As the mineral content of fruits and vegetables have gone down due to poorer soil quality, fulvic acid is becoming an ever-increasingly popular supplement for obtaining trace minerals. But what are the health benefits of this supplement?
There’s hummus and there’s humus. The former is a delicious dip of ground chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon, and garlic. But the latter is not something you want to spread on pita bread. However, it is something you may want to supplement in your diet.
That’s because humus is the organic material in soil that provides plants with minerals. Without humus, plants would have virtually no nutritious value.
The problem is that with today’s modern agricultural and farming methods, most of the soil that is used to grow crops lacks much of the natural mineral content. In light of this, the main component of humus has grown in popularity as a health supplement.
What is fulvic acid?
Fulvic acid is the main component of humus which stimulates root growth in plants. Without adequate amounts of this component, plants can’t easily uptake water and minerals from the soil.
But what does this have to do with your own health? Your cells require the entry of minerals and trace minerals to produce energy. If you eat a diet that includes a lot of processed food, there are two reasons why you may feel tired often.
First, your cells aren’t getting enough nutrients to fuel energy production. And, if you remember a basic lesson from chemistry, it’s inside the cells (in the mitochondria) where energy production occurs.
Second, if the food you eat contains hormones, pesticides and other toxic matter, your organs won’t function optimally. This, of course, will also make you tired. That’s because your body’s main detox organs such as the liver, will expend more energy trying to cleanse the body of toxins.
Because of these two reasons, fulvic acid may benefit health. It may be able to easily enter your trillions of cells, providing vital nutrition missing from your diet. In addition, this humic acid may bind to harmful substances in your body which may encourage detoxification of these toxins.
Fulvic acid has been used therapeutically for thousands of years in India. Although in India, it doesn’t come in the form of a liquid tincture or powder form like in the U.S. Rather, it’s the main active compound in “shilajit.” A tar-like black resin, shilajit is a mineral-rich ooze that flows out of the Himalayan mountains.
India’s ancient medical tradition, known as Ayurveda, considers shilajit to be the best carrier of energy and nutrition for the body. Again, it’s fulvic acid that’s shilajit’s main component.
Fulvic acid benefits
In India, shilajit has been used as a treatment for several disorders. These include urinary or genital tracts disorders, blood sugar disorders, digestive disorders and nervous system irregularities. Shilajit, throughout history, has also treated tuberculosis, bronchitis, asthma, anemia, and even skin disorders. It’s also been used to help repair bone fractures.
Several research studies over the last couple decades have investigated fulvic acid benefits.
Fulvic acid benefits: fat metabolism
This study looks at how it can help metabolize fat (in pig test subjects). The results of the study show that in comparison with the control group, dietary supplementation of fulvic acid significantly reduces mean backfat thickness of pigs. That might not be great news if you love fatty bacon. (Ok, technically, bacon usually doesn’t come from the back, but rather the belly.)
But in terms of its possible ability to help humans burn fat, the results may be promising. (That is to say, if human trials are conducted and the results replicate in homo sapiens.) That’s because the blood concentrations of leptin, which is your hormone that tells you when you’ve had enough to eat, was significantly higher in the pigs given a supplement of the humic acid.
Moreover, levels of growth hormone, insulin, and thyroid hormone also were higher by adding fulvic acid in diets. Growth hormone, insulin and thyroid hormone all play critical roles in metabolism. In addition, the enzyme that digests fat (lipase) also increased.
Fulvic acid benefits: protection against brain disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder. It affects over 5 million people age 65 and older in the U.S. This study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease looks at how fulvic acid prevents a specific protein linked with the disease from forming.
Recent research shows a connection between plaques outside the cells and protein (tau protein) inside the cells. The proteins inside the cells tangle. And it’s this tangling of the tau proteins that researchers believe is a key culprit in the triggering of Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the few natural compounds that may prevent tau protein activity tanglement is this humic acid. “Fulvic acid is likely to provide new insights in the development of potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease using natural products,” the study authors conclude.
Moreover, according to this research, the supplement may also treat inflammation of the veins; blood clot swelling; ruptured ligaments; muscle pain; arthritis, and bone growth disorders.
In addition, as an oral supplement, the humic acid may treat different types of digestive and metabolic disorders. These include gastritis, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, dysentery, colitis, and diabetes.
Another fulvic acid benefit may be protection against cancer. This study suggests it encourages the death of human cancer cells.
Humic fulvic acid side effects
In China, there’s a bone and joint disorder. It’s called Kashin-Beck disease. Researchers believe it’s caused by a very high amount of fulvic acid and a lack of selenium in drinking water. However, taken as directed as an oral supplement, the humic acid is likely safe.
Another study supports the use of the supplement for the skin disorder, eczema. But the use of it for eczema may include a side effect. But it’s mild. The subjects reported feeling a short-lived burning sensation when it was applied.
And just with any other substance that may promote detoxification in the body, a fulvic acid side effect may be comparable to a mild flu.
How to take fulvic acid
According to VitalEarthMinerals.com, you may not want to take the supplement at all. The website explains that in the 1950s, researchers used chemicals and acids to extract fulvic from ancient deposits of humic material (humus). The byproduct was fulvic devoid of its beneficial nutrients and acidic in nature. “That is when and why “acid” became part of the fulvic name in the U.S.,” says the article. However, the article goes on to say, much of the rest of the world uses pure, alkaline pH fulvic acid.
Nonetheless, if you’re going to take a supplement, you can take a powder. A high-quality powder will be black in color. And, of course, rich in minerals. Simply take 1 scoop (tablespoon) and add to pure water. If you’re taking a tincture (a liquid with a dropper), follow the instructions.
A customer review of Supreme Fulvic & Humic Complex® POWDER says that one teaspoon is all it takes to reap the benefits. Although, the reviewer, who claims she had a long laundry list of medical problems in the past, could only take a third of a teaspoon at first. That’s because she felt “wobbly and a bit confused after each dose (apparently there is a lot of trash to move out!)”
But after three months, she was able to take a full teaspoon. As for her benefits, the reviewer reports better skin hydration, better sleep, better blood sugar levels, and even a sharper sense of taste and smell.