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How Does Malic Acid Help With Fibromyalgia?
August 22, 2011 12:37 PM
Fibromyalgia(FM) is a condition affecting primarily middle-aged women and is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood as an ailment which has a diverse set of symptoms, in which none are pleasant. It basically is a medical disorder defined by chronic and widespread pain, a heightened response to pressure and often time painful as well. No one really knows what the exact causes are. There are a number of studies taking place and done by reputable medical organisations (such as the Nation Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases - NIAMS) which are geared towards the establishment, once and for all, of the route cause of Fibromyalgia. A part of the current scientific theories is the inherent genetic factor, but even in this it seems that geneticists are not clear as to which genes exactly may be the culprit. What has been concretely established and clarified though is that not just because your mom or dad has it you’ll have it. Stress in some studies has also been found as a contributor but may not be the main cause though.
Malic acid is an organic compound and also a carboxylic diacid and is an active ingredient in many sour or tart foods. It is mostly in unripe fruits and it has two stereoisomeric forms (L- and D-enantiomers), though only the L-isomer exists naturally. The salts and esters of this diacid are called malates. The malate anion is an intermediate in the citric acid cycle. However it was not until 1785 that Carl Wilhelm Scheele first isolated it from apple juice. It is formed in metabolic cycles within the cells of plants animals and humans. A somewhat large amount of Malic Acid is produced and broken down in the body each day. Malic acid also provides stamina and endurance within the muscle cells. It is particularly useful in the blocking of aluminum toxics, which has been found to possibly be one contributing factors to fibromyalgia.
Compelling evidence has surfaced that malic acid may plays a central role in energy production, especially during hypoxic conditions. In some experiments that have been done, the improvement that came about when malic acid was administered to the subject was gone after discontinuing for 48 hours. The theory behind this is in the relative association of hypoxia to FM, if it will improve hypoxic conditions then it will be beneficial for FM sufferers as well just as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has also been associated with FM. Additionally, many hypoxia related conditions, like respiratory and circulatory insufficiency, are related to deficiency in energy production as well. Therefore, malic acid may be of benefit in these conditions.
The mitochondria are the energy furnaces in cells which metabolize food for energy. Some findings suggest that this structure does not operate efficiently in those with FM. So, for the mitochondria to produce ample amounts of ATP, several nutrients are essential and Malic Acid is one of them. Imbalances in the mitochondria’s process can cause the body to switch from oxygen-based metabolism to the less efficient anaerobic metabolism and this would contribute to an abnormal buildup of lactic acid following even light exertion. This lactic acid buildup results in fatigue, weakness, pain and muscle spasms.