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Fulvic acid is one of two classes of humic acidic, organic compounds found in the earth’s soils, rock sediments and bodies of water. Over the past several decades, we’ve learned a lot more about how humic substances found in dirt, including fulvic acid, can actually improve human gut health and therefore immune functions. While people used to obtain higher amounts of humic acids naturally from the soil, today they often turn to food-grade supplements to boost their nutrient intake and improve gut health.
Fulvic acid is found in nature as a product of microbial metabolism processes, which means it’s produced when organic plant matter decomposes and millions of beneficial healthy bacteria are released. That’s why fulvic acid is able to do the following:
1. Improves Gut Health and Immune Function
Fulvic acid and other humic acids contain a plethora of nutrients that improve gut health, including: trace minerals, electrolytes, fatty acids, silica (which boosts collagen synthesis), prebiotics and probiotics. These help nourish the digestive tract and also boost the ability of “good bacteria” to repopulate and form a healthy “microbiome” environment. We need a strong digestive system to build immunity, help control hormone production, regulate our appetite, reduce our stress response and much more.
For hundreds of years, an ancient remedy known as shilajit, which contains roughly 50 percent to 60 percent fulvic acid, has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat a wide scope of health benefits that can be traced back to poor digestive/immune health. A poorly working gut is where many chronic health conditions take shape, which is why leaky gut syndrome is so harmful.
As a result of gut permeability (when particles are able to escape through the gut lining and enter the bloodstream where they shouldn’t normally be), inflammation is triggered and autoimmune reactions can occur. There is some evidence that consuming fulvic acid can help decrease digestive disorders and other issues, including: SIBO symptoms (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), inflammatory bowel disorders, bacterial infections (respiratory, urinary tract, etc.), or the flu and common colds, for example.
2. Helps Boost Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
Acquiring enough electrolytes and other trace minerals is important for proper metabolic functions, digestive health and nutrient assimilation. Organisms we obtain from fulvic acid can be taken in small doses and still cause fast, significant improvements in the ratio of bacteria living in the gut, helping lower many unwanted digestive symptoms like constipation, bloating, diarrhea and food sensitivities.
Besides providing raw nutrients, fulvic acid transports minerals and other nutrients to cells more effectively, boosts absorption rate of nutrients by making cells more permeable, and fights inflammation within the digestive organs.
Another benefit of taking fulvic acid as a supplement is that it helps restore the body’s optimal pH level. By alkalizing the body and preventing an overly acidic environment from forming, humic acids might be able to help prevent long-term illnesses from developing and improve defense against harmful bacteria, fungus, yeast and other organisms.
3. Protects Cognitive Health
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that fulvic acid has several antioxidant, nutraceutical properties with potential activity to protect cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease.
A contributing factor to the development of cognitive disorders is free radical damage and also a type of protein called tau, but studies show that fulvic acid helps lower the length of tau fibrils and their morphology, disassembling their performance and stopping disease progression. The researchers concluded that fulvic acid is likely to provide new insights in the development of potential natural treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Improves Detoxification
Humic acids are beneficial for digestion and improving energy because of their detoxifying abilities. As a form of natural chelation therapy, humic acids are capable of binding to and breaking down toxins and metals that enter the body through the food supply, water, prescription medications, household products and air pollution.
Within the environment, fulvic acid is found in not only soil and rock, but also streams, lakes and ocean water. Humic acids form complexes with ions that are commonly found in the environment, creating tight humic colloids binds that help with water filtering, agriculture processes and detoxification The presence of carboxylate and phenolates within humic acids gives them the ability to act like natural chelators, which means they form chemical complexes that are important for regulating bioavailability of metal ions like iron, calcium, magnesium and copper within the human body and environment.
Studies have found that humic acids have ion-selective electrodes that can be used for attracting heavy metals — even for filtering soils and water because they help bind to things like copper and iron. Research shows they’re even effective at geochemical processing of soils and aquatic environments at much lower concentrations than other types of chemicals.
5. Lowers Free Radical Damage and Inflammation
Free radicals are present inside of all us, since they have roles for fighting pathogens, supplying energy and regulating hormones, but too many speeds up the aging process and results in disease formation. The combination of our exposure to environmental pollutants, low nutrient intake, and harmful activities like smoking, too much UV light exposure and eating processed foods has created a big problem in regard to raising free radical damage.
Fulvic acid contains antioxidants that counter the effects of free radicals and also help detoxify the body of many toxins that contribute to the problem: chemicals used in agriculture, radioactive waste and heavy metals, for example. It also helps extend the permeability and life of cells by providing electrolytes that have numerous functions within the heart, muscles, brain and digestive tract.
6. Improves Energy Levels and Lowers Pain
Many people taking fulvic acid have reported improvements in energy levels, probably due to increased detoxification, lower levels of inflammation and free radical damage, and higher intakes of electrolytes and other key nutrients.
According to research done by Doctors Across Borders, studies have found that as natural and organic electrolytes, humic acids activate and energize nearly every biological process in the body. An electrolyte is soluble in water and works by conducting electrical currents, helping cells survive in the face of damage caused by things like emotional stress, uncontrolled infections, unbalanced diet, prolonged loss of sleep and surgical shocks.
This also makes fulvic acid useful for lowering chronic nerve pain, headaches, joint pain caused by arthritis, or bone and muscle pains associated with aging. There’s some evidence that fulvic acid’s electrolytes can help reduce swelling, decrease inflammation, soothe and relax muscles, and improve circulation. Conversely, an electrolyte imbalance can cause these symptoms to worsen.
7. Repairs and Protects the Skin
Some evidence suggests that humic acids can help protect the skin and treat wounds or irritations caused by things like eczema, bug bites, scrapes and rashes associated with fungus/microbes. A study published in the Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigative Dermatology found that fulvic acid supplementation significantly improved symptoms associated with eczema, even compared to other other eczema treatments.
Historically, fulvic acid has been used as a rash remedy to help treat poison ivy, poison oak, viral infections, spider bites and athlete’s foot. While this benefit is based more on anecedotal evidence than clinical studies, it makes sense considering fulvic acid improves circulation and immunity while lowering pain and susceptibility to infections.
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