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Fumaric Acid


Fumaric acid is related to malic acid, and, like malic acid, it is involved in the production of energy (in the form of adenosine triphosphate [ATP]) from food.

What Are Star Ratings?

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
3 Stars
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner
Fumaric acid, in the chemically bound form known as fumaric acid esters, has been shown to be effective against psoriasis symptoms.

, in the chemically bound form known as fumaric acid esters, has been shown in case studies, preliminary trials and double-blind trials to be effective against symptoms of psoriasis. However, because fumaric acid esters can cause significant side effects, they should be taken only under the supervision of a doctor familiar with their use. Nevertheless, these side effects have been reported to decrease in frequency over the course of treatment and, if they are closely monitored, rarely lead to significant toxicity.

How It Works

How to Use It

Only the esterified forms of fumaric acid are used therapeutically, such as fumaric acid monoethylester or fumaric acid di-methylester. Healthy people do not need to supplement with fumaric acid. Those using this substance (either orally or topically) should work with a dermatologist, since determining the optimal intake should be done on an individual basis. Even under these circumstances, supplementing should be started with small amounts (60–100 mg per day) and increased gradually over several weeks until an effect is noted.

Where to Find It

Fumaric acid is formed in the skin during exposure to sunlight, as well as being available as an oral supplement and as a preparation for topical use.

Possible Deficiencies

No deficiencies of fumaric acid have been reported. However, some doctors suggest that people with psoriasis may have a biochemical defect that interferes with adequate fumaric acid production in the skin.


Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Side Effects

Kidney disorders have been reported in people taking fumaric acid esters, possibly due to taking large amounts too quickly.1, 2 Most studies have reported gastrointestinal upset and skin flushing as common side effects; some have also found decreased white blood cell counts with prolonged use.3, 4 .


1. Dalhoff K, Faerber P, Arnholdt H, et al. Acute kidney failure during psoriasis therapy with fumaric acid derivatives. Dtsch Med Wochenschr 1990;115:1014-7 [in German].

2. Roodnat JI, Christiaans MH, Nugteren-Huying WM, et al. Acute kidney insufficiency in patients treated with fumaric acid esters for psoriasis. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 1989;133:2623-6 [in Dutch].

3. Kolbach DN, Nieboer C. Fumaric acid therapy in psoriasis: results and side effects of 2 years of treatment. J Am Acad Dermatol 1992;27:769-71.

4. Altmeyer P, Hartwig, R, Matthes U. Efficacy and safety profile of fumaric acid esters in oral long-term therapy with severe treatment refractory of psoriasis vulgaris. A study of 83 patients. Hautarzt 1996;47:190-6.

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How It Works

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