3. Medicinally Useful Properties of Humic Acids
- Mucous membrane covering and astringent efficacy
The macro colloidal structure of humic acids provides a good film-like covering on the surfaces of the gastrointestinal mucous membrane, peripheral capillaries and damaged mucosa cells. As a result of this process, the resorption of toxic metabolites is, for example, reduced or totally suppressed (e.g., after infection, with toxic residues in feed or when changing feed). There is an additional positive result that is expressed in a calming of peripheral nerve endings due to the colloidal protective function of humic acids. That way an accelerated recovery of physiological intestinal tonus is made possible.
- Anti-bacterial and virucidal efficacy
Humic acids especially have the ability to influence the protein and carbohydrate metabolism of microbes by catalytical means. This has a direct harmful effect on bacterial cell or viral particles. Obviously the diffusion of humic acids into the interior of the cell needs a transmitter. Research has shown that in different test systems a significant and sometimes highly active inhibition of bacterial (E. coli, Salm. Typh., Salm. Cholerae quis, Staph. Aureus SG 511 etc.) and viral (Herpes Simplex virus type 1, Adenovirus 2, ECHO virus, Rota virus) test species was to be observed (among others: Schneider, 1992).
A second mechanism is based on the interionic binding of high molecular protein fractions (toxins) of infecting microbes. Their toxic effect on physiological processes in mucous cells can therefore be bly reduced or even inhibited.
- Anti-phlogistic efficacy
The basis for the anti-inflammatory property in all probability lies in the flavonoid structure contained in the basic structure af humic acids.
Antiphlogistic effects have been shown in oedema tests on rat paws. The result was a time-dependent delay of oedema growth or an accelerated regression in oedematous anomalies.
Figure 4: Time-Dependent Oedema Growth and Depression
(Simultaneous active agent application)
Figure 4 shows that, when humic acid content in a preparation is increased as compared to the control group (with DMSO as depressor), the most effective oedema depression is achieved in terms of both time and efficacy. (see V2)
- Anti-resorptive and adsorptive efficacy
Since high-molecular humic acids remain almost completely in the gastrointestinal tract after enteral application (no self-resorption) the anti-resorptive and adsorptive effects become especially clear in the digestive tract at the point of action. Cationoid noxae especially (protein toxins, toxic residues) are bound. Their resorption is bly reduced or completely inhibited and their elimination through the faeces enhanced.
The toxic-depressive effects of humic acids relative to a number of noxae as well as in cases of acute and subchronic intoxications are also due to its good adsorption properties. The adsorption effect has been demonstrated on, among others, heavy metals, nitrate/nitrite, fluorides, organic phosphates (e.g., parathionmethyl), chlor-organic insecticides, carbaryl and warfarin. Since the adsorption by humic acids involves not only physical but also chemical reactions (e.g., complex formation and ion exchange), it is more intensive and dynamic (chemisorption) compared to purely physical adsorbents (e.g. Carbo med.).
- Paramunologic efficacy
Caused by the inducer-effect of the phenolic components of humic acids, it forms the basis for therapeutic success against so-called multifactorial diseases in rearing young stock.
- Ergotropic efficacy