What is DL-Malic Acid?
Fruits and wines have several different unique benefits, besides just being consumed and enjoyed, and one of those benefits is that they are a source for an acid chemical called DL-malic acid which has been known to produce positive effects for your health. Malic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid, which is a class of natural acids that is said to produce a variety of benefits. It can be taken orally or used topically to receive its health benefits. On top of the health benefits it has been said to produce, malic acid is also sometimes used as a flavoring agent in food and to adjust acidity in cosmetics.
What Does Malic Acid Do for the Body?
Malic Acid Benefits
Additionally, early research has shown that applying an alpha hydroxy acid cream that contains malic acid reduce signs of acne in some people.
Journal of Rheumatologymagnesium
DL-Malic Acid Side Effects
Malic acid may cause low blood pressure, therefore, if you are someone who is prone to low blood pressure, taking malic acid might increase the risk of your blood pressure becoming too low.
When applied to the skin, malic acid is generally considered safe. However, you should stop use if you experience irritation, itching, redness or other side effects. It is important to always wear sunscreen when using malic acid, since its class of acid are known to increase your skin sensitivity to sunlight. You may want to patch test malic acid before applying it on your skin. To do so, put a small amount of it on your wrist and wait 24 hours to see if your skin reacts. If you experience burning, wash the product off immediately.
Due to lack of research, not enough is known about the safety of malic acid during pregnancy and breast-feeding when used as a medicine.
Always consult your doctor before adding any vitamin or supplement to your nutrition routine.
Structures of DL-Malic Acid
Malic acid has two structures, called enantiomers, known as L-malic acid and D-malic acid. L-malic acid is an acid that naturally occurs in all organisms, while D-malic acid is synthesized in the lab. When you combine the two, you create a racemic mixture, known as DL-malic acid. Malic acid supplements are often found in the form of DL-malic acid. DL-malic acid is used for similar reasons as malic acid, which includes energy production and the management of discomfort/pain.
Malic Acid Supplement
While there have been few studies published about testing the health effects of malic acid when taken in supplement form, there is some evidence that malic acid supplements are beneficial. In a preliminary study published in 2014, it was shown that an increase in malic acid consumption may increase urine pH and citrate levels, decreasing the likelihood of kidney stones. This is because malic acid is a precursor to citrate, which is a substance, believed to prevent calcium from binding with other substances in urine that form kidney stones. Therefore, these researchers concluded that malic acid supplements may be useful for treating calcium kidney stones.
Acta Physiologica Hungarica
Malic Acid Powder
DL-malic acid can also be found in the form of a powder that is soluble in water, alcohol and other solvents. When found in this form, DL-malic acid is often used in sodas, jellies and jams, candy, dairy products, canned and frozen foods, meat products, flavors and spices.
Malic acid is naturally found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including the following:
Apples — out of the total acid in apples, 94-98% of it is malic acid
Watermelon — malic acid contributes to about 85-95% of the total acid count in watermelon
Other fruits that contain malic acid include: bananas, pears, blackberries, apricots, cherries, lychees, peaches and nectarines
Vegetables that are good sources of malic acid include — broccoli, carrots, beans, peas, potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes
Always consult your physician before adding malic acid into your regular daily intake and routine.
The Bottom Line
Malic acid is an acid found in fruits and vegetables that your body naturally produces when it converts carbohydrates to energy. It can offer a variety of health benefits and is the most safe when using it topically to help with pigmentation, acne and skin aging. Malic acid supplements have sometimes been shown to help people with certain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, but the lack of research inhibits it from being a standard method of treatment.