Malic acid is a little-known substance that is gaining popularity as a possible cure for fibromyalgia. However, early studies have not been promising. Researchers need to conduct more studies into malic acid and magnesium to see if the combination can help control the pain and tenderness associated with this condition. Studies have shown that magnesium levels are lower in people with fibromyalgia. In addition, magnesium assists malic acid in crucial chemical reactions in creating cellular energy. Although there are few side effects associated with malic acid, do not add this or any other supplement to your diet until you check with your doctor.
Uses of Malic Acid
Malic acid is a substance that the body can synthesize on its own but is found primarily in apples. It plays an important role in creating adenosine triphosphate from your food, according to Healthwise. ATP is the body's primary source of energy. Preliminary studies point to malic acid as potentially helpful to people who have fibromyalgia. In this disease, the body might have difficulty converting malic acid and that could account for some symptoms. However, malic acid has yet to show any real promise.
Since the body can make malic acid, there is no recommended daily intake. Malic acid dosages can range from 1,200 mg to 2,800 mg. For a study into fibromyalgia, 1,200 mg per day was combined with 300 mg of magnesium per day for four weeks, according to New York University Langone Medical Center. The study resullts, published in the "Journal of Rheumatology" in 1995, showed no difference between the groups that took the malic acid and the placebo in fibromyalgia symptoms. The dosage was increased to 1,600 mg of malic acid and 400 mg of magnesium for a further six months, but the study was not blinded or controlled at this point. The subjects did, however, experience a reduction of symptoms from the malic acid at the higher doses, but this result could be due to a placebo effect since the study was not as rigorous as the initial phase.
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic pain that has no known cause or cure at this time. Some symptoms include irritable bowel syndrome, urinary frequency, numbness, tingling, anxiety and headache, according to New York University Langone Medical Center. There is also pain in 11 of 18 specific points on the body. Some proposed natural treatments for fibromyalgia besides malic acid include SAM-e, 5-HTP and capsaicin. However, studies for these treatments have shown mixed results.
Malic acid is a relatively safe supplement. Use with caution if you are taking a medication to lower your blood pressure because malic acid can also affect your blood pressure, according to Wellness.com. Loose stools are reported at higher doses, but it is usually attributed to the high amounts of magnesium given with the malic acid. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should not use malic acid because no tests are available regarding the safety for these populations.