The ancient and amazing world of humic and fulvic acid

Is there a “missing link” to human health? While there certainly are many important substances for human health – a growing body of research suggests that some ancient living compounds from the Earth may be key elements missing in our diets.

Welcome to Living Organic Earth.  We hope that this website will be a great vehicle for all of human civilization to learn more about humates and related compounds, and in the process about our own bodies and our interaction with the natural world.

Humates are defined as being produced by the biodegradation of organic material.  The breakdown of organic plant material by microorganisms produces humates, along with trace minerals.  Humic substances include Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid, the latter being a more specific variety of Humic Acid.

For your reference here is also a link to the International Humic Substances Society is an international academic organization founded upon learning more about these, shall we say, ground-breaking substances.

The study of humates is an emerging science, which has its roots (pun intended) in the science of soil and plant growth.  Because of human beings close relationship to plants (some would say not close enough) we can benefit from the study of humates, not just in nurturing and supporting plants growth cycles, but also in directly supporting the human body.

According to the IHSS “Humic substances are highly chemically reactive yet recalcitrant with respect to biodegradation. Most of the data on HA, FA and humin refer to average properties and structure of a large ensemble of components of diverse structure and molecular weight. The precise properties and structure of a given HS sample depends on the water or soil source and the specific conditions of extraction. Nevertheless, the average properties of HA, FA and humin from different sources are remarkably similar.”

“Humic substances are complex and heterogeneous mixtures of polydispersed materials formed by biochemical and chemical reactions during the decay and transformation of plant and microbial remains (a process called humification).” [IHSS website]

Humic acid is the major constituent of both soil and sea water.  Humic substances are made of many different molecules, including the oxygen-containing phenolic and carboxylic groups which are considered their  These phenolic and carboxylic groups give Humates the ability to chelate with different kinds of minerals, forming chelate complexes and bioregulating mineral absorption by living entities.  This is thought to effect the way that humates can help to eliminate heavy metals and also help with positive remineralization (and biomineralization) although is there is significantly less research on the latter.

An article published in 1997 the Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions by Geoffry Davies, et al entitled Tight metal bonding by humic acids and its role in biomineralization deals with tight mineral binding sites in Humic acid and their role in biomineralization. Biomineralisation is the fascinating emerging science by which living organisms (including microorganisms) produce minerals, which are generally considered to be inorganic.

What science is uncovering more and more, is just how much of a role bacteria and other microbes play in these biological processes.  Bacterial decomposers are the primary mechanism by which the mineral cobalt becomes vitamin B12.  The process in the production of humates is thought to be very similar.