for up to 6 months.

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 commonly consumed in foods. 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 stick to food amounts.

Effectiveness

Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
  • Dry mouth. Using a mouth spray or sucking on a lozenge containing malic acid seems to improve symptoms of dry mouth.
There is interest in using malic acid for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Malic acid has most often been used by adults in mouth sprays and lozenges. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Malic acid might lower blood pressure. Taking malic acid along with medications that lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to go too low. Monitor your blood pressure closely.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood pressure: Malic acid might lower blood pressure. Using it along with other herbs or supplements that might also lower blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Examples of supplements with this effect include andrographis, casein peptides, L-arginine, niacin, and stinging nettle.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 21/02/2022 00:20:54 and last updated on 31/05/2018 22:48:30. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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