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Malic Acid Supplements

Malic Acid Supplements

Malic Acid Supplements

Malic acid is a natural constituent of many fruits and vegetables that are preserved by fermentation. This acid may be broken down during fermentation by certain bacteria into lactic acid and carbon dioxide.


Method of Action

As a supplement it may help to improve energy levels by facilitating the formation of ATP in the body. Malic acid is both derived from food sources and synthesized in the body through the citric acid cycle. Its importance to the production of energy in the body during both aerobic and anaerobic conditions is well established. Under aerobic conditions, the oxidation of malate to oxaloacetate provides reducing equivalents to the mitochondria through the malate-aspartate redox shuttle. During anaerobic conditions, where a buildup of excess of reducing equivalents inhibits glycolysis, malic acid's simultaneous reduction to succinate and oxidation to oxaloacetate is capable of removing the accumulating reducing equivalents. This allows malic acid to reverse hypoxia's inhibition of glycolysis and energy production. This may allow malic acid to improve energy production in Primary fibromyalgia (FM), reversing the negative effect of the relative hypoxia that has been found in these patients.


Therapeutic Approaches

Malic acid has been used in connection with disorders such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, with varying results. Most evidence on the chemical suggests the combination of 1,200—2,400 mg per day of malic acid and 300—600 mg of magnesium for eight weeks reduced symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, double-blind evidence has shown that malic acid plus magnesium fails to help people with this condition.

Billie Jay Sahley, Ph.D., a San Antonio nutritional specialist, and author of Malic Acid and Magnesium for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Syndrome, reports impressive results in fibromyalgia patients. Several years ago, she conducted a study with 12 fibromyalgia patients. All 12 reported a significant improvement taking a supplement of malic acid in combination with magnesium and other nutritional cofactors. "The sooner malic acid and magnesium are started, the faster patients begin to return to their normal lifestyles," remarks Sahley.

Toxicity and Drug Interactions

At this writing, there appears to be no interactions or adverse effects of this supplement taken in moderate amounts.