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Dangers of Malic Acid

Updated July 18, 2017

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what about malic acid? Apples are one of the best food sources of malic acid, a natural chemical that can increase energy production in your cells, improve your athletic performance, and alleviate symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. You may wonder whether malic acid is safe when taken alone as a supplement and what side effects you can expect while taking it.

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Safe Dosage

The recommended safe and effective dosage range for malic acid nutritional supplements is 1,200 to 2,400 mg daily. A 1995 study by the University of Texas Health Science Center found this dosage range to be effective, safe, and free of side effects in treating fibromyalgia symptoms in 24 patients.

Allergies and Sensitivities

If you are allergic or sensitive to malic acid, you should avoid it and thoroughly wash skin that comes into contact with it. If malic acid comes into contact with your eyes, immediately flush them with cold water and seek medical attention. You can find malic acid in some cosmetic products, despite the fact that it may be a strong skin irritant and cause dermatitis. If taking malic acid internally causes shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, or digestive discomfort or burning, seek medical attention.


High doses of malic acid have been reported to cause diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. This may be because the chemical structure of malic acid is very similar to that of magnesium, which also causes diarrhoea in doses greater than 5g daily. If you stay within the recommended dosage range of malic acid, you should be able to avoid these symptoms.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

You should avoid malic acid during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Not enough information is available on the effects of malic acid during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so it's best to avoid it in its supplemental form.

Blood Pressure

Malic acid may reduce blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure or take medication to control your blood pressure, you should consult your health care professional before taking malic acid as a supplement.


Malic acid is known to cause allergic reactions and other side effects in some groups of people, and because of this it is not recommended for everyone. All readers are urged to consult with their health care professional before taking any form of malic acid supplements.

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About the Author

Joel Le Blanc is a professional writer for various websites. Le Blanc is currently a student at the University of Canterbury, where he studies English literature, folklore and creative writing. He holds a Diploma in Herbal Medicine and has studied massage, nutrition, bach flowers and reiki.

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