[Updated Oct. 18, 2021]
Introducing Dr. Fotedar PhD
Dr. Amita Fotedar, from Wellington, New Zealand, is a research scientist with a PhD in Environmental Sciences and works with the United Nations Development Programme in a global energy project.
She has developed a detailed research white paper on Himalayan Shilajit's main ingredients Fulivc and Humic Acids which are also the active ingredients in a Canadian product called AEON.
With so many health benefits of these organic acids, this is a good place to start learning on how they can help you and how it could be used as a preventive measure for many common ailments.
Top Benefits of Humic and Fulvic acids - Actives of Shilajit and AEON
Shilajit, also termed as mineral pitch, mumie, moomiyo, or mummiyo, found predominantly in the Himalayas, is a brownish-black, sticky and tar like substance that has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Shilajit is a safe and effective supplement that offers positive effect on the overall health and well-being.
It is a truly amazing substance that has arisen from the nature’s sophisticated craftsmanship. The combination of pristine essential nutrients, carbon-60, humic and fulvic acids, organic trace minerals, amino acids, antioxidants from the plants and many more useful organic acids present in Shilajit makes it a magical health boon in comparison to any other trace minerals supplement.
In addition, shilajit safeguards against osteoporosis and strengthens bones. Some researchers and scientists also claim that shilajit acts as an adaptogen, a class of compounds said to boost the body's resistance to stress, increase and improve libido, and improve energy (Agarwal et al, 2007).
Rich in minerals, and a powerful substance termed as fulvic acid, shilajit is perfect integration of vital nutrients in balanced ratios, making it one of the most beneficial natural health supplements of all time. Fulvic Acid is a yellow-brown powerful organic component in Shilajit that has a capacity to completely unlock all of it’s amazing health benefits. Used in Ayurvedic medicine, shilajit along with its actives (fulvic and humic acids) is touted as a natural remedy for multiple health problems (Wilson et al, 2011).
Thirteen potential benefits of shilajit
Shilajit and its compounds (humic and fulvic acids) offer several benefits for the body. It is a nutrient-rich biomass, considered a panacea in Ayurveda, and acts antioxidant, adaptogen, rejuvenator, and an aphrodisiac. Several benefits of Shilajit and its bio-compounds (fulvic and humic acids) have been discussed below:
1. Helps boost digestion and nutrient absorption
Adequate trace minerals and electrolytes are vital for proper metabolic activities, nutrient assimilation and digestive health. Fulvic acid in shilajit boosts absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract into the bloodstream and helps in lowering many unwanted digestive symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, IBS, constipation and other food sensitivities (Schepetkin et al, 2009)
In addition to increasing nutrient content in the foods we consume, fulvic acid transports minerals, amino acids, and vitamins from digested foods. This increases nutrient intake into the body, all which aid to better digestive health.
Apart from offering raw nutrients, fulvic acid carries fatty acids, probiotics, ketones, flavonoids, and trace minerals to cells more effectively, increases absorption rate of nutrients by making cells more permeable, and combats inflammation within the digestive organs. The nutrients present in fulvic acid promotes improved digestion, hence ensuring, a decreased risk of IBS, flatulence and constipation.
Another benefit of taking fulvic acid as a supplement is that it is helpful in restoring the optimal pH level of the body. Humic acids (fulvic acid) alkalize the body and prevent an overly acidic environment from forming, thereby preventing long-term diseases from developing. Humic acids (fulvic acid) also boost defense against dangerous and detrimental yeast, fungi. Bacteria and other harmful organisms. The fulvic acid supplements also nourish the GI (gastrointestinal tract) ensuring better hormone balance, stress management and appetite regulation (BNV et al, 2014).
2. Improves Endurance
Humic acids have been reported to be beneficial in activating and energizing almost every biological process in the body. This is probably because of electrolytes, trace minerals, nutrients and minerals present in the humic acids (fulvic acid). Fulvic acid helps the body cells remain active in the face of destruction caused by a poor and unbalanced diet, prolonged sleep loss, stress, and oxidative damage.
People who take fulvic acid supplements have been reported to notice improvements in their physiological energy, overall vitality and endurance. In fact, in the former USSR, fulvic acid was secretly utilizes by military people and Olympic athletes for a competitive edge in restoring and boosting endurance and healing injuries (Vucskits et al, 2010)
3. May reduce inflammation
Fulvic acid is also useful in alleviating inflammation. It works directly with the immune system of our body to bring down the release of interleukins and cytokines – the inflammatory compounds. Humic substances present in Shilajit (an ayurvedic medicine used as a supplement) like fulvic acid regulates the disproportions in the mitochondria because of its ability of penetrating into the cell, delivering nutrients and chelating toxins.
When the mitochondria function optimally, they start producing antioxidant compounds such as Glutathione and super peroxide dismutase (SOD). These antioxidant compounds safeguard us from the destruction of free radicals, which eventually result in the release of inflammation in the body.
Fluvic acid aids in absorbing trace minerals and vitamins which are required to keep inflammation and our immune system in check. Shilajit Fulvic acid comprises a wealth of trace minerals, such as Potassium, Zinc, Magnesium, and more that help in extending the life and permeability of cells by providing electrolytes and other key nutrients.
These nutrients have multiple functions within the brain, digestive tract, muscles and heart and increase detoxification, reduce inflammation levels and free radical damage (Winkler & Ghosh, 2018).
4. Repairs and Protects the Skin
Fulvic acid concentrates in Shilajit, found in the Himalayas. Traditionally Fulvic acid was used to remediate poison ivy, poison oak, spider bites, athlete’s foot and other viral infections. Anecdotally Fulvic acid is known to improve blood circulation and immunity, lowering pain and susceptibility to infections.
It is known to have properties that aid in protecting the skin and treating wounds and irritations associated to eczema, bug bites, scrapes and rashes caused due to fungus and microbes.
Studies published in the Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigative Dermatology identified that application of Fulvic acid improves symptoms of eczema as compared to other related treatments.
With respect to skincare and anti-aging properties, fulvic acid has been reported to permeate through all layers of the skin, restore it and help tone skin muscles by encouraging more muscle contractions.
This is helpful in replenishing skin nutrient needs, retaining skin moisture, fighting off wrinkles, eliminating toxins and free radicals, and safeguarding further damage to the skin.
Fulvic acid having a gentle pH of 3.2 can also be used as an acid peel, while energizing and healing the skin. It mildly exfoliates, reduces redness and assists in every stage of cellular rejuvenation.
It aids in neutralizing toxins and transporting nutrients to skin cells. By boosting cellular metabolism, fulvic acid brings down inflammation, repairs wrinkles, brighten, tones, and rejuvenates the skin. Its natural electrolyte concentration restores and energizes the skin.
Because fulvic acid promotes resilience of the skin, boosts the overall health, is antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, it is beneficial for every type of skin complexion and can be blended into daily skin care regimens and utilized year-round.
It also has the potential to address skin issues like rosacea and acne. Fulvic acid is a strong and powerful antioxidant, so it is a boon for, sensitive, aging complexions and sun-damaged, as well. Skin acne occurs due to the presence of pathogens like bacteria in the skin.
Most acne cases are related to an overgrowth of pathogens on the skin. The antimicrobial characteristics of fulvic acid aids in eliminating skin pathogens, lowering down inflammation, while ensuring a congenial environment for advantageous bacteria (probiotics) to help balance and normalize the skin microbiome, which is vital for healthy skin (Schepetkin et al, 2003).
5. Speeds up recovery time
Fulvic acid is evident to expedite healing time post-surgery, injury and intense exercise. According to a case study German surgeon from University Hospital of Freiburg were expected to carry out bone transplants in patients. However, they had to use cattle bones for transplant, due to shortage of healthy bone tissues. For obvious reasons, human body was unable to absorb calcium from animal bones or interact with these tissues. Fulvic acid served as a boon here – the bones were first treated with Fulvic acid and then inserted into the patient’s body. It was found that cattle bones were conveniently absorbed by human bodies and it also improved tissue growth, leading to complete recovery.
Even Shilajit Fulvic acid is known to aid post workout recovery in regular exercisers. After regular usage, tests indicated that it withered sore lactic acid syndromes. Fulvic acid helps in restoration of electrolytes and rehydration, after extensive sweating.
Combination of Shilajit and Fulvic acid is also used for treating brain injuries. A number of experiments have been done on rats with severe brain damage and Shilajit has proved to improve their brain conditions. Further research is going on to identify, how Shilajit will work on human brains (Kunavue & Lien, 2012)
6. Improves Detoxification
Several products which we use in our daily lives consist of toxic substances that can cause damage to our body. Personal care products do not have considerable regulations enforced upon them. This means that we get exposed to toxic substances just by cleaning the floor or by washing face. However, humic acid is the savior.
The most beneficial trait of humic acids is its role as detoxifying and chelating agent. As a form of natural chelation therapy, humic acids bind to and break down metals and toxins which find their way into the body through, water, household items, food supply, prescription drugs and medicines and air pollution.
Humic acid actually “seizes” the heavy metals and transports them to the liver for processing and eliminating them out of the body, making it an essential part of the detoxification process of heavy metals. Within the environment, fulvic acid is present not only in rocks and soil, but also lakes, streams and ocean water. Humic acids like fulvic acid create complexes with ions that are majorly found in the environment, forming tight humic colloids binds which are helpful with agriculture process, detoxification and water filtering.
The presence of phenolates and carboxylate within humic acids increases there potential to act like natural chelators, which means they form chemical complexes which are essential for regulating bioavailability of metal ions like copper (Cu), Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe) and Magnesium (Mg) within the environment and the human body.
Research has shown that fulvic acids possess ion-selective electrodes which can be beneficial in attracting heavy metals — even for filtering soils and water because they help bind to things like iron (Fe) and Copper (Cu). Studies have proved that humic acids are even useful at geochemical processing of soils and aquatic habitats at much lower concentrations in comparison to other categories of chemicals (Chen, Senesi, & Schnitzer, 1978).
7. Improves Energy Levels and Lowers Pain
Fulvic acid has been reported to boost energy levels, all of which involves mitochondria. This is probably because of its ability to detoxify, lower inflammation levels, free radical damage, and increases intake of key nutrients and electrolytes. As organic and natural electrolytes, humic acids like fulvic acids energize and activate nearly every biological activity in the body.
The microscopic organelles called mitochondria take nutrients and oxygen, generating energy from the electrons that these substances carry. The energy is stored in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which the body breaks down and uses to finance every single thing it does, from blinking to digestion.
Fulvic Acid – when consumed in the form of Shilajit –delivers an increased quantity of these nutrients to the mitochondria, as well as increases the uptake of oxygen. Also, fulvic Acid promotes electrolyte balance in cells, which quickens the flow of electrons that the mitochondria utilize when creating energy (Meena et al, 2010).
In other words, Fulvic Acid encourages the body to produce larger amounts of energy at a much faster rate than normal. This also makes fulvic acid beneficial for reducing joint pain as a result of arthritis, chronic nerve pain, headaches, or muscle and bone pains associated with ageing.
Research also shows that electrolytes found in fulvic acid are beneficial in reducing inflammation and swelling, relaxing and soothing muscles, and boosting circulation.
8. May prevent growth and spread of tumors
Studies on colorectal tumors has proved that Fulvic acid prevents, tumor from getting attached to cell walls within the body. Furthermore, it was revealed that Fulvic acid also reduces the effects of NF-kB pathway inside the tumor. In future, this could be a very beneficial discovery in the field of medical science as NF-kB is a protein complex that helps in DNA transcription and increasing the lifespan of a cell.
Cancer cells have a tendency to grow continuously when moving through the pathway, eventuating into tumor. In other words, Fulvic acid could help in preventing the tumor to grow, eventually destroying them, to die naturally just like ordinary cells. Recently in 2017 a research on Fulvic acid’s healing property, the same is proved true for prostate, colon and liver tumors (Aydin et al, 2017).
*Important: However, it is important to note that Fulvic acid should not be replaced with any ongoing medication or treatment, prescribed by the doctor. Although the above stated observations remain true for generic cases, it should not be replaced for specific treatments of tumor. It is suggested to use Fulvic acid supplements as a side line for people suffering from tumor, although no official verification has been obtained from FDA in this regard.
9. Improves Gut Health and Immune Function
Fulvic acid along with few more humic acids contains abundance of nutrients that helps in improving gut health due to inclusion of trace materials, electrolytes, fatty acids, silica, prebiotics and probiotics.
These aid in nourishment of digestive tract and lift the capability of ‘good bacteria’ to breed and create a healthy microbiome environment. Our digestive system has to be strong enough to improve immunity, restrain production of hormones, control our appetite, curtail stress and many such related ailments (Swidsinski et al, 2017).
For over a century, an age-old antidote – Shilajit, containing a good concentration Fulvic acid was used in conventional Ayurveda, providing heaps of health benefits to repair poor digestive system and improve immune. Many chronic diseases reside in poorly performing guts, leading to a deadly leaky gut syndrome. Often when the particles escaping through the gut lining and entering the bloodstream, results in inflammation of the gut also triggering autoimmune reaction.
Anecdotally consumption of Fulvic acid is known to help decrease SIBO symptoms, inflammation of bowel disorders, bacterial infections, flu and common cold.
10. Encourages muscle repair
Free radicals tend to hinder the rate at which muscle cells and tissue restore, repair and regenerate. Fulvic acid supplements however are beneficial in getting rid of these toxic substances, making muscle restoration much easier. Additionally, fulvic acid boosts absorption of proteins and improves digestion. The proteins break down faster to release amino acids required for muscle tissue repair, growth, revival and regeneration.
It also promotes transport of other vital nutrients to muscle cells, particularly after a training exercise. Fulvic acid lengthens the prevention of Lactic Acid build-up during strenuous exercise training, repairs, and accelerate muscle soreness, and speed up recovery, reducing muscle soreness while increasing oxygen uptake and performance (Willis, 2015).
11.Possibly increases longevity
Researchers globally are researching on new models of ageing, which relates to mitochondria. Mitochondria are known to regulate our immune system, body’s response to stress, and life span of each body cells. It is vital for generating energy and also to prepare antioxidants that usually depletes with age.
As discussed earlier, Fulvic acid acts as a shield to protect our mitochondria from damage, providing them with essential nutrients and increasing their capacity to generate energy. Our longevity is interrelated with the life of mitochondria as Fulvic acid protects them from getting damaged earlier. However, no specific evidence exists that can prove increase of our lifespan due to intake of Fulvic acid (Cao, 2000).
12.May be of use for those with Alzheimer’s disease
It has been discovered that Fulvic acid might be able to help cure Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is caused due to malfunctioning of proteins, tangling up the neurons in the brain to death leading to protein aggregation (aka neuron crust over).
These neurofibrillary tangles block the network of other neurons, causing loss of memory, dementia, and other related Alzheimer symptoms. Tau Protein is an essential protein that keeps the neurons healthy. Malfunctioning of Tau Protein, causes the coiling of neurons, gathering and formation of a stoppage in the neural networking of the brains.
In one of the experiments on neural functions, Fulvic Acid was able to impede this gathering of neurons, even unwinding these tangles, reducing their length and dismantling them totally. While these experiments are still in their inception stage, the observations were positive indications to recover memory loss and other neuro generated ailments, promising a success to cure deadly disease like Alzheimer (Carrasco-Gallardo et al, 2012).
13.Promotes healthy testosterone levels in men and women
Testosterone is vital in the growth of muscles and bone mass for both men and women, as well as the maintenance of energy and brain function. With age, testosterone levels naturally deplete, which can cause low libido, weight gain, reduced sexual function, hair loss, lowered semen production in men, loss of muscle and bone mass, fatigue, sleep disorders, and mood fluctuations (Pandit et al, 2016).
Shilajit and its actives – Humic and Fulvic acids, is the ultimate nutrient booster that enhances immune function, gut health, boosts nutrient absorption and digestion, safeguards cognitive health, is a natural detoxifier, reduces free radical damage and inflammation, boosts energy levels, reduces pain, and protects and safeguards the skin.
Fulvic acid supplement is available in different forms – water or liquid fulvic acid, solid fulvic acid supplements, and organic crops.
To sum up, Fulvic acid is a universal compund that appears to have multiple therapeutic benefits. According to ongoing research, the benefits to explore is increasing almost every day!
Thank you Dr. Fotedar for taking the time to provide such as detailed whitepaper on the benefits of fulvic and humic acids.
Agarwal, S. P., Khanna, R., Karmarkar, R., Anwer, M. K., & Khar, R. K. (2007). Shilajit: a review. Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives, 21(5), 401-405.
Aydin, S. K., Dalgic, S., Karaman, M., Kirlangic, O. F., & Yildirim, H. (2017). Effects of Fulvic Acid on Different Cancer Cell Lines. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute Proceedings, 1(10), 1031.
BNV, P., Upadhyay, A. P., & Sharma, N. K. (2014). Fulvic acid (FA) for enhanced nutrient uptake and growth: insights from biochemical and genomic studies. Journal of Crop Improvement, 28(6), 740-757.
Cao, S. (2000). Fulvic Acid Information Asthma and lung infections on the rise in all age groups. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol, 84, 227-233.
Carrasco-Gallardo, C., Guzmán, L., & Maccioni, R. B. (2012). Shilajit: a natural phytocomplex with potential procognitive activity. International Journal of Alzheimer’s disease, 2012.
Chen, Y., Senesi, N., & Schnitzer, M. (1978). Chemical and physical characteristics of humic and fulvic acids extracted from soils of the Mediterranean region. Geoderma, 20(2), 87-104.
Kunavue, N., & Lien, T. F. (2012). Effects of fulvic acid and probiotic on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood parameters and immunity of pigs. J Anim Sci Adv, 2(8), 711-21.
Meena, H., Pandey, H. K., Arya, M. C., & Ahmed, Z. (2010). Shilajit: A panacea for high-altitude problems. International journal of Ayurveda research, 1(1), 37.
Pandit, S., Biswas, S., Jana, U., De, R. K., Mukhopadhyay, S. C., & Biswas, T. K. (2016). Clinical evaluation of purified Shilajit on testosterone levels in healthy volunteers. Andrologia, 48(5), 570-575.
Schepetkin, I. A., Khlebnikov, A. I., Ah, S. Y., Woo, S. B., Jeong, C. S., Klubachuk, O. N., & Kwon, B. S. (2003). Characterization and biological activities of humic substances from mumie. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 51(18), 5245-5254.
Schepetkin, I. A., Xie, G., Jutila, M. A., & Quinn, M. T. (2009). Complement‐fixing activity of fulvic acid from Shilajit and other natural sources. Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives, 23(3), 373-384.
Swidsinski, A., Dörffel, Y., Loening-Baucke, V., Gille, C., Reißhauer, A., Göktas, O., ... & Schrödl, W. (2017). Impact of humic acids on the colonic microbiome in healthy volunteers. World journal of gastroenterology, 23(5), 885.
Vucskits, A. V., Hullár, I., Bersényi, A., Andrásofszky, E., Kulcsár, M., & Szabó, J. (2010). Effect of fulvic and humic acids on performance, immune response and thyroid function in rats. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 94(6), 721-728.
Willis, K. (2015). An Investigation of the Effects of Fulvic and Humic Acids on the Absorption of Selected Drugs, Vitamins and Minerals Using the Everted Mouse Gut Model (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pretoria).
Wilson, E., Rajamanickam, G. V., Dubey, G. P., Klose, P., Musial, F., Saha, F. J., ... & Dobos, G. J. (2011). Review on shilajit used in traditional Indian medicine. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 136(1), 1-9.
Winkler, J., & Ghosh, S. (2018). Therapeutic Potential of Fulvic Acid in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases and Diabetes. Journal of diabetes research, 2018.