Fulvic acid benefits health for some people because it is rich in nutrients like trace minerals and has a lot of compounds thought to boost our immune system health and reduce inflammatory conditions as well.
But if you haven’t heard of fulvic acid, you aren’t alone. In Western societies, fulvic acid is relatively new on the scene of health products, but it has been used as part of traditional medicine for a long time- since at least 600 BC.
What is Fulvic Acid?
Not to be confused with folic acid, a synthetic vitamin, fulvic acid is totally different. Fulvic acid is natural and is made from decomposing plant matter by millions of bacteria on rocks and earth. During the process of breakdown of plants and rocks, many minerals and probiotics are incorporated from the rocks and activated into the liquid part of the plant matter. This broken-down plant matter is called fulvic acid.
Using fulvic acid has a lot of history for its traditional medicine value. Most types of fulvic acid are derived from a substance called shilajit. Derived from humic substances in the earth and water, fulvic acid is extracted from shilajit.
Shilajit is a black, sticky substance that is rich in both humic acids and fulvic acids and is obtained from rocks in the Himalayan mountains. These substances are used for a vast array of health issues in Aruyvedic medicine, such as memory problems, infertility, fatigue, anemia, and more. Sherpas in Tibet use it as part of a healthy diet for strength and endurance.
As you might imagine, fulvic acid nutrient content will vary depending on where it is sourced from.
Nutritious fulvic acid
The fulvic acid part of shilajit is more soluble in water and is a clear substance, while shilajit is a dark, tarry color and texture.
Fulvic acid contains at least 70 minerals and also has vitamins and a lot of antioxidants. These fulvic minerals are in their ionic form, so they are readily absorbable both by plants and animals.
Using fulvic acid for plants is popular too because it stimulates healthy growth and resilience for gardeners. In this case, people either use fulvic acid powder or fulvic acid liquid to support gardening. Research shows that fulvic acid has a positive effect on soil quality and the nutrition content of plants.
Fulvic acid helps plants grow, and healthy fruits and vegetables that you eat actually contain small amounts of fulvic acid too.
Fulvic Acid Benefits
By now you know that fulvic acid is rich in minerals and nutrients. These minerals include magnesium, iron, zinc, and fulvic acid run the gamut of trace mineral content.
There are many other possible benefits of fulvic acid, including improved nutrient absorption, reduced inflammation, improvements in immune function, digestive benefits, improved energy, improved altitude tolerance, and more.
Keep in mind, however, that very few clinical studies have used fulvic acid specifically when looking at health conditions. But fulvic acid is a natural and nutrient-rich substance that actually is found in foods, so supplementing fulvic acid doesn’t seem to be that big of a stretch for health gains.
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Fulvic acid helps absorb nutrients
One of the most interesting facts about fulvic acid is that it likely helps the body absorb nutrients better because the minerals and nutrients are highly absorbable and bioavailable according to research in animal models.
For example, fulvic acid may also help the body retain minerals like copper and zinc better than without fulvic acid. At the same time, fulvic acid reduces the chance of copper toxicity according to animal studies.
However, fulvic acid doesn’t likely help the body retain more iron or manganese than other forms of iron and manganese, but does contain a good amount of these minerals.
There is also some research that suggests that fulvic acid enhances the absorption of medications too, like Carbamazepine.
Tip: fulvic minerals benefit health because they may help absorb and retain nutrients in our bodies while keeping them at safe amounts in the body.
Fulvic acid mineral content
Without a doubt, fulvic acid benefits are many because it is rich in minerals. A study of 14 different brands and forms of fulvic acid found that shilajit-derived fulvic acid contains between 45 and 135 percent of the daily value (RDI) for iron, up to 40 percent of the RDI for manganese, and up to 40 percent of magnesium RDI.
Fulvic acid is also a source of selenium, chloride, and iodine, although is is difficult to find the exact quantity because of variances in soil.
Rich in magnesium and potassium as well as sodium, fulvic acid has a lot of macrominerals too.
Fulvic trace minerals include all trace minerals essential for life and it is reported to have a minimum of 70 types of trace minerals and often more.
Treats trace mineral deficiencies
Trace minerals are essential nutrients that our body requires to thrive. These minerals include iodine, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, cobalt, chromium, vanadium, boron, and molybdenum.
One big benefit of fulvic acid is that it is rich in trace minerals. This is important because deficiency of minerals in our diets today is very common. Here are some examples of trace mineral deficiencies:
Research shows that older adults are very susceptible to trace mineral deficiencies, including zinc, selenium, iron, iodine, and copper.
A cross-sectional study in the journal of Nutrients found that in 7000 adults over age 60, over a third of people were deficient in selenium and over 50 percent were deficient if institutionalized. A striking 49 percent of women were lacking selenium and 39 percent of men were selenium deficient.
Iodine deficiency is also quite rampant with over 1.9 billion people in the world suffering from deficiency and over a third of children fall in this category too according to the reputable journal, the Lancet.
Why are trace mineral deficiencies common?
Some minerals, like copper, is almost 60 percent less in our foods today than they were 50 to 100 years ago.
Other trace minerals are depleted in foods; consider that the zinc content in fruits and vegetables is down by a third compared to years ago.
A study of athletes found that 40 percent of minerals were deficient in their diets even when eating a healthy diet, according to the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Why? Modern farming practices strip away topsoil and don’t contain enough humic compounds to add back critical minerals for our food supply.
Add this fact: Western diets are so processed and stripped of minerals that people stand no chance of adequate nutrients.
This is where fulvic acid fits in. Until our food supply is fixed, we most likely benefit from a trace mineral supplement if we live in the United States or any area that uses factory farming.
Fulvic acid antioxidant content
Antioxidants help protect the body from toxins and free radicals.
Fulvic acid is very rich in antioxidants and research shows it has more polyphenols than red wine, tea, or fruit juices.
Because of this, fulvic acid is able to reduce inflammation compounds in the body too according to cell studies. These inflammation compounds include:
By reducing inflammation, it may reduce the chances of certain kinds of cancer as well.
Tip: you can increase the antioxidants in your diet by adding a dropper full of fulvic acid into your drinking water.
Fulvic acid benefits the skin
Fulvic acid compounds have the ability to absorb into the skin according to cell research.
One way fulvic acid may benefit the skin is by reducing eczema symptoms. In a study of 36 people with eczema, topical fulvic acid applied twice daily reduced eczema better than emollient alone.
Compounds in humic substances like fulvic acid have antimicrobial properties and probiotics that may deter certain skin conditions like acne and boils too.
May help energy
Trace minerals help supply the body with energy because they are often cofactors in cell metabolism. Minerals are well-known to help with energy are iron, copper, iodine, molybdenum, and chromium as reviewed recently by the University of Michigan Health.
Early research shows that shilajit, rich in fulvic acid, reduces chronic fatigue symptoms in animals when undergoing endurance exercise.
While human studies are lacking in this area, fulvic acid conceptually will increase energy in your body, especially if you are low in trace minerals.
Fulvic acid may help support brain health due to its rich mineral content and antioxidant content. It may even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
For example, early research shows that fulvic acid is able to reduce tau protein formation, which increases in people with Alzheimer’s disease. It also reduces the toxicity of a culprit in Alzheimer’s called amyloid beta in neuronal cells.
According to Medical News Today, compounds in fulvic acid support healthy cognitive functioning and one of the traditional uses of fulvic acid is to slow the aging process.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, supporting a healthy brain with fulvic acid may help reduce the chances of debilitating brain disorders if used as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Fertility and hormones
Minerals are required to make hormones like estrogen and testosterone. They also help make hormone precursors like DHEAS also known as dehydroepiandrosterone.
A study where fulvic acid-rich shilajit was given for 90 days found that healthy men had increases in total testosterone, free testosterone, and DHEAS after supplementing with shilajit.
Women may also benefit hormonally from fulvic acid, but no research has been conducted so far to determine these effects.
Fulvic acid diabetes benefits
Diabetes is a disorder related to high blood glucose levels, but there is more to the story. Trace minerals help the body to metabolize glucose in the body, so fulvic acid may be helpful for people with diabetes.
Although we are lacking human studies of fulvic acid, mineral deficiencies lead to imbalances in blood sugar and insulin resistance. If you are low in trace minerals and have diabetes, you may benefit from supplementing fulvic acid.
Some research suggests that fulvic acid helps improve digestion because it may improve the microbiome and because it contains lots of antioxidants and minerals.
Without a doubt, it may improve gut health because it helps your body absorb nutrients too. Some early research suggests that fulvic acid is helpful in preventing stomach ulcers too.
More studies are needed to determine the exact effects of fulvic acid on gut health in people.
A healthy immune system requires that the body recognize foreign invaders by increasing a type of immune cell called lymphocytes. Fulvic acid increased lymphocytes in a study of animals. This means that fulvic acid may help fight harmful viruses and bacteria when needed.
In a nutshell, fulvic acid may help with proper immune response.
While we need to confirm these results in humans, fulvic acid likely has beneficial effects on the immune system due to its high mineral content and antioxidants.
There are a few potential risks of using fulvic acid to be aware of. This is why it is always important to talk with your healthcare provider before embarking on any new supplement regimen.
May decrease thyroid function
One possible side effect of fulvic acid is that it may decrease thyroid hormones like T4/T3 ratios and increase thyroid stimulating hormone, especially at high doses of fulvic acid, according to a study in rats.
It is unknown whether this same effect on the thyroid happens in humans, but likely would have little or no impact on the thyroid at doses that people usually take, such as 1 ml per day.
Contamination with heavy metals?
There is some concern that fulvic acid contains unhealthy heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. It is important to buy fulvic acid from a reputable source to avoid this concern.
On a positive note, fulvic acid probably helps sequester or remove heavy metals like lead from the body too, so it is likely a trivial point at this time. By binding and removing heavy metals, fulvic acid detoxification benefits are more likely than not.
Buying purified forms of fulvic acid helps ensure that they are free of heavy metals.
However, fulvic acid may actually reduce harmful minerals like lead uptake or absorption in the body.
Avoid with hemochromatosis
Fulvic acid contains a rich source of iron, so if you have a condition called iron overload, or hemochromatosis, you should avoid taking fulvic acid.
In Tibet, the drinking water content of fulvic acid is very high and is linked to Kashin-Beck disease. No one knows if this is the cause of the disorder because it could also be linked to the low selenium and iodine contents of the foods there and the mycotoxins present in grains.
Pregnant women and children should avoid taking fulvic acid because no research has been conducted on these groups of people.
Doses of fulvic acid of 1.8 grams per day are safe for people according to research.
Other research in the Research in Clinical Pharmacology journal concluded that fulvic acid is safe at doses up to 40 ml per day. In fact, those receiving fulvic acid supplements had fewer allergy symptoms than those without fulvic acid.
Generally speaking, you should follow the dosing recommendations on the supplement label. Most fulvic acid supplements come in dropper bottles and dosing is around 1 ml per day. Add this to filtered water and take it with meals for the most benefit.
There is a concern that fulvic acid may increase the absorption of certain prescription drugs, so it may change the dosing requirements of certain medications. Before you take fulvic acid supplements, make sure to check with your doctor.
Fulvic Acid Testimonials
Research is truly in its infancy in regards to the benefits of fulvic acid in people. Still, it has been used for thousands of years as part of healing regimens in Ayurvedic medicine and is used to effectively improve soil health too.
This is where testimonials come in. While testimonials and anecdotal stories are not scientific, they do add important perspectives on a product’s possible effectiveness.
My fulvic acid story
Many people know sauna use is healthy and can even reduce heart disease risk if it is used on a regular basis. When I bought my sauna, I got a lot of health benefits, but one side effect as well: muscle cramping.
When people use saunas, they lose a lot of toxins through sauna sweat, but they also lose minerals, including salt and trace elements and minerals like sodium, iodine, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and more.
Some people naturally have more minerals than others; I happen to be a person who loses a lot of minerals by sweating.
One way you can tell if you lose a lot of minerals is by tasting your sweat. Is it salty? If yes, you are losing quite a bit of minerals when you sweat.
Combine this with the depleted soils that our foods grow in, we are all faced with trace mineral deficiencies on a regular basis.
Replacing my minerals with fulvic acid
One of the most well-known sources of trace minerals is fulvic acid, so I decided to buy some and started taking it on days when I use my sauna.
Within two doses of about 1 ml fulvic over two days, I stopped cramping up. By the way, I also routinely added pink salt to my filtered water as well, which helped but didn’t stop the cramping alone.
Of note, fulvic acid does have a strong flavor, like soy sauce, but if you mix it in water, you will hardly notice it is there.
Using fulvic acid has also made me feel more chilled out and calm. Overall, I’m really happy I found fulvic acid supplements.
Other fulvic acid reviews
Other testimonials of fulvic acid and fulvic acid reviews are positive regarding its effects on gut and overall health, including:
- Reduces bloating
- Reduces IBS symptoms
- Helps stomach issues
- Improves belly health better than probiotics
- Better energy
- Improves skin health
People find that they have more energy during the day, sleep better at night, sometimes lose some weight, and overall feel more vitality. Other people rave about its benefits for hair, skin, and nails.
Some people feel like they focus better too.
Fulvic acid supplements
Fulvic acid supplementation is becoming increasingly common because of the awareness of the reduced mineral content of foods due to modern farming practices.
Taking fulvic acid supplements can be confusing because there are so many brands on the market today.
You can even find fulvic zeolite supplements, which combine both fulvic acid and zeolite and these claim to help further bind heavy metals from the body.
The best fulvic acid supplements will have good reviews and come from companies that have a good reputation, such as Trace Minerals, sourced from the US and GMP certified, and Fulvic Ionic Minerals. which is organic and is certified WEFHAS (water extracted fulvic and humic acid society).
Fulvic acid is gaining in popularity as a supplement because of the many mineral deficiencies in our diets today.
This organic compound is also rich in antioxidants and may help prevent chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and digestive disorders when used as part of a healthy lifestyle.
You should take fulvic acid according to dosing recommendations on the bottle, typically 1 ml per day, and mix it into filtered water instead of tap water.
Make sure to avoid fulvic acid if you have hemochromatosis and be aware of conditions where caution should be used, such as when taking it with medications.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only and is not meant to provide medical advice. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or lifestyle.