Malic acid is a natural element of fruit acids, called alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), found in fruits and some vegetables. The word malic acid is derived from the Latin word malum, which means apple. It was first isolated from apple juice in 1785, which renders some foods and drinks a tart taste. Malic acid is also a key ingredient in churning wine, that gives wine a slightly acidic taste.
The body also secretes malic acid naturally, while converting carbohydrates into energy. It produces chemical energy that is mainly required for regulating energy production, easing bodily discomfort, detoxification and oral hygiene. Malic acid is now a common ingredient in skin and hair care products like body lotion, shampoos and acne and anti-ageing essentials. Alpha hydroxy acids stimulate the exfoliation of skin cells by interfering with cells bond. Thus, it regenerates new skin cells and fades away dull-looking skin. Skincare essentials containing malic acids supports to enhance skin hydration, remove dead skin cells, improve skin tone and lessen wrinkles.
Food Sources Rich In Malic Acid
Some of the foods and food products that are a good source of malic acid include:
Fruits: Apples are one of the wealthiest sources of malic acid. Bananas, cherries, grapes, mangos, strawberries, nectarines and oranges are other fruits that are fairly a good source.
Vegetables: Broccoli, beans, carrots, peas, and potatoes are some of the vegetables laden with malic acid.
Beverages: Carbonated and non-carbonated drinks, iced tea, fruit-flavoured drinks and alcoholic apple cider and wine also contain malic acid.
Soft candies, chewing gum, preserved fruits and bakery products with fruits fillings are some of the edible sources that contain malic acid.
Malic acid is also readily available in the form of a supplement. However, seek advice from your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
Potential Health Benefits Of Malic Acid
Evidence has strongly proven that malic acid can help mitigate pain associated with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It is more effective when taken along with magnesium. This acid also enhances tolerance to exercise, improve muscle endurance and stamina, thereby helps to ease chronic fatigue syndrome. Besides these, malic acid also boosts energy levels and keep you active all through the day.
Malic acid works well in treating xerostomia or dry mouth, by stimulating the production of saliva. Increased salivary production reduces the harmful bacteria in the mouth, thus malic acid serves as a potent oral detox agent. The natural astringent properties of malic acid aids to remove surface discolouration and whiten teeth. Malic acid is widely used as a key element in toothpaste and mouthwashes.
Augments Liver Health
Malic acid is a potent metal chelator, which binds to the toxic metals accumulated in the liver and deactivates them. It is also beneficial in breaking up gallstones and cleanses the liver. Eliminating gallstones in the gallbladder increases bile secretion and improve bile flow, which reduces the accumulation of cholesterol and fat in the liver and reveres fatty liver disease.
Malic acid is a chief ingredient commonly used in anti-ageing creams and skincare essentials. The goodness of bioactive compound in malic acid brightens the skin and enhance skin texture and complexion. The acid also helps to balance the pH of the skin, which clears dead skin cells and works great in healing acne. Apart from these, it also acts as a humectant that aids to keep skin nourished and hydrated.
The natural acidic nature of malic acid is known to combat bacteria and eliminates dandruff. Malic acid neutralizes the pH of the hair follicles and clears way dirt particles and makes the mane lustrous. Washing your hair with diluted apple cider vinegar twice a week before shampooing promotes hair growth, as it is a good source of malic acid.
Malic acid is safe when taken in moderate amounts in the form of food. Little is known about the long-term or regular use of malic acid supplements. It is known to trigger certain side effects such as headaches, diarrhoea, nausea and irritations. Although malic acid is considered safe when applied topically to the skin in the recommended amounts, while some people may have irritation, itching, redness and other side effects. It is always good to do a skin patch test before using any new products.