It’s no secret that in recent decades soil minerals have become depleted, and because of this, our food quality has declined. We are seeing record amounts of plastic pollution, chemical exposure, and lower nutrient levels. It is becoming incredibly difficult to find nutrient dense food for our families, and it is debatable whether or not it’s even possible to get enough nutrients solely from food anymore.
A Missing Piece?
While it was once enough to avoid all processed foods, artificial colors, flavorings, refined sugar, artificial hormones, pesticides, and herbicides, that may not be enough to meet nutrient needs today Even a diet of fresh produce, organic proteins, and high quality fats may be lacking in key minerals due to lack of soil quality. Our food just isn’t what it used to be.
Why Food is Depleted of Minerals
In the last 100 years, over farming, monocropping and the use of chemical pesticides and artificial fertilizers in commercial, large scale agriculture has depleted the soil of minerals to dangerously low levels. We no longer hunt and gather our foods from pristine, healthy soils, as farmers don’t put the same healthy and remineralizing compost back into the soil.
In the old days, farmers had to carefully replenish the nutrient levels of their fields and pastures with compost, crop rotation, and soil rest intervals to maintain soil fertility.
Now, they bypass this replenishing process through the use of chemical based fertilizers (that allow crops to continue growing), but deplete the soil of naturally occurring minerals and pH balancing microorganisms.
Mineral Depletion is Getting Worse Every Year
Soil mineral depletion has been a growing problem over the past several decades:
There is deep concern over continuing major declines in the mineral values in farm and range soils throughout the world.
-Conclusion of the 1992 official Rio Earth Summit from the United Nations
This conclusion was based on information showing that over the past 100 years, the mineral levels in agricultural soils has drastically dropped on average by 72% in Europe, 76% in Asia, and 85% in North America.
The outlook is bleak:
Mineral depletion of the soil is so bad in the US, that in 1997, you’d have to eat 26 apples to get the same amount of iron from an apple eaten in 1950.
-Dr. August Dunning
You’d have to eat even more apples today as the onset of new GMO seeds and more intense chemical pesticides have been introduced that further deplete the soil.
It’s a global phenomenon too, and isn’t much better in Europe:
In the UK, researchers started tracking nutrient content of food at the University of London’s King College. They found that between 1940 and 1991, that fruits and vegetables have lost on average between 20%-60% of their mineral content.
-Marin Hum, “Soil mineral depletion”, in Optimum nutrition, Vol. 19, No. 3, Autumn 2006.
What do Minerals Have to do With Health?
The short answer? EVERYTHING.
Every living organism, including bacteria, plants, animals, and humans, need minerals to function properly. Humans need a wide array of minerals in specific amounts. The problem isn’t (yet) that minerals are no longer in the soil, it’s just that they’re present in much smaller amounts than what we need for health.
Trace minerals are also referred to as trace elements or essential minerals and they can be a serious concern to your health if they’re lacking. Trace minerals work synergistically with other minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids in a wide variety of biochemical reactions.
As Minerals in the Soil Go Down, Disease Goes Up
As soil has been rapidly depleted over the last century and even more intensively in the past 30 years, it’s not a surprise that diseases of every kind have accelerated rapidly over the same period:
What Happens When Your Mineral Levels are Low?
When you’re deficient in one or more minerals, your body can start to show symptoms.
For instance, those deficient in Magnesium, may have constipation, anxiety, depression and sleep problems. Zinc is vital for immune function so zinc deficiency can increase the chance of illness or skin problems. Selenium is important for normal heart function and for fertility, especially in men. In fact, research has shown a link between severe selenium deficiency and Sudden Death Syndrome (a name for the unexplained cardiac related deaths of people under age 35 with no apparent heart disease).
Even minerals just needed in tiny amounts, like copper, are vital, as a deficiency of copper can lead to irregular heartbeat or even more severe heart problems.
Essentially, the body starts to break down in a state of mineral deficiency, as it simply does not have the necessary elements to function correctly.
Dr. Linus Pauling (who won the Nobel Prize… twice) concluded after years of studying that:
You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.
How to Get Enough Minerals in Your Diet
I’ve been researching ways to protect my family from the negative health effects of mineral depletion, as it’s a serious problem, considering the widespread implications it can have on the human body.
We already consume a lot of nutrient dense protein and produce from fresh, local sources, and grow our own food whenever possible.
In an ideal world, we could get all of our minerals from food. But since that may no longer possible, supplements can help.
Mineral supplements are nothing new, they have been around a long time. However, not all mineral supplements are the same. You may think that a regular, over the counter mineral or multivitamin and mineral supplement is replenishing your body and meeting your mineral needs, but even the best supplement will contain less than 40 minerals and very few trace elements.
What I discovered is that there is a huge difference between organically occurring and inorganic minerals.
The Difference Between Organic and Inorganic Minerals
Minerals derived in their natural, ionic state are known as organic minerals. This kind of mineral actually chelates or naturally removes inorganic minerals from the body, which is good thing, because you don’t want minerals staying in your system for too long, or they can become toxic (hence the need for daily replenishment).
Organic minerals occur naturally in plants, which are supposed to extract 70-80 minerals from the soil and pass them on to the plants we eat, or the plants that animals eat (and those minerals should then pass from plant to animal to us).
Also, ionic minerals cannot be stored in the body for longer than a few hours, they are much like the water soluble vitamins; therefore, they cannot build up to toxic levels in the soft tissues.
Inorganic minerals that are found in multi-vitamin or mineral supplements often come from ground up stone or mineral deposits. Because these substances are not living substance (like plants), the minerals are typically not as bioavailable.
The Best Organic Mineral Supplements?
As I began researching substance that could help reverse this widespread mineral depletion, I came across some intriguing substances called Fulvic and Humic Acid. The more I studied them, the more I realized they might be the solution to a variety of health problems caused by soil depletion, as mentioned above.
Master Mineral #1: Humic Acid
Humic Acid is a naturally occurring ‘deep earth’ substance that’s a byproduct of humification, a process that has taken place over millions of years.
Humification requires certain unique geological conditions of pressure and temperature as well as the right combination of organic substances, which, over time, compresses this organic matter into a new and uniquely beneficial substance called Humic Acid.
In short, Humic Acid a mineral rich compound created from seaweed that existed millions of years ago.
Why does this matter?
Humic Acid is an extremely powerful substance that has preserved organic minerals and trace elements from ancient living organic fruits and vegetables as well as ancient seaweed. It’s a unique substance that cannot be chemically reproduced, and it works rapidly in the body to replenish nutrient levels.
How Does Humic Acid Work?
On a cellular level, Humic Acid does its primary work outside the cell by preventing viruses and toxins from attaching, reducing inflammation, fighting malignant cell growth, and reversing many serious conditions by turning on physiological switches in the body that regulate disease.
In the stomach, it helps with processing foods and attacking foreign invaders and toxins. Humic Acid removes toxins from the gut before they ever enter the cells, allowing the immune system to function at peak performance.
What are Humic Acid’s Benefits?
Research over the last few decades has identified some of the potential benefits of humic acid:
- Fights cancer: (Yuan, Shenyuan; Fulvic Acid, 4 1988; in Application of Fulvic acid and its derivatives in the fields of agriculture and medicine; First Edition: June 1993)
- Fights thyroid tumors: (He, Shenyi, et al; Humic acid in Jiangxi Province, 1 (1982))
- Enhances sleep: (Bingwen Su, Jiangxi Humic Acid, 3 (1985))
- Fights viruses: (Klocking and Sprosig, 1972, 1975; Thiel et al., (1977))
- Reverses eye diseases: (Related to Viruses): (Guofan, Tang, Jiangxi Humic Acid, 3 (1984))
Master Mineral #2: Fulvic Acid
Don’t confuse folic acid with Fulvic Acid.
Fulvic Acid is another ‘deep earth’ substance that’s extracted in special regions of the world containing these rich organic minerals at about 200-250 feet underground.
Like humic acid, fulvic acid is formed during the seaweed humification process that takes place over time. Fulvic Acid is the first set of molecules formed when the seaweed was entombed or buried as a result of volcanic activity millions of years ago covering the sea beds and ancient, mineral rich seaweed.
As time goes on, the seaweed and other organic components come together with Fulvic acid to form Humic acid (with the right pressure and enough time). Fulvic acids are actually the precursors for making Humic acid. Fulvic acid is a much smaller molecule than Humic acid, and it works uniquely in the body.
How Does Fulvic Acid Work?
On a cellular level, Fulvic acid also does most of its work inside the cell, making the cell membranes more permeable and carrying nutrients into the cells.
One of the many benefits is that cells are getting a higher volume and a more usable form of nutrients. Fulvic acid binds together with water (depending on the Fulvic Acid’s purity and concentration) and helps support the body’s natural detoxification process.
What are Fulvic Acid’s Benefits?
According to the research, it can:
- Strengthen the immune system: (Jingrong Chen et al, jiangxi humic acid, 2 (1984))
- May reduce pain: (Yuan, Shenyuan; et al; Application of Fulvic acid and its derivatives in the fields of agriculture and medicine; First Edition: June 1993)
- Lessens free radical damage: (Fitoterapia, Volume LXVI, No 4, 1995, pg. 328.)
- May stop ulcerous colon infections: (Yuan, Shenyuan; Fulvic Acid, 4 1988; in Application of Fulvic acid and its derivatives in the fields of agriculture and medicine; First Edition: June 1993)
Best Sources of Fulvic and Humic Acids
As with any source of food or substance, there are higher quality sources than others. When researching this, I found that there are basically 8 sources of Humic and Fulvic Acid in the world from 5 different countries:
Russia, Canada, China, Mexico and the United States.
However, most Humic and Fulvic Acids on the market are low grade, what is known as Leonardite, or Brown Coal.
From my research, the Humic and Fulvic Acid that comes from New Mexico is much higher in mineral content and potency than anything else I was able to find. It has an incredibly high, alkaline pH and is superfine, meaning it is more bioavailable to the body.
A simple test: If you want to see the difference between a high quality Humic and Fulvic acid supplement and a low quality one, place the Humic and Fulvic acid in water and see how well it dissolves. Its dissolubility is a good indication of its concentration and its ability to bind to water to become more bioavailable to your body.
One of the leading researchers on Fulvic and Humic Acid, Antony Haynes, has stated that the deposits in New Mexico are the most concentrated in the world.
The Fulvic and Humic Acids I Use
My family has begun taking BlackMP Living Powder, which is the highest quality fulvic and humic acid supplement I could find.
They have a great pre-made black water drink, but it is much more cost effective to make your own with their powder. This also avoids a lot of plastic exposure from the bottles and is lighter to ship.
BlackMP Living Powder’s Fulvic and Humic Acid is sourced from New Mexico, and their extration process separates the Humic and Fulvic acid, creating greater bioavailabilty.
Humic Acids and Minerals
This powder has a wide variety of minerals and trace elements in organic form (77 to be exact).
I also verified that their powder is GMO free, not exposed to acid rain, has no chemicals or artificial ingredients, is free of pesticides, and is certified organic and certified kosher (to my knowledge it is the only certified organic Humic and Fulvic Acid supplement available).
The Benefits of “Blackwater”
Personally, I’ve noticed an uptick in my energy and overall sense of increased well being. I’ve had better mental clarity as well. And that may be due to the mineral content, but could also be in part from another aspect of mineral powder.
This Blackmp not only contains Humic and Fulvic Acid, but soil based organism probiotics.
As we know, probiotics are essential for good health and spore form probiotics are a powerful tool in the fight against disease because they repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria and crowd out the bad bacteria. Studies have shown that spore form probiotics can pass through stomach acid better than regular probiotics that do not have a protective coat around them. As someone recovering from autoimmune disease (where there is almost always an underlying gut issue), the probiotics in black powder have been the most gentle for my stomach and my body responds well to them.
A Special Offer
Supplements are expensive. I get that. So is real food. I understand that too. Unlike simple things like homemade laundry detergent or DIY cleaners, I have not found any DIY ways to get these specific minerals in the diet from food alone. While I wholeheartedly believe that a nutrient dense diet is a huge key to good health, and don’t think that the best supplements in the world will be beneficial if we aren’t also nourishing our bodies with food, I’ve also found careful supplementation helpful in some cases.
I’ve been using this mineral powder for about a year and love it. I was able to negotiate an amazing (50%!) discount for any Wellness Mama readers… so if you decide to try it, make sure to use the code “wellnessmama” to get the discount at this link.
Resources and Sources:
Yuan, Shenyuan; Fulvic Acid, 4 1988; in Application of Fulvic acid and its derivatives in the fields of agriculture and medicine; First Edition: June 1993
He, Shenyi, et al; Humic acid in Jiangxi Province, 1 (1982)
Bingwen Su, Jiangxi Humic Acid, 3 (1985)
Klocking and Sprosig, 1972, 1975; Thiel et al., (1977)
Guofan, Tang, Jiangxi Humic Acid, 3 (1984)
Jingrong Chen et al, jiangxi humic acid, 2 (1984)
Fitoterapia, Volume LXVI, No 4, 1995, pg. 328.
How to Replace Minerals in the food supply
About Humic and Fulvic Substances II –
Interview with Antony Haynes, Autoimmune Summit
Fulvic Acid: A critical Substance to Human Health
Marin Hum, “Soil mineral depletion”, in Optimum nutrition, Vol. 19, No. 3, Autumn 2006.
Have you ever taken fulvic/humic acid suppliments?