Malic Acid

Other Name(s):

(-)-Acide Malique, (+)-Acide Malique, Acide 2-Hydroxybutanédioïque, Acide malique, Acide (R)-Hydroxybutanédioïque, Acide (S)-Hydroxybutanédioïque, Ácido málico, (-)-Malic Acid, (+)-Malic Acid, (R)-Hydroxybutanedioic Acid, (S)-Hydroxybutanedioic Acid, 2-Hydroxybutanedioic Acid, D-Malic Acid, L-Malic Acid, Malic Acid, Malate.


Malic acid is a chemical found in certain fruits and wines. It is used to make medicine.

People take malic acid by mouth for tiredness and fibromyalgia.

In foods, malic acid is used as a flavoring agent to give food a tart taste.

In manufacturing, malic acid is used to adjust the acidity of cosmetics.

How does it work?

Malic acid is involved in the Krebs cycle. This is a process the body uses to make energy.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of malic acid for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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Side Effects

Malic acid is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. It isn't known if malic acid is safe when taken as a medicine. Malic acid can cause skin and eye irritation.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Malic acid is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. Not enough is known about the safety of malic acid during pregnancy and breast-feeding when used as a medicine. Stay on the safe side and avoid in amounts greater than what is normally found in food.

Low blood pressure: Malic acid might lower blood pressure. In theory, malic acid might increase the risk of blood pressure becoming too low in people prone to low blood pressure.


Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Malic acid might lower blood pressure. Taking malic acid along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.

Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.


The appropriate dose of malic acid depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for malic acid. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 184 - Direct Food Substances Affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe. Available at:

Fiume, Z. Final report on the safety assessment of malic acid and sodium malate. Int J Toxicol 2001;20 Suppl 1:47-55. View abstract.

Gardner WH. "Chapter 5: Acidulants in food processing." CRC Handbook of Food Additives, Second Edition, Volume 1. Ed. Furia TE. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press LLC, 1968.

Jensen WB. The origin of the names malic, maleic, and malonic acid. J Chem Educ 2007;84(6):924.

Kelebek H, Selli S, Canbas A. Cabaroglu T. HPLC determination of organic acids, sugars, phenolic compositions and antioxidant capacity of orange juice and orange wine made from a Turkish cv. Kozan. Microchem J 2009;91(2):187-192.

Saleem R, Ahmad M, Naz A, et al. Hypotensive and toxicological study of citric acid and other constituents from Tagetes patula roots. Arch Pharm Res 2004;27(10):1037-42. View abstract.

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