Malic Acid


Malic acid is a natural compound made by animals, humans, and plants. It is the source of the tart taste of apples and pears. Malic acid has been used to ease dry mouth. It is most often used as a spray, but it can be taken as a pill or powder.


There aren’t any advised doses for malic acid.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Dry mouth —may ease symptoms and improve quality of lifeA1-A5

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to use malic acid for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period or in large amounts by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • Taking aluminum and malic acid may raise aluminum to unsafe levels in the body.


A1. Gómez-Moreno G, Auilar-Salvatierra A, et al. The efficacy of topical sialagogue spray containing 1% malic acid in patients with antidepressant-induced dry mouth: a double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Depress Anxiety. 2013;30(7):137-142.

A2. Gómez-Moreno G, Guardia J, et al. Effectiveness of malic acid 1% in patients with xerostomia induced by antihypertensive drugs. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2013 Jan 1;18(1):e49-55.

A3. Gómez-Moreno G, Cabrera-Ayala M, et al. Evaluation of the efficacy of a topical sialogogue spray containing malic acid 1% in elderly people with xerostomia: a double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Gerodontology. 2014 Dec;31(4):274-280.

A4. Gil-Montoya JA, Silvestre FJ, et al. Treatment of xerostomia and hyposalivation in the elderly: A systematic review. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2016 May 1;21(3):e355-366.

A5. Niklander S, Fuentes F, et al. Impact of 1% malic acid spray on the oral health-related quality of life in patients with xerostomia. J Oral Sci. 2018;60(2):278-284.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 6/29/2020

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