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Embracing the Primordial Nutritional Boost: Humic and Fulvic Acids - Brad King, MS, MFS

 

Introducing Humic and Fulvic Acids

Humic and fulvic acids are organic compounds and the often unsung heroes of the earth[1]. These substances are quite literally the end products of decomposed organic matter, primarily coming from plants. Over millions of years, relentless cycles of growth, decay, and nutrient recycling create these ancient acids, turning them into nature's most potent repository of nutrients.

The longevity of this process is integral to the nutrient density of humic and fulvic acids. Their capacity to retain and release nutrients renders them invaluable to soil fertility, and correspondingly, the nutritional density of the foods we consume. In other words, the longer these humic and fulvic acids are left to cure, the more potent the nutrients they contain.

The Lost Minerals

Trace minerals play pivotal roles in our physiology, serving as catalysts for countless biochemical reactions[2]. Indeed, trace minerals are microscopic cornerstones upon which the monument of human health is built. Each mineral plays like a separate instrument in a biochemical symphony that reverberates through our cells, tissues, and organ systems. Every mineral plays its tune in harmony with all the other minerals, not one more important than the other, influencing our overall health outcome. The problem is, despite the fact that the human body requires dozens upon dozens of trace minerals, many of them are now deficient in our souls, especially the following three, selenium, zinc and chromium.

Selenium is a trace mineral that quietly maintains the performance of our body's antioxidant defenses[3]. Central to this role is selenium's involvement in the recycling of glutathione, often hailed as the body's master antioxidant[4]. Antioxidant enzymes like glutathione peroxidase, for instance, cannot function without selenium's input[5]. Glutathione on its own is defenceless against the onslaught of toxins and free radicals, unless it is chemically converted to its reduced form (GSH). By facilitating the conversion of GSH to its oxidized form, selenium supercharges this antioxidant so it can neutralize harmful free radicals and then once again recharge, ready for its next assignment[6]. Thus, like the lighthouse keeper who ceaselessly reignites the beacon in the face of relentless waves, selenium guards our cells against the relentless onslaught of oxidative stress[7], and without it, we would age like a raison in the sun.

Zinc, another trace mineral, elegantly choreographs a ballet of hormones while simultaneously bolstering our immune defenses[8]. Found within every cell, it stimulates the activity of over 300 enzymes that govern countless biochemical reactions, including hormone production and messaging along the central nervous system[9]. Zinc is also fundamental in immune health, moderating inflammatory responses and fortifying the protective barricades erected by immune cells[10]. Studies suggest that zinc deficiency can result in impaired immunity, rendering us more susceptible to infections[11]. Thus, without sufficient zinc, there would be no hormonal harmony and our immune systems would come to a screeching halt[12].

Last but definitely not least, is the trace mineral chromium. Chromium conducts the pivotal metabolic process of glucose utilization[13]. Like a master locksmith, chromium enhances the ability of our metabolic hormone, insulin to effectively unlock cells, allowing glucose to enter and be transformed into energy[14]. Chromium's importance is underscored by research indicating that its deficiency can lead to impaired glucose tolerance, a precursor to obesity and diabetes[15]. Thus, chromium, in its silent vigil, helps keep the intricate machinery of our metabolism well-oiled and functional[16].

These trace minerals' roles in human health is a testament to the intricate complexity of our bodies' biochemical landscapes. And this, perhaps, is a poignant reminder that the unnoticed, the unseen, and the microscopic, too, carry profound implications for our lives. Nothing could be closer to the truth when referring to trace minerals.

Unlike macronutrients, our bodies cannot store these vital micronutrients, underscoring the need for daily replenishment. Most minerals, are labeled 'inorganic.' Yet, in the world of nutritional biochemistry, a caveat exists: humic and fulvic minerals. These are the only exception to the rule, as humic and fulvic acids take inorganic minerals from the ground and incorporate them—organically-binding them—into complexes within plant cells, which significantly enhances their bioavailability and safety[17]. Some humic and fulvic acid reserves contain upwards of 77 trace minerals in their highly effective organic form, acting as nature's unparalleled multi-mineral supplement.

Nutrients Galore

The repertoire of humic and fulvic acids extends beyond minerals. They are also brimming with a host of other nutrients, including but not limited to; vitamins (9), amino acids (17), antioxidants, and polyphenolic compounds[18]. Collectively, these contribute to a wide array of health benefits, from bolstering immunity and enhancing energy production to combating oxidative stress and supporting healthy detoxification.

Synergy is the Key

In the realm of nutrition, isolating compounds can sometimes fall short of delivering optimal health benefits. This is where the 'nutrient synergy' model in nature shines. Humic and fulvic acids work synergistically, complementing and enhancing each other's benefits[19]. Thus, a combination of both (humic and fulvic acids) provides a more potent, comprehensive nutrient profile than either alone. These organic acids are naturally found within a 30% humic acid to 70% fulvic acid ratio, so it is best to stick as close to this ratio as possible.

Know the Source

The extraction of humic and fulvic acids should ideally exclude harsh chemicals, relying instead on natural water extraction techniques. A concern in the industry is the sourcing of these acids from multiple suppliers worldwide, primarily China, where product consistency and safety may be compromised. Issues such as heavy metal contamination underscore the need for rigorous third-party lab testing[20].

Enter LeafSource® Humic-Fulvic Acid Complexes. Extracted from a proprietary reserve in the Southeastern United States, LeafSource® guarantees product consistency and safety, as they have for the past 20 years. Their humic and fulvic acid products are 100% filtered water extracted and undergo stringent third-party verification, providing consumers with a reliable choice, not to mention their 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Conclusion

The importance of humic and fulvic acids as nutritional supplements cannot be overstated. Their rich, synergistic blend of trace minerals and other nutrients delivers a potent health boost that mirrors nature's wisdom. For a daily nutritional lift that's millions of years in the making, consider supplementing with a high-quality humic-fulvic acid complex, like LeafSource®.

 

References:

[1] Piccolo, A. (2001). The supramolecular structure of humic substances: a novel understanding of humus chemistry and implications in soil science. Advances in agronomy, 75, 57-134.
[2] Nielsen, F. H. (2012). History of zinc in agriculture. Advances in nutrition, 3(6), 783-789.
[3] Rayman, M. P. (2012). Selenium and human health. The Lancet, 379(9822), 1256-1268.
[4] Pizzorno, J. (2014). Glutathione!. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, 13(1), 8.
[5] Brigelius-Flohé, R., & Maiorino, M. (2013). Glutathione peroxidases. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-General Subjects, 1830(5), 3289-3303.
[6] Sies, H. (1999). Glutathione and its role in cellular functions. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 27(9-10), 916-921.
[7] Avery, J. C., & Hoffmann, P. R. (2018). Selenium, selenoproteins, and immunity. Nutrients, 10(9), 1203.
[8] Prasad, A. S. (2008). Zinc in human health: effect of zinc on immune cells. Molecular medicine, 14(5-6), 353-357.
[9] Roohani, N., Hurrell, R., Kelishadi, R., & Schulin, R. (2013). Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 18(2), 144.
[10] Shankar, A. H., & Prasad, A. S. (1998). Zinc and immune function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 68(2), 447S-463S.
[11] Wessels, I., & Maywald, M., & Rink, L. (2017). Zinc as a gatekeeper of immune function. Nutrients, 9(12), 1286.
[12] Haase, H., & Rink, L. (2009). Functional significance of zinc-related signaling pathways in immune cells. Annual Review of Nutrition, 29, 133-152.
[13] Vincent, J. B. (2000). The biochemistry of chromium. The Journal of Nutrition, 130(4), 715-718.
[14] Anderson, R. A. (1997). Chromium as an essential nutrient for humans. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 26(1), S35-S41.
[15] Anderson, R. A. (2008). Chromium and polyphenols from cinnamon improve insulin sensitivity. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 67(1), 48-53.
[16] Cefalu, W. T., & Hu, F. B. (2004). Role of chromium in human health and in diabetes. Diabetes care, 27(11), 2741-2751.
[17] Davies, G., & Ghabbour, E. A. (Eds.). (2001). Humic Substances: Structures, Models and Functions (Vol. 1). Royal Society of Chemistry.
[18] Nardi, S., Ertani, A., & Francioso, O. (2017). Soil–Plant–Microbe Interactions in the Rhizosphere: An Evolutionary Perspective. In The Rhizosphere (pp. 1-33). Elsevier.
[19] Schepetkin, I. A., & Quinn, M. T. (2006). Botanical polysaccharides: macrophage immunomodulation and therapeutic potential. International immunopharmacology, 6(3), 317-333.
[20] Rao, P. S. C., Hornsby, A. G., & Jessup, R. E. (1985). Indices for characterization and assessment of pollutant distribution in soils. Journal of environmental quality, 14(3), 325-332.