Introduction to Fulvic Acid
If you are currently supplementing with minerals labelled ionic or colloidal, the discovery and understanding of fulvic acid should excite you.
Nature has provided us with every nutrient that we need to live a long, healthy, and active life. Unfortunately, we're no longer able to enjoy all of the earth's goodness because of the way we process our already fragile foods to death. It doesn't help that our soils have been ravaged and that the animals we eat are regularly given steroids to artificially stimulate their growth.
Plants, the Soil, and Your Health
You may wonder why we can't receive the same nutritional value from the plants that we eat as we can from plant-derived minerals in a liquid form. The primary reason is that the soils that are used to grow our fruits and vegetables today have been depleted of their natural resources. Soil no longer has the abundant vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that it once did.
Today, farmers are pressed for time and force their fields to produce crops that yield high quantities of vegetables and fruits - with very little regard to the nutritional content of the foods that are grown. So that growth can be hurried along, we've begun to 'supplement' our farmlands with high amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K), but very little else.
It is a widely known fact that when high amounts of nitrates are present, plant protein formation is increased. Such an excess of nitrates can also cause an overabundance of amino acids. If the amino acids aren't used by the plants, they can attract insects. Of course some organic farms are a bit better, but the quantity of nutrients still pale in comparison to a good liquid, plant-derived mineral product.
A second reason that our plants fail to nourish us properly is because the soil has been depleted of beneficial microbes. These microbes are necessary for plants to convert inorganic substances to organic. Without this conversion the plants become deficient in minerals. This means that those who eat the plants can also become deficient.
Doctors have known for years that everyone needs at least 90 nutrients to maintain their health. These nutrients include a minimum of 70 minerals, 18 amino acids, and three essential fatty acids. To obtain these nutrients we are admonished to eat at least 57 different sources of food each week. For most people this admonition is much less than practical and sometimes completely impossible. The monetary budget required to obtain such a diverse list of foods would be enormous. Even discounting the monetary aspect, almost no one has a large enough selection of foods at their disposal to satisfy these requirements.
Even if it were possible to eat a 'balanced' diet which consisted of the proper portions of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc., you would still be nutritionally deficient. Why? It is due to the fact that the foods that we eat are heavily processed (canning, cooking, microwaving, etc.) and nutritionally bankrupt.
The only alternative that we have is to supplement our diets with good, high-quality nutritive substances such as antioxidants, vitamins, and plant-derived minerals.
One of the most popular ways to increase your intake of minerals is through the use of liquid minerals (sometimes known as ionic or colloidal). This type of mineral supplement has special properties that no others do. However, before you run out and grab a bottle, you should be aware that not all colloidal minerals are the same.
In today's highly competitive marketplace, many manufacturers would have you believe that one colloidal or ionic mineral supplement is just as good as another, it simply isn't true. Most liquid, plant-derived minerals are a unique and superb source for over 70 different minerals. Since almost everyone, regardless of their social or economic status, is horribly mineral deficient, mineral supplementation is a logical place to start. While this form of supplementation doesn't fulfill all of your nutritional needs, it may help reduce the possibility of developing several disorders. Osteoporosis, cardiovascular disorders, arthritis and others are all disorders that have been directly linked to a lack of minerals.
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The Role of Fulvic Acid and Plant Nutrition
By definition, fulvic acid is "a water-soluble, natural organic substance of low molecular weight which is derived from humus, often found in surface water." - Water Quality Association
Sources of true, plant-derived minerals are called humate deposits. These deposits, if they contain water-soluble, bioavailable elements, will also contain high amounts of humic acids. Fulvic acid is one of several subclasses of humic acids.
Humic acids are composed of a complex mixture of partially decomposed organic materials. These acids are endowed with the ability to chelate positively charged ions, such as elemental minerals, that are absorbed by plants. This natural chelation allows plants to store both vitamins and minerals and helps to increase their overall bioavailability.
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Fulvic Acid and Organic Transmutation
The absorption factor of ionic minerals greatly exceeds traditional tablet supplements. This is one of their strongest advantages. However, those who take plant-derived colloidal minerals are often concerned by the fact that, when the manufacturers list the contents of the supplement, the names of heavy metals appear on the label. While this alarms many people, it shouldn't. The fact is that true organic, plant-derived minerals do not contain heavy metals.
Organic, plant-derived minerals are able to be safely used by your body because of the fact that nature has acted upon them and transformed them into organic material rather than allowing them to remain in their elemental form. This is called organic transmutation.
A driving force behind this miraculous transformation is fulvic acid. The reason that labels list 'heavy metals' is that even once elemental minerals are transformed and stored within plants, they retain their original chemical names. Again, once an elemental mineral is reacted on by fulvic acid and photosynthesis, it is changed from inorganic to organic. This process is often called transmutation. As we read in 'Biological Transmutations,' fulvic acid can actually transmutate magnesium and vegetal silica into a form of calcium that can be used by humans.
Fulvic acid is present in every true plant-derived, organic mineral. The same cannot be said for elemental minerals which are derived from rocks, shells, and certain clays. While elemental mineral supplements may claim to have a wide range of minerals, they cannot compare to the safety and availability of plant-derived substances. It should be noted that fulvic acid itself can contain as many as 60 different mineral compounds - this is above and beyond any other source of minerals with which it is joined.
As is discussed in "The Value of Organic, Plant-Derived Minerals" (Issue #205), when positively charged minerals are absorbed by plants, their bioelectrical polarity is changed to a negative charge. Whenever normally toxic minerals, such as iodine, are absorbed and transformed by plants, they become non-toxic. It may be the chelation factor that accounts for the ability of fulvic acid to neutralize the toxicity of heavy metals such as lead. The actual mechanism that fulvic acid uses to chelate minerals has yet to be ascertained. Although we know that this neutralization happens, the mechanics of the process are still one of nature's secrets - a secret that we benefit from.
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Fulvic Acid Increases Bioavailability
Despite the important role that fulvic acid plays in the production of ionic minerals, it is also renowned for its ability to make vitamins and minerals absorbable to plants. It accomplishes this by complexing elemental minerals into organic forms that are easily transported into and through the roots and membranes of plants.
Plants absorb minerals and vitamins through root 'hairs' - one ion at a time. Interaction between fulvic acid and the elemental mineral must take place before this absorption can happen.
Whenever minerals come into contact with fulvic acid, in a water medium, they are naturally dissolved into an ionic form. These minerals literally become part of the fulvic acid itself. Once the minerals meld into the fulvic acid complex, they become bioactive, bioavailable, and organic. Thus, when elemental minerals are transformed into an organic state, through a natural chemical process involving fulvic acid and photosynthesis, they are safe to be used by both humans and animals.
The presence of fulvic acid also acts as an important protective agent whenever toxins are used to reduce the insect population that often besiege non-organically grown crops. According to A. Szalay, fulvic acid has the ability to dramatically detoxify herbicides, pesticides, and other poisons that it interacts with - this includes many radioactive elements. This detoxification process may extend to animals and humans, since we are the end-users of these plants.
As previously stated, the soil from which our food is grown is severely depleted of vitamins and minerals. For plants to remain beneficial to us, it is imperative that they absorb the greatest possible amount of these substances. For this reason, nature provided fulvic acid. The very presence of fulvic acid enables plants to maximize their uptake of vitamins and minerals.
This means that whenever you eat plants that have been in the presence of fulvic acid, your body can assimilate more of nature's building blocks with which to build and maintain your body. Another benefit of fulvic acid is that it actually potentiates the availability of essential nutrients. Potentiation is a term that describes how long an ingredient can remain active.
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Nature's Protective Force
The more you study organic substances, such as fulvic acid, the more you will be impressed by nature.
The phytochemicals (plant chemicals) found in nature provide us with an astounding array of benefits and protection. For instance, soy provides us protection against certain cancers and acts as an adaptogen, antimutagen, and is full of active enzymes - if it comes from soy sprouts and not the processed bean. Fulvic acid also acts as a source of protection from environmentally induced oxidation.
Anyone interested in maintaining their health should note that free-radical damage (oxidation) has been implicated in over 60 disorders.
For years we've known that antioxidants are extremely beneficial in our fight against disease. As such, the scientific community has focused a major portion of their attention towards well-known antioxidant substances. This research has shed light on many extremely powerful free-radical fighting nutrients such as proanthocyanidins .
If a healthy body is your goal, then you must take action to protect against free-radical attacks. If you are taking colloidal minerals that contain fulvic acid, you're on the right path. Fulvic acid is a very powerful antioxidant.
According to N. Senesi, Y. Chen, and M. Schnitzer, fulvic acid has the ability to dramatically reduce the oxidative effects of free-radicals. This means that fulvic acid could potentially help your body ward-off disorders such as cancer, premature aging, wrinkling of the skin and arthritis - all of which are thought to be hastened by oxidation.
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Enzymes are Activated by Fulvic Acid
Whenever we eat, our body sets into motion a complex series of actions designed to break down the foods that we've eaten. It then converts these digested foods into energy and building materials. The actions that take place on the foods that we ingest would not be possible if it were not for enzymes.
Without enzyme activation, food would simply rot in our stomach, elimination could not take place, thought would cease, and we would die. Enzymes are the 'life-force' behind vitamins and minerals.
Obviously, anything that we can do to strengthen and protect these enzymes will further our hopes of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Since you have only a finite number of enzymes that are available to your body, supplementing them from outside sources (such as with raw fruits and vegetables and enzyme supplements) is an absolute necessity [for more information on enzymes, see Issue #200 - Enzymes and Your Health].
The good news is that the presence of fulvic acid actually increases the activity of several enzymes, including: transaminase, invertase, and alkaline phosphates.
Speaking of the potentiation of certain substances, fulvic acid may also have a positive effect on RNA and DNA. According to several researchers, the actual content of DNA in cells and the synthesis of RNA is enhanced by the presence of fulvic acid. Furthermore, if you supplement with traditional vitamins and minerals, their bioavailability may be enhanced by the addition of fulvic acid.
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Fulvic Acid and Organic Tissue Growth
A modern day medical wonder is our ability to actually remove damaged tissues and bones from the human body and replace them with healthy bones and tissues. Unfortunately, such transplantation is also very risky. Transplants of this type are sometimes rejected.
To lower the incidence of rejection the most desirable donor tissues come from alternate sites of the same body. Unfortunately, this requires a separate surgery. Extra incisions mean more discomfort and a longer period of healing. The only other alternative is finding a donor from other sources.
In one experiment, patients who required the replacement or transplantation of bone were treated at the University Hospital in Freiburg, Germany using fulvic acid as part of the therapy. Due to the lack of human donor tissues, animal bone in the form of bovine calcium hydroxyapatite, an inorganic calcium compound, was used.
Two problems with such a procedure is that neither animal bones or inorganic calcium are readily absorbed by the human body. However, these problems were circumvented with the use of fulvic acid.
When fulvic acid was inserted into the animal bone before replacement, the patients experienced dramatically improved regeneration of the transplanted bones.
The fulvic acid was so readily accepted and used by the patients that their bodies became highly osteoconductive. This means that new bone tissue began to form at an accelerated pace, thereby enhancing growth and healing. The inorganic calcium was also absorbed by the body due to the fact that the fulvic acid had transformed it into an organic compound. At the end of the experiment it was noted that, without the introduction of fulvic acid into the bone tissues, healing was not accelerated and regeneration did not take place.
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Cell Wall Permeability and Absorption
As with any product or nutritive supplement, the only way that your body can benefit from it is after it has been absorbed. The same is true of plants. Before a plant can properly process minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients, they must be incorporated into their structure. Fulvic acid actually enhances this absorption process.
Prior to elemental minerals being converted and stored by a plant as plant tissue, fulvic acids begin to ionize them. Without fulvic acid, the substances that surround plants would not be able to be absorbed since the root 'hairs' are single ion chambers that pull nutrients into them ion by ion.
However, when fulvic acid acts upon a substance its molecular size and weight is altered. This enables it to pass through cell membranes - including the semi-permeable membranes that line your intestines.
When searching for organic, plant-derived minerals, make certain that they contain fulvic acid. This will ensure that you get the highest quality available.
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