Dietary supplements, though widely used, often lead to side effects, and some of the side effects are so severe that they need prompt medical attention. This NutriNeat article provides information on benefits and adverse effects of malic acid.
For those of you who are wondering, what is malic acid, let’s clear that doubt first. Malic acid is chemically a organic compound which has a formula of HO2CCH2CHOHCO2H. Being the main ingredient in apples, malic acid was first isolated from apple juice in 1785, and then further research about its importance in biochemistry was carried out. The IUPAC name of malic acid is ‘2-hydroxybutanedioic acid’, and it also has many other conformations like the L-Malic acid, D-Malic acid, etc. Malic acid is found in many sour fruits like green apples, grapes, and in wine, however, the amount of malic acid reduces, when these fruits ripen. There are a number of malic acid benefits.
What is Malic Acid Good For
➺ It reduces toxic effects of certain metals.
➺ It helps alleviate pain.
➺ It protects muscles from exhaustion.
➺ When present in skin care products, it exhibits exfoliating properties. It can penetrate deep into the skin, and can improve the smoothness of your skin. It helps reduce pigmentation and offers you glowing, smooth skin.
➺ It helps relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia (pain in muscle, ligaments, and tendons, leading to muscle exhaustion, lack of energy), when consumed in combination with magnesium. It also helps reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
➺ It exhibits antiseptic properties, and helps keep the mouth cavity free of germs. It stimulates saliva production, which in turn helps kill bacteria in the mouth.
But malic acid also has some negative effects, if consumed in excess, like any other compound.
Malic acid is used as a dietary supplement. It is a chemical component of a number of medicines, mouthwashes, toothpastes, and cosmetics. Usually, excessive consumption of supplements and medicines leads to malic acid side effects. It is a common component of facial creams and peels that help balance a skin tone and even the pH of the skin. Those who have malic acid allergy may suffer from a mild or severe allergic reaction after using these cosmetics, supplements, or medicines. The acid is also present in various popular food products like potato chips and candies. So one should read the labels carefully.
✦ Common Side Effects
As malic acid is used as a medication to clean and prepare the surface of teeth before any dental treatment, it has to be used in proportion and limit. Likewise it is also used in facial therapies, and to treat muscle and bone pain. It should be used in advised amounts. The common side effects of malic acid include:
➺ Chest pain
➺ Swollen skin
➺ Skin irritation
➺ Muscle pain
➺ Tingling sensation at the site of application
✦ Severe Side Effects
Sometimes, as mentioned earlier, when there are cases of overuse or exploitation, severe adverse effects can be observed. These effects can be quite harmful for the consumer, when not taken care of, and many times can lead to further problems. Such side effects include:
➺ Severe tightness of the chest
➺ A severe allergic reaction may exhibit symptoms like skin rash, hives, swollen face, stuffy or runny nose, swollen skin, redness, burning sensation in the skin, etc.
➺ Terrible muscle pain, chest pain
➺ Difficulty in swallowing food and water
➺ Swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat
➺ Difficulty breathing
These adverse effects are quite rare, but if they occur, they need prompt medical attention. Usually, those who are not allergic to malic acid, and those who consume limited quantity of malic acid for a limited period of time, do not experience severe side effects.
Is malic acid bad for you? No, certainly not. If you take the following precautionary measures, then use of malic acid would not lead to serious consequences. It can be completely safe to use malic acid products. These measures are not very complicated, as all you have to do is make sure that you are using the products in the right amounts.
➺ Consult your doctor or physician before using any malic acid supplement or product.
➺ Make sure you don’t have an allergy to malic acid or malate.
➺ If you are pregnant, make sure you consult your doctor before using these products, as it can lead to complications during pregnancy.
➺ People with high blood pressure should also be very careful during the use of these products, and should consult their doctors.
If you are using malic acid products, follow the instructions of your doctor religiously. Using an alternative medicine without consulting a doctor may result in serious consequences. You should check with your doctor immediately, if any of the side effects mentioned above occur.
The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.