Fulvic acid and Humic Acid - What are fulvic acids & what are their side effects (2023)


  • What is fulvic acid
      • Humic and Fulvic acid
      • Fulvic acid benefits
      • Fulvic acid side effects

Humus or humified organic matter is the remaining part of organic matter that has been used and transformed by many different soil organisms. Fulvic acid is a class of compounds of humic substances, is a mixture of polyphenolic acid compounds formed through the degradation of organic substances such as dead plants, microbes and animals by chemical and biological processes 1).

Humus consists of different humic substances:

  • Fulvic acids: the fraction of humus that is soluble in water under all pH conditions. Their colour is commonly light yellow to yellow-brown.
  • Humic acids: the fraction of humus that is soluble in water, except for conditions more acid than pH 2. Common colours are dark brown to black.
  • Humin: the fraction of humus that is not soluble in water at any pH and that cannot be extracted with a strong base, such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH). Commonly black in colour.

The term acid is used to describe humic materials because humus behaves like weak acids.

(Video) The Health Benefits of Humic / Fulvic Acid

Fulvic acids are produced in the earlier stages of humus formation. The relative amounts of humic and fulvic acids in soils vary with soil type and management practices. The humus of forest soils is characterized by a high content of fulvic acids, while the humus of agricultural and grassland areas contains more humic acids.

Fulvic acids are similar to humic acids, with differences being the carbon and oxygen contents, acidity, degree of polymerization, lower molecular weight, and color 2). Fulvic acids – the fraction of humic substances that is soluble in water under all pH conditions. They remains in solution after removal of humic acid by acidification. Fulvic acids are light yellow to yellow-brown in color.

Figure 1. Fulvic acid

Fulvic acid and Humic Acid - What are fulvic acids & what are their side effects (1)

  • Please note that fulvic acid used in natural medicines are often tried for many conditions based on tradition, anecdotes, or marketing, but not all of these uses are supported by reliable or credible scientific research.

Fulvic acid has been utilized in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of diseases, including externally to treat hematoma, phlebitis, desmorrhexis, myogelosis, arthrosis, polyarthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteochondrosis. Likewise, fulvic acid has been taken orally as a therapy for gastritis, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, dysentery, colitis, and diabetes mellitus 3), 4). Orally, fulvic acid is used for cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory tract infections, cancer, fatigue, heavy metal toxicity, eczema, and preventing hypoxia 5). Topically, fulvic acid is used for pollen allergies 6).

(Video) How Fulvic Acid Changed My Life! HBN Fulvic Now Available ✨ #fulvic #dirt #health

Fulvic acid/humic substances isolated from soil and water reservoirs have been reported to stimulate neutrophil and lymphocyte immune function 7).

Recently, the physiological action of fulvic acid on the human body has been studied. For example, the possible application of coal-derived fulvic acid as antimicrobials 8) and the anti-inflammatory property of coal-derived fulvic acid have been reported 9). In addition, the fulvic acid extracted from peat 10) had an antioxidative activity and the fulvic acid extracted from Canadian Sphagnum Peat 11) had an inhibitory effect on chemical mediator release in rat basophilic leukemia cells (RBL-2H3).

Fulvic acid has previously been demonstrated to be microbiocidal against Candida albicans biofilms 12). Fulvic acid also has several nutraceutical properties with potential activity to protect cognitive impairment. In this test tube study 13), the researchers provide evidence to show that the aggregation process of tau protein, forming paired helical filaments in vitro, is inhibited by fulvic acid affecting the length of fibrils and their morphology. In addition, the authors showed that fulvic acid is an active compound against preformed fibrils affecting the whole structure by diminishing length of paired helical filaments and probably acting at the hydrophobic level. Thus, fulvic acid is likely to provide new insights in the development of potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease using natural products.

Figure 2. Fulvic acid and humic acid

Fulvic acid and Humic Acid - What are fulvic acids & what are their side effects (2)

(Video) What Are Fulvic/Humic Minerals & Why Everyone Needs Them - Caroline Alan (BEAM MInerals)

Humic and Fulvic acid

Humic acids are macromolecules that comprise humic substances, which are organic matter distributed in terrestrial soil, natural water, and sediment 14). Humic acids – the fraction of humic substances that is not soluble in water under acidic conditions (pH < 2) but is soluble in alkaline media. They can be extracted from soil by various reagents and which is insoluble in dilute acid. Humic acids are the major extractable component of soil humic substances. They are dark brown to black in color.

Due to their amphiphilic character, humic acids form micelle-like structures in neutral to acidic conditions, which are useful in agriculture, pollution remediation, medicine and pharmaceuticals. Humic acids have undefined compositions that vary according to the origin, process of obtainment, and functional groups present in their structures, such as quinones, phenols, and carboxylic acids. Quinones are responsible for the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in humic acids, which are useful for wound healing and have fungicidal/bactericidal properties. Phenols and carboxylic acids deprotonate in neutral and alkaline media and are responsible for various other functions, such as the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of humic acids. In particular, the presence of phenolic groups in humic acids provides antioxidant properties due to their free radical scavenging capacity. This paper describes the main multifunctionalities of humic acids associated with their structures and properties, focusing on human health applications, and we note perspectives that may lead to novel technological developments. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first review to address this topic from this approach.

Fulvic acid benefits

Oxifulvic acid has been shown in vitro to have antimicrobial activity 15) and to suppress superoxide production by neutrophils. Topical application of oxifulvic acid to laboratory mice has demonstrated clear anti-inflammatory properties 16). Heavy metal-free, carbohydrate-derived fulvic acid has been tested in pilot studies, and found to have similar properties when compared with oxifulvic acid 17). In this trial 18) involving 36 patients with dermatitis (eczema), carbohydrate-derived fulvic acid significantly improved some features of eczema, in particular, overall severity and erythema. Investigator assessment of global response to treatment with carbohydrate-derived fulvic acid was significantly better than that with emollient therapy only. Carbohydrate-derived fulvic acid was well tolerated, with no difference in reported side effects, other than a short-lived burning sensation on application 19).

However there is Insufficient Evidence forFulvic acid in :

  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Respiratory tract infections.
  • Cancer.
  • Fatigue.
  • Heavy metal toxicity.
  • Preventing a condition in which the body tissues do not receive enough oxygen (hypoxia).
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate fulvic acid for these uses.

(Video) Fulvic Acid Explained: Why Our Bodies Need Natural Compounds

Fulvic acid side effects

Kashin-Beck disease is an acquired, chronic and degenerative osteoarticular disorder. Selenium deficiency and fulvic acid in drinking water have been implicated in the cause of this disease 20). Pathologically, chondronecrosis of the growth plate and articular cartilage and subconsequent disturbance of ossification were observed in the joints. In this animal model study, mice were fed with a selenium deficient diet and fulvic acid supplemented drinking water for two generations. Histological preparations of bone revealed that selenium deficiency and fulvic acid supplementation induced degeneration of the articular cartilage in the knee joints of mice, resembling the early stages of osteoarthrosis. This became obvious by disturbed development of the articular space and meniscus, markedly impaired formation of subchondral bone and early differentiation failure during enchondral ossification 21).

Autoimmune diseases: Fulvic acid might increase the activity of the immune system. In theory, fulvic acid might worsen some autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). People with these conditions should be cautious or avoid fulvic acid altogether.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking fulvic acid if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

References[ + ]


What does fulvic acid do for your body? ›

Research indicates that it may bolster your body's defense against illnesses. Test-tube and animal studies show that fulvic acid may improve disease resistance, increase your immune defenses, fight inflammation, and enhance antioxidant activity — all of which may bolster immune health ( 4 , 6 , 7 ).

What does humic and fulvic acid do? ›

For crops, humic and fulvic acids are chelators. They combine minerals to make them into organic compounds that can be ingested by plants more easily. They also enable the soil to hold more water and can increase the water infiltration of the soil.

Is humic and fulvic acid safe? ›

When taken by mouth: Fulvic acid is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken for up to 7 days. Some people have a headache or sore throat after taking fulvic acid. When applied to the skin: Fulvic acid is POSSIBLY SAFE when used for up to 4 weeks.

Does fulvic acid detox your body? ›

Fulvic acid has the ability to bind and eliminate toxins in the body such as heavy metals, making it a powerful detox ally. It will help you get rid of the toxins you've accumulated in time, so you'll notice a boost in energy levels, and your mood and sleep quality will improve significantly.

What happens if you take too much fulvic acid? ›

It seems to pose few side effects, mainly when taken in high doses. Fulvic acid helps detoxify the body, and in so doing may cause diarrhea, cramps, fatigue, headaches, or nausea. An overdose isn't possible, and it's completely natural. Fulvic acid is easily flushed from the system once consumed.

When should you take fulvic acid? ›

It's a good idea to take fulvic acid around the time of eating since it counteracts and detoxifies contaminants — such as pesticides, chemicals, etc., found in foods that are not organic. You can take it a half hour before eating or two hours after eating to improve detox abilities.

Does fulvic acid help liver? ›

In the liver, fulvic acid can act as an antioxidant by uncoupling electron transport in liver mitochondria leading to a decrease in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production [72], which may explain the previous observation that OMC prevents HFD-induced increases in ALT activity [21].

What does fulvic acid do for face? ›

Fulvic acid appears to assist in every stage of cellular rejuvenation. It helps to neutralize toxins and transport nutrients to skin cells. By improving cellular metabolism, fulvic acid can reduce inflammation and diminish wrinkles. After a single application, it also helps brighten, tone, and rejuvenate the skin.

Is fulvic acid FDA approved? ›

In the United States, products with fulvic/humic acids in them are labelled, "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."

How long can you take fulvic acid? ›

Fulvic Acid is considered to be one of the safest and most potent anti-viral substances available today. A generally accepted benefit of Fulvic Acid is that it can be used indefinitely for long periods of time without creating resistance.

Is fulvic acid hazardous? ›

GHS Storage and Disposal Phrases: Harmful if inhaled, swallowed, or in contact with skin. Material may be irritating to the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract. May cause eye, skin, or respiratory system irritation.

Does fulvic acid cause hairloss? ›

Fulvic acid contains strong detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent androgenetic alopecia (a strong form of hair loss). In addition it improves nutrient absorption and claims to help deliver keratin to the hair, making individual strands stronger.

Does fulvic acid help with fatty liver? ›

Experimental results according to the present invention, fulvic acid showed an effect of restoring the liver function on alcoholic fatty liver and prevent and treat acute hepatotoxicity by CCl4.

Can vitamin C be taken with fulvic acid? ›

Fulvic acid can be used on its own in a skincare product but it's great teamed with a vitamin C serum or sunscreen for a boosted brightening effect, says Colette. Fulvic acid has also been studied for its anti-inflammatory benefits, explains Dr Ejikeme, and it works to bring down skin redness and swelling.

Can you mix fulvic and humic acid together? ›

Humic and fulvic acids work well together, with each providing its own benefits for better plant growth. Humic acid improves soil health and growth, while fulvic acid naturally facilitates your plant's absorption and use of available nutrients.

Which is better humic acid or fulvic acid? ›

Fulvic acids are more active than humic acids due to its oxygen content that is almost double the amount of humic acid. Fulvic acid is the most effective organic chelating compound and can be used through foliar application due its small molecular size and electrical charge which plant can immediately uptake.

Is fulvic acid good for gut health? ›

Fulvic acid can provide vital nutrients and enzymes important for optimal gut function, positively affecting gut bacteria and enhancing nutrient absorption. By providing a microbiome that is rich in prebiotics and probiotics, fulvic acid can decrease symptoms of digestive issues and promote a healthy gut.

Do you have to take fulvic acid on empty stomach? ›

Take with food

Since Fulvic enhances the absorption and utilization of all nutrients it comes in contact with, you will be getting maximum benefits from the nutrients in your food when fulvic is present.

When should I take fulvic humic minerals? ›

Taken with a meal, fulvic acid also helps your body with digestion! It works as a catalyst of nutrients. The electrolytes in fulvic acid actually help your body to absorb minerals better, the nutrition found in that meal's food, or additional minerals that are supplemented.

Does fulvic acid cross the blood brain barrier? ›

Fulvic acid has ALL of these 70+ minerals. It is also a very small molecule. It is very easily absorbed by the body, crossing even the blood brain barrier.

Is humic acid safe for humans? ›

Stay on the safe side and avoid use. "Auto-immune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Humic acid might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases.

Does fulvic acid help adrenal fatigue? ›

Fulvic acid benefits may offer protection against heavy minerals and many other health concerns, including diabetes, inflammation, and adrenal fatigue syndrome.

Are there probiotics in fulvic acid? ›

When digestion is operating efficiently it helps immunity as well as managing stress and hormone production. It contains nutrients and compounds like the following. These soil based probiotics are unique to Fulvic acid. Every ferment has different strains and quantities of probiotics.

Does fulvic acid help with hair growth? ›

Studies on fulvic and humic acid suggest that it may help to promote protein synthesis, cellular oxygenation, removal of waste products, energy production, and healing within the body. All of this may lead to thicker and stronger hair, as well as faster hair growth.

Where does the best fulvic acid come from? ›

Fulvic acid has most commonly been found in shilajit, a tar-like sticky substance found in Himalayan mountain rocks. For thousands of years, shilajit has been used in traditional, Eastern and Ayurvedic medicine in India and Nepal for its rejuvenating and anti-aging properties.

Does fulvic acid reduce inflammation? ›

Fulvic acid might block reactions in the body that cause allergy symptoms. It might also interrupt steps involved in the worsening of brain disorders such as dementia. Additionally, fulvic acid might reduce inflammation and prevent or slow the growth of cancer.

Does fulvic acid contain arsenic? ›

The FDA sampled Fulvic Care Powder at the Canadian border and found elevated levels of lead and arsenic.

Does fulvic acid contain heavy metals? ›

Fulvic acid is one of the smallest molecules in nature and is the natural transporter for every living creature (plant, animal & human). Pure fulvic acid is unbound; that is, it has no minerals, metals, vitamins, or trace elements attached to it.

Does fulvic acid dissolve kidney stones? ›

Fulvic acids in Fiuggi water demolish the crystal lattice of the calcium salts (oxalates, phosphates, etc) in kidney stones and form soluble calcium complexes. As a result, the stones are naturally dissolved and eliminated from the human body.

What Chinese medicine is good for fatty liver? ›

A Chinese herbal formula Zhi Yi Xiao (ZYX) is found to reduces the expression of visfatin in the liver of NAFLD rat models (106). Further studies are needed to further suggest the therapeutic role of ZYX in treating NAFLD.

Is BLK water actually good for you? ›

The fulvic acid in blk water has been shown to reduce pro-inflammatory markers and activate the immune system to kill bacteria. It influences the redox state by keeping the body balanced. The fulvic acid in blk water shows the potential to prevent inflammatory diseases like diabetes.

Is fulvic acid good for liver? ›

In the liver, fulvic acid can act as an antioxidant by uncoupling electron transport in liver mitochondria leading to a decrease in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production [72], which may explain the previous observation that OMC prevents HFD-induced increases in ALT activity [21].

Does fulvic acid make you gassy? ›

Improved Digestion

Fulvic acid however helps prevent/contain this by providing the body with electrolytes, probiotics, fatty acids, and trace minerals, all which aid to better digestive health. These nutrients also help promote improved digestion, thus, a reduced risk of flatulence, constipation, or IBS.

What's the best water to drink? ›

Mineral and pure spring water are some of the healthiest water you can drink because they're clean and contain all the essential minerals your body needs. Filtered water removes contaminants but might also remove essential minerals.

Is there any side effects of black water? ›

Extended exposure to black water can lead to infections, illnesses, and long-term respiratory problems, while coming into contact with it exposes a human to even more serious health risks and even death in certain cases.

What is black water Side effects? ›

“It could lower the natural acidic level of your stomach which could impact your digestion. And if consumed in excess, it may lead to gastric and skin issues like nausea, vomiting, hand tremors, and muscle twitching etc,” says Bahl.


1. Difference Between Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid
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2. Science Behind Health Benefits of Fulvic & Humic Acid
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3. Fulvic Acid Explained
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4. Shilajit is The combination of organic trace minerals, humic and fulvic acid #shilajit #supplements
5. American Shilajit: Understanding Humic and Fulvic Acids
(Dr. Bob McCauley)
6. What’s Humic and Fulvic acids!! Why we use them and you should too!! Great benefits for your soil
(Heavenly Hills Homestead)
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