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Side Effects & Benefits Of Malic Acid

author image Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis has worked in nutrition in the clinical setting and currently works as a licensed Realtor in California. Davis began writing about nutrition in 2006 and had two chapters published in "The Grocery Store Diet" book in 2009. She enjoys writing about nutrition and real estate and managing her website, RealtorSD.com. She earned her bachelor's degree in nutrition from San Diego State University.
Side Effects & Benefits Of Malic Acid
A bushel of apples. Photo Credit Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images


Malic acid is an organic compound that is naturally found in fruits such as apples. It is often taken as a supplement, especially for the treatment of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Malic acid is known for its ability to increase energy and tolerance to exercise. This is because it is an essential component in the Krebs cycle, which is how our bodies convert food into energy, according to the "Journal of Nutritional Medicine".

Generally Safe

Since malic acid is naturally occurring and is found in many fruits that we eat safely every day, it is generally regarded as safe. There are no serious or dangerous side effects known or reported regarding malic acid in regular recommended doses, but it is still a good idea to speak with your doctor before taking any new supplements.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Although they are a rare and mild side effect, gastrointestinal problems such as bloating or cramping have been reported by some people who have utilized malic acid supplements, states the Journal of Nutritional Medicine. To avoid gastrointestinal side effects, take malic acid with plenty of water and continue drinking to stay hydrated throughout the day. To prevent gastrointestinal problems, don’t take any dose of malic acid higher than your doctor recommends.

Reduction of Pain

For people who suffer from fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome, eating foods high in malic acid or supplementing with malic acid has been shown to reduce muscle pain and muscle soreness, according to the Journal of Nutritional Medicine. This reduction of pain has been noted to be increased by the addition of a magnesium supplement, along with the malic acid. Some patients with fibromyalgia have noted a relief from pain as early as within 48 hours of taking a malic acid supplement.

Increased Energy

Increased energy is one benefit that has been reported among fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients taking malic acid. It is unsure whether malic acid promotes an increased energy in all people who supplement with it, or if it only applies to those who are chronically ill and whose bodies do not produce enough ATP (used in making energy). Malic acid helps by allowing the body to make ATP more efficiently, according to a study in the "Journal of Rheumatology". The result is a reduction in fatigue which has been an enormous benefit for those whose daily lives are affected by fatigue.

Increased Tolerance to Exercise

People who have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome usually have a difficult time exercising because they often get exhausted quickly by even a moderate amount of exercise. Malic acid has been found to increase tolerance to exercise in people who have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, which allows them to exercise for longer time periods or at higher intensities. It is unsure whether or not this finding translates to the general population and would increase tolerance to exercise for healthy people or not.

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