Malic acid, a type of fruit acid, is a naturally occurring organic compound found in many fruits and vegetables. This article highlights some of the benefits of using this acid.
Malic acid is an organic dicarboxylic acid that is found in many unripe fruits. Apples are one of its richest sources. It is an essential component in the process of cell metabolism. This acid is responsible for the pleasant and refreshing tart taste of fruits like apples and cherries. It has a smooth and persistent sourness that allows it to blend with other sweeteners and seasonings used in many beverages and confections. Although the acid is widely used in foods and drinks, it has a wide range of health benefits.
Malic acid is an important intermediate in the Krebs cycle, which is an energy producing cycle, that takes place in the mitochondria in the cells of most living organisms. It has several health benefits, mainly because of the unique properties it possesses. Some of them are as follows:
- Smooth, persistent sourness
- High solubility
- Low melting point
- Low hygroscopic properties
- Blending abilities
- Chelating ability with metal ions
As the acid plays a key role in cell metabolism and helps the body to derive adenosine triphosphate (ATP), it is considered as the ‘energy current’ that flows through the body optimizing cellular energy production. Apart from energy production, this acid also aids in protecting muscles from fatigue, decreasing the toxic effect of certain metals, boosting the immunity, maintaining oral health, promoting proper function of nerves, muscles, and heart, and smoothening and firming the skin.
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Fibromyalgia is a condition associated with severe pain in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Muscle fatigue and loss of energy may also accompany this condition. Malic acid reduces muscle fatigue and enhances their performance. Thus, it relieves the symptoms by boosting the energy levels and improving the muscle activities of the patients.
The excessive build up of toxic metals in the body may lead to serious health hazards. Overload of certain metals may cause serious problems like liver diseases and brain disorders. Malic acid is a good metal chelator, which has the ability to bind to the potential toxic metals like aluminum or lead that may have accumulated in the body. As a result, the metallic toxins are deactivated and the health risks are reduced.
The acid also helps maintain oral hygiene. It acts as an antiseptic, which kills the germs in the mouth and reduces the risk of infections. It stimulates the production of saliva, which reduces the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, malic acid is a popular ingredient in many toothpastes and mouthwashes.
The acid is classified as an ‘alpha hydroxy acid’ (AHA), a class of acids found in many fruits like glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and lactic acid. The structure of malic acid, which is slightly larger than the aforementioned AHAs enables it to penetrate more evenly in the skin with less irritation. It helps tighten the skin pores, thereby resulting in a smooth and firm skin. It helps reduce the signs of aging by fading the wrinkles and fine lines on the skin, making it look younger and healthier. It acts as a natural face peel. Applying thin slices of apple onto the skin gives good results.
The acid may have certain side effects like tightening in the chest, skin rash, hives, or swelling. It is safe if consumed in moderate amounts. Anything taken in excess may cause some adverse effects, and hence it is very important to seek the advice of a medical professional before opting for supplements. Follow the recommended dosage and guidelines to yield the maximum health benefits of malic acid.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.