Shilajit is often sold in the West, with “high” standardized levels of fulvic acid as an active ingredient. Fulvic acid has benefits but was never the active ingredient or a relevant marker compound in shilajit or any regional variations thereof. The fact is, that fulvic acid is popularized by marketers, who sell “shilajit” spiked with fulvic acid is the very suspect. That being said, if you are looking for a pure fulvic acid supplement, it is less expensive and makes more sense to purchase a fulvic acid supplement at a fraction of a cost of genuine of shilajit resin.
Benefits of Fulvic acid.
Fulvic acid benefits are quite a topic. A basic search on PubMed, which is the largest repository of medicine and health-related research information, yields only eight results under the query: fulvic acid supplement. Out of these eight articles, only two are on the actual research of fulvic acid supplementation… One article talks about supplementing to pigs and the second to chickens. The interesting fact that in the case of pigs the there was an improved lipid (fat) metabolism. In the case of chickens, they grew better.
The overwhelming majority of results under a query: fulvic acid, yielded over 1200 results, but most of them had nothing to do with health effects of fulvic acid. Those articles were on soil, soil health, and chemistry specific to fulvic acid.
Basically, it’s not the most impressive supplement and if that was all shilajit has going for it shilajit fulvic acid extractions would be far more popular and shilajit resins would not be dominating the market the way they are.
This is an article about fulvic acid supplementation and athough the research is loose it would probably be a better source for information about the compound.
Active Ingredients and Marker Compounds?
Active ingredients and marker compounds are two different things. An active ingredient is something that makes a substance work; a marker compound is a substance which identifies the substance. Marker compounds can be shared between different substances.
For Shilajit of high quality, this is where it gets tricky, and marketers start spinning the wheel. There are very few manufacturers in the world capable of producing and maintaining high-quality standard for shilajit.
There are many more manufacturers who are capable of producing shilajit imitations. Imitations are usually made of soil. Soil is what has very high amount of fulvic acid. For humans neither soil nor fulvic acid ever produced the same benefits as shilajit or any regional variations such as mumie, salajeet or bragshun.
How genuine Shilajit is made.
Genuine shilajit is made of shilajit bearing rocks or stones. Traditionally it was never made from sedimentary rock formations or soils. There is a lot of testing and purification involved, during the process of actually making shilajit. There are several generations of shilajit resin, and it will take multiple articles to cover each consecutive generation. Here, I’ll simply describe how the very basic shilajit is made:
One collects the shilajit bearing rocks. They are much harder to find, identify and collect than one would think they are. Good quality raw material is what often defines the quality of the final shilajit resin.
One removes large debris from them, (such as stone, sand, and pebbles), dissolves the rocks in the water, and then evaporates the water. What remains is the resin with different levels of moisture. The result is what traditionally known as shilajit.
The lower is the generation of resin the more “problems” and less benefit such resin will have. Currently, there are at least 3 different generations of genuine shilajit, which I am aware of. The third generation is pretty much shilajit of the 21st century, where all the classical benefits of shilajit resins remain, purity and bioavailability are much higher than in previous generation resins. Newer generations resins have more benefits as well.
Shilajit research. Amino acids, ashless humic acids, DBPs and micro-nutrients as markers.
In the modern times, the most quality non-commercial research on Shilajit comes from classic Soviet science, which clearly identified numerous active ingredient and marker compounds in shilajit. Soviets did an enormous amount of research on the chemistry of Shilajit and use of Shilajit in humans. They needed such research because they used shilajit heavily for the athletes in the Olympics, the Soviet space program, and their military.
The simplest identified compound are glycine in its free form and ashless humic acids.
You see me making statement and contradict a lot of marketing materials you may have read about shilajit fulvic acid. My hope is that, what I shared with you here can give a perspective on where I am coming from and why I believe a lot of claims I read online are hype and fluff, not substance.
When I recommend Pürblack, it is because they are the only company which extensively tests the product, using real marker compounds at every stage. Their material comes from Himalayan and Altai mountains. Their tests are based on research and not marketing trends. The process of how they make it is clearly disclosed in their patent application and on their website, and they have anti-counterfeiting measure included in their packaging (counterfeiting popular shilajit brands is a lot more common than you might imagine). So If you were wondering, yes I am biased toward the higher standards of quality, transparency and efficacy of Pürblack.