What Is Shilajit?
Shilajit is an ancient ayurvedic tar like (resin) substance which has been used for thousands of years as both a medicinal treatment and to prolong a healthy life.
It is naturally formed at high altitudes in the Himalayas where it is produced by the compression of organic material from deep fissures within in the rocks.
The resin slowly works its way to the surface over hundreds of years, where it can be sourced by humans for consumption.
Shilajit contains upwards of 85 different minerals and fulvic acid and has been reported to help with:
- Testosterone Production
- Hormone Regulation
- Brain Function
- Diabetes Management
- Increased Energy
- Improved Immune System
- Lowering Inflammation
Shilajit and Fulvic Acid (FA)
Shilajit is one of the few natural sources of high quantities of fulvic acid which has a myriad of positive health benefits including the ability to attach to minerals and help the body absorb them.
Because of fulvic acid’s abilities as a mineral transporter it’s extremely important to get a pure source of shilajit that has been processed, purified and rigorously tested for heavy metal contaminants.
Shilajit can only be produced by nature, not grown or made and because of this it is a very expensive substance to manufacture.
Less reputable companies have been known to not have rigorous testing and that can lead to you absorbing metals in your body which will have adverse effects.
Another cost cutting tactic some companies use is to “cut” their shilajit with fulvic acid, then trying to pass off the high fulvic acid content off as a superior product.
You would typically think the higher the FA content the better since so many manufacturers tout upwards of 60% Fulvic Acid in their shilajit but the opposite is actually true.
Natural, pure shilajit resin typically contains around 4 – 6% fulvic acid. While the fulvic acid percentage will go up when turning the resin into a powder, the less is actually better.
Fulvic acid is great for your health but it is just one small part of what makes shilajit such a wonderful nutrient.
The more fulvic acid you add to the shilajit the less nutrient benefit you get from the natural product.
However, FA is cheaper to manufacture and therefore the more you add to your shilajit the higher the profit margin of the company selling it to you.
That is why it is so important to understand how much fulvic acid you are getting in your shilajit.
Bioavailability of Fulvic Acid
One of the great benefits of fulvic acid is that it is highly bioavailable.
Fulvic acid can actually transport over 60 times its own weight in vitamins, minerals and enzymes into cells. (1)
Fulvic acid can increase all 3 of their bioavailability potentials making them even more potent!
Shilajit Increases Testosterone
Both case studies came came back extremely positive!
Human Case Study 1
Researchers gave 100 mg of shilajit, twice a day (200 mg total) to 35 infertile men for 90 days. (2)
Hormone and sperm parameters were measured on day 1 and again on day 90 and the researchers found that after 90 days:
- Improvement in spermia +37.6%
- Total sperm count +61.4%)
- Motility +12.4-17.4%
- Normal sperm count +18.9%
- Significant decrease of semen Malondialdehyde (MDA) -18.7%*
- Serum testosterone increased +23.5%
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) increased +9.4%**
* MDA is a marker for oxidative stress so the decrease here is very encouraging.
** You would probably think from the name follicle stimulating hormone encourages hair growth but it actually plays an important role in the regulation of testosterone production so this is another very encouraging increase.
Human Case Study 2
In 2015 researchers gave healthy men, 45 – 55 years of age 250 mg of shilajit twice a day (500 mg total) for 90 days. (3)
Testosterone levels were checked at the start and end of the study and the men showed an increase in total testosterone and a huge increase in free testosterone levels.
- Total testosterone +20%
- Free testosterone +19%
- DHEA levels +31%
So shilajit has been shown in two different case studies with both infertile and healthy men to increase testosterone.
What is most exciting to me here is the huge increase in free testosterone levels which is the most important marker for increasing strength and muscle size.
Health Benefits of Shilajit
Shilajit contains over 70 minerals, fulvic acid and several unique compounds that can boost your overall health in addition to testosterone levels.
One of the most important compounds is called “dibenzo-alpha-pyrones” which is a very powerful antioxidant and may even increase the efficiency of your mitochondria in generating adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or in simple terms, energy. (4)
Is Resin or Powered Shilajit Best?
In fact, at one time I advised against taking powdered form because it was so difficult to find capsules with under 40% fulvic acid from a reputable company that I trusted to check for heavy metal contamination.
However, pure resin that is also checked for heavy metal contamination is EXTREMELY expensive. Upwards of $50 – $70 for just a small 10 gram container (1 – 2 month supply).
In addition to that, the resin taste flat out disgusting and I can stomach the taste of almost anything but the bitter taste would often make me go weeks without touching it.
There is absolutely no benefit to a supplement you’re not taking consistently.
Fortunately there has been some improvements in capsule form over the last couple of years and although it can be hard to get a hold of, you can find purified shilajit capsules with fulvic acid content under 40% now.
How to Supplement with Shilajit
If you choose to go with a resin than I would recommend Lotus Blooming Herbs as they thoroughly test for heavy metal contaminants and is sourced from altitudes above 16,000 feet.
Lotus Blooming Herbs is in my opinion the best resin by far on the market today although you will pay steeply for it!
If you prefer it in powder form and you want to increase your testosterone than I suggest you look at Force X7 (review) from Alpha Wolf Nutrition which provides 200 mg of shilajit standardized to about 20% fulvic acid.
Both companies have made their Certificate of Analysis (COA) and independent testing for heavy metal contaminants public for you to see so you know you are getting a safe product from a reliable source!
Note: Both clinical studies done showing an increase in testosterone levels used the powdered form.
Force X7 by Alpha Wolf Nutrition is the only multi-ingredient, natural T booster iTestosterone recommends.
Use coupon code “itestosterone” for 10% off your purchase! Click here to read our Force X7 Review.
- The Unexplored Health Benefits of Fulvic Acid. The Truth About Cancer. Ty Bollinger – Link
- Clinical evaluation of spermatogenic activity of processed Shilajit in oligospermia. Biswas TK, Pandit S, Mondal S, Biswas SK, Jana U, Ghosh T, Tripathi PC, Debnath PK, Auddy RG, Auddy B. – Link
- Clinical evaluation of purified Shilajit on testosterone levels in healthy volunteers. Pandit S, Biswas S, Jana U, De RK, Mukhopadhyay SC, Biswas TK – Link
- Shilajit dibenzo-α-pyrones: Mitochondria targeted antioxidants Article in Pharmacologyonline 2:690-698 · January 2009. S. Bhattacharyya, D. Pal, D. Banergee, S.Ghosal – Link