Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Benefits of Fulvic Acid

Fulvic acid is a popular dietary supplement that comes from the soil. It has a long history of use as a soil conditioner, but some manufacturers now claim it can help with health problems -- such as the common cold -- as well. There is no scientific evidence to support this notion.

Fulvic Acid

Fulvic acid isn't a single substance, like citric acid or phosphoric acid. Instead, it's a mixture of many different organic -- that is to say, carbon-based -- acids. It occurs naturally in a portion of the soil called humus, which is made up of decaying plant material and a certain amount of decaying animal material. Humus is often called compost and is an important part of what allows soil to support plant life.

Fulvic Acid Components

According to Dr. R. Baigorri and colleagues in a 2009 article published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry," fulvic acid consists mostly of the smaller and simpler acidic, carbon-based molecules in soil. Compared to the similar humic acid, molecules making up fulvic acid are more polar, meaning they dissolve better in water. They're also more likely to be soluble in both acidic and basic solutions, and can include structures similar to what you'd find in sugars and amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.

Fulvic Acid for a Cold

There's no scientific evidence to suggest that fulvic acid can do anything for you if you have a cold. Colds are caused by a group of viruses called rhinoviruses, which lead to upper respiratory symptoms, including runny nose, coughing and sometimes a mild fever. If you have a cold, explains, there's no cure except time. It helps to stay well-hydrated, and you can treat symptoms with over-the-counter medications to make yourself more comfortable.


Aside from the fact that fulvic acid won't do anything for your cold, there's no scientific evidence that suggests it's safe to take fulvic acid supplements. While they're good for the soil, they haven't been tested for safety in humans. The U.S. FDA doesn't regulate dietary supplements the same way they do food and pharmaceuticals, meaning that just because you can buy fulvic acid doesn't mean it's safe or effective for you to take, or that manufacturers' claims are accurate.

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