Malic acid is a naturally occurring compound that plays a role in the complex process of deriving adenosine triphosphate (ATP; the energy currency that runs the body) from food.
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A preliminary trial found that a combination of magnesium and malic acid might lessen muscle pain in people with fibromyalgia.
A preliminary trial found that a combination of magnesium and malic acid might lessen muscle pain in people with fibromyalgia.1 The amounts used in this trial were 300–600 mg of elemental magnesium and 1,200–2,400 mg of malic acid per day, taken for eight weeks. A double-blind trial by the same research group using 300 mg magnesium and 1,200 mg malic acid per day found no reduction in symptoms, however.2 Though these researchers claimed that magnesium and malic acid appeared to have some effect at higher levels (up to 600 mg magnesium and 2,400 mg malic acid), the positive effects were not demonstrated under blinded study conditions. Therefore, the evidence supporting the use of these supplements for people with fibromyalgia remains weak and inconclusive.
Healthy people do not need to take malic acid as a supplement. Research has been conducted with 1,200–2,400 mg of malic acid in combination with 300–600 mg of elemental magnesium.
Malic acid is found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, but the richest source is apples, which is why malic acid is sometimes referred to as “apple acid.”
A deficiency in humans is unlikely, since the body can produce malic acid.
1. Abraham G, Flechas J. Management of fibromyalgia: Rationale for the use of magnesium and malic acid. J Nutr Med 1992;3:49-59.
2. Russell IJ, Michalek J, Flechas J, et al. Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with SuperMalic: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot study. J Rheumatol 1995;22(5):953-7.
Last Review: 07-08-2014
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