Humic acid is a family of related organic acids, commonly found in soil, peat, and in lake and ocean water, as well as soil-grown foods. Humic acid supplementation to soil can increase the yield of organic crops, and humic acid content in food is thought to have a number of effects on the body. Specifically, humic acid consumption and treatment has been linked to several health benefits.
Protection Against HIV
One health benefit of humic acid may be protection against HIV infection, the viral infection that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. HIV infection occurs when the virus enters a human white blood cells, generates viral proteins within the cell, and generates several more copies of the virus. The infection continues when the infected cell bursts open, releasing viruses into the bloodstream, allowing the infection of other white blood cells. A study published in "Chemotherapy" in 2002 indicates that treating white blood cells with oxihumate -- a form of humic acid -- decreased their susceptibility to infection with HIV. As a result, some forms of humic acid may have a protective role in preventing HIV infection.
Humic acid may also help boost your immune system. Your immune system is made up of specialized cells, called lymphocytes or white blood cells, that can identify and engulf foreign particles and bacteria. A health immune system recognizes these particles quickly upon their introduction to the body, preventing irritation or infection. A study published in the "Journal of Medicinal Food" in 2010 indicates that humic acid can stimulate the immune system by promoting the release of antibodies and cytokines -- chemicals used to identify foreign parties and activate the immune system.
Some think another benefit of humic acid may be that it can act as a chelator. Several conditions, or drugs used to treat conditions, may lead to the accumulation of toxic chemicals or heavy metals in the body, which can interfere with proper cellular function. The University of California, San Diego explains that chelators bind these toxins or heavy metals, neutralizing the chemicals and allowing their excretion via the urine. Humic acid may act as a natural chelator, helping remove toxins from your bloodstream and your body. As a result, humic acid consumption may play a role in supporting chelator therapy, and may help reduce the risk of some diseases that develop from heavy metals in the blood.