When detoxing, binders are essential to clear toxins from your body. And you have a variety of binders to choose from. For example, common binders include activated charcoal, bentonite clay, and diatomaceous earth.
When you bind toxins, you want to select the most effective binder and make sure it’s not leaving behind anything harmful. But some binders are limited in the type of toxins they can pull out of your body. They might miss some toxins hiding deeper in your tissues and bones, including heavy metals.
Plus, many binders cannot work past your digestive tract or may even rob you of important nutrients.
Carbon-based binders made of humic and fulvic acids are a new and emerging binder without the drawbacks of older binders. But what do carbon-based binders have that the other binders don’t?
What Makes Carbon-Based Binders Different
Carbon-based binders are made with humic and fulvic acids. These acids maximize the binder’s energy, which strengthens binding capabilities. This combination results in a number of benefits. (1, 2)
Once heavy metals and other unwanted compounds are bound to these carbons, they’re “stuck.” The harmful heavy metals and other toxins will not detach from the carbon and relocate in your body.
This is due to the unique chemical structure of the carbon molecules in humic and fulvic acids. They hold on tight to toxins like a super strong magnet. The bound toxins exit your body via your stools. (3)
Most binders only work in the gut. But carbon-based binders enter your bloodstream and can extend throughout the body. It reaches for toxins active in your gut, as well as toxins hiding in your tissues and cells. This systemic binding plays an important role in detoxing the entire body. (2, 4, 5)
Unlike many older binders, carbon-based binders are selective in what it binds. When the humic and fulvic acids come into contact with a mineral or other nutrients that your body needs, it sees an “equal” and lets it be. It doesn’t bind the good form of minerals, such as copper or zinc. (6)
In contrast, old-school binders like activated charcoal and bentonite clay may grab anything in their path. They might bind nutrients and other compounds your body needs. Those binders require careful timing to take them apart from food and other supplements. (7, 8, 9)
Adding Nutrients and Antioxidants
Carbon-based binders don't just bypass helpful nutrients in your body. It takes it one step further by adding nutrients to your body. Humic and fulvic acids contain amino acids, carbon, hydrogen, minerals, and vitamins. These nano-size particles can easily enter into your cells and tissues, and they help undo damage from toxins. (6, 10)
Along with delivering nutrients, carbon-based binders have antioxidant carbon compounds. These may neutralize harmful free radicals, associated with cancer. Plus, the antioxidants help prevent unwanted bacteria, fungi, and viruses from growing in your body. (11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
When you use a binder, you want one with a lower pH, as it has higher potential energy and reactivity. In other words, the lower the pH, the more reactive the substance is. A highly reactive binder will draw more of the heavy metals, toxins, and wastes out of the individual cells and carry them out of the body. (16)
Carbon-based binders have a low pH, which allows it to pull more toxins out of the body. Older binders, on the other hand, tend to have high pHs.
No Toxins Left Behind
There’s a wide variety of toxins in today’s environment. Your body may contain chemicals, heavy metals, mold toxins, pesticides, radioactive elements, and other unwanted toxins. Older binders are limited in their binding ability, especially since they only work in the gut. Unlike these binders, carbon-based binders are built to grab onto all the different types of toxins. (4, 17, 18, 19, 20)
Natural Delivery System
Some binders are created synthetically, like liposomal-based binders. Liposomes encase the molecule they intend to deliver in a fat bubble. In order for the fat bubble to dissolve and deliver the supplement, another substance must be placed on the surface. Depending on the liposome created, any number of unnatural substances may be placed on the bubble to dissolve it. (21)
On the other hand, humic and fulvic acids are all-natural — it is not a synthesized delivery system. No foreign substances need to be introduced because it is attached to the delivery system, not encapsulated by it. Instead, these carbons act as a protector and driver of the supplement it intends to deliver.
What Is the Source of Carbon-Based Binders?
As mentioned previously, carbon-based binders are made of humic and fulvic acids. But what exactly are humic and fulvic acids?
Humic and fulvic acids are the result of soil-based microbes breaking down old plant material. In essence, they “recycle” it and turn it into a nutrient-rich supply of organic matter. Humic acids can be broken down and extracted further into fulvic acid extracts. (1)
That said, there are different natural deposits of humic and fulvic acids. The quality and reaction capability depends on sourcing and extraction methods.
History of Fulvic Acid
Though these nutrients may be new to you, fulvic acid has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for about 3,000 years. It’s used in a form called shilajit. This natural herb-mineral compound contains 15–20% fulvic acid. (22)
Studies in both animals and humans indicate that shilajit (and fulvic acid) is safe to take orally. It’s also been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-supportive properties, plus the potential to benefit procognitive activity. (22, 23, 24)
Increasingly, scientists are also testing the health benefits of humic and fulvic acids. This includes animal, human, and lab studies. These studies support benefits for:
Heavy Metal Binding — Scientists are exploring humic acids to treat lead poisoning in people. These special carbons are attractive alternatives to typical drug agents, which have many side effects. And, unlike many binders, humic acids can enter the bloodstream and detoxify beyond your gut. They also provide antioxidant protection. (2, 4, 5)
Microbiome Support — In one study, people who took 1,200 mg of humic acid daily for 45 days had an improved microbiome. Colon bacterial concentrations increased by 30%. Lower bacterial concentrations are common in digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. (25)
Nourishment — Humic and fulvic acids supply highly bioavailable minerals, like iron and zinc. So they’ve been used to improve animal nutrition and health in farming. Moreover, humic acid is viewed as a potential alternative to antibiotic growth promoters. (9, 10)
Do Carbon-Based Binders Contain Heavy Metals?
Yes, carbon-based binders contain heavy metals. The fulvic and humic acids naturally contain heavy metals. But these are organic, non-toxic heavy metals.
Some of these are heavy metals your body needs, like iron and zinc. You may more commonly know them as minerals, but they’re actually heavy metals.
Keep in mind organic heavy metals are bioavailable. This means the iron and zinc are in a form your body can absorb and use to promote health. In contrast, heavy metals that harm your health are inorganic. In other words, they’re not bound to carbon or derived from living materials.
In most cases, industrial processes and pollution cause inorganic heavy metals. These inorganic heavy metals can disrupt your cellular functioning. Plus, high amounts can be toxic. (26, 27)
For an example between organic and inorganic, consider the iron in nails. You’d never eat nails from the hardware store to increase your iron levels. This inorganic iron isn’t soluble or in a “ready-to-use” form. The iron in nails is great for holding a house together but not for holding you together.
So the type of heavy metal in a supplement makes all the difference.
Why Do Carbon-Based Binders Contain Heavy Metals?
When the organic heavy metals in carbon-based binders come into contact with the damaging, inorganic heavy metals in your body, they latch onto them. These complex carbon molecules are highly energized. The organic heavy metals act like a magnet to pull harmful heavy metals out of your body. (28)
If they were removed, carbon-based binders wouldn’t work. Because of the organic heavy metals, they don’t drop the inorganic heavy metals along the way. They carry them all the way out in your stools. (3, 28)
Older binders may have difficulty latching onto toxins without dropping them. But carbons have strong electrostatic force to attract and trap the toxins it binds. When organic heavy metals bind inorganic heavy metals, they are stabilized. The inorganic metal isn’t able to steal electrons and energy from your cells anymore. (3, 29)
Scientists are also taking advantage of humic and fulvic acids’ heavy metal binding properties for other uses. This includes removing toxic heavy metals that pollute the soil and water. (28, 30)
Carbon-Based Binders and Your Health
It’s normal to hear “heavy metals” and then want to run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. But remember, some heavy metals are naturally occurring and can benefit the body.
The organic heavy metals in carbon-based binders work for your overall wellness. They are highly charged and able to escort toxic inorganic heavy metals and other toxins out of your body.
Carbon-based binders can be a helpful boon while experiencing chronic health conditions, infections, symptoms, and so on. After all, without properly drawing toxins out of the body, all your hard work to detox will be for nothing. This can be another possible tool in the toolbox throughout your wellness journey.
To learn more about the potential benefits of carbon-based binders, check out the article here.