What Is Shilajit:
Shilajit is an ancient ayurvedic compound that is found at extremely high elevations. Shilajit, also known as mumijo, is Sanskrit for, ‘Conqueror Of Mountains And Destroyers Of Weakness’ and ‘Winner of Rock’. Shilajit can be found throughout the world in the high elevation mountains including:
It’s believed to be formed from the breakdown of vegetables and foliage over centuries through various types of bacteria and microorganisms. The end-result is a black gooey resin structure that is found on rocks throughout the mountains. Within shilajit are a number of bioactive compounds including:
- 84 types of minerals particularly selenium
- About 60-80% of shilajit is made up of humic substances including:
Benefits Of Shilajit:
Traditionally Shilajit has been used as a sort of “revitalizing” or anti-aging compound used for thousands of years by sherpas residing in the mountainous regions throughout the world. Shilajit has been shown to have a number of proposed benefits including:
- Increase The Absorption Of Minerals † -
- Remove Heavy Metals And Toxins From The Body †
- Increases Oxygen Carrying Capacity Of The Blood † -
- May Help Counteract Altitude Sickness † -
- Increases Blood Antioxidant Levels † -
- May Increase Insulin Sensitivity And Improve Blood Lipid Levels † -
- May Increase Testosterone Levels In Men † -
- May Improve Cognitive Health † -
- May Increase Sperm Production/Health † -
Read More: 10 Signs of Low Testosterone | Hypogonadism
How Shilajit Works:
While the exact mechanisms as to how shilajit functions in the body aren’t completely known there are a number of proposed theories.
- First, fulvic acid, one of the main components of shilajit, is a potent antioxidant. This is likely what contributes to shilajit’s ability to increase the serum (blood) levels of antioxidants. Additionally, shilajit is believed to contain C60, a carbon molecule that acts as an extremely potent antioxidant. Through its antioxidant effects shilajit preserves the other antioxidants in the body including Vitamin C and E and potentially COQ10. Additionally, this also likely results in Shilajit’s anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic and analgesic properties by helping to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Lastly, these anti-inflammatory properties are also what likely contribute to shilajit’s potential ability to treat conditions such as Alzheimer's and cancer † and prevention of stomach ulcers.
- In addition to being a potent antioxidant, fulvic acid is a potent source of minerals. The minerals that bind to fulvic acid do so through an ionic bond which enables them to be extremely bioavailable or absorbable in the body. Shilajit contains minerals such as:
These unique ionic or electrical properties of fulvic acid are also what likely contributes to its ability to bind and chelate heavy metals out of the body.
- Shilajit’s ability to counteract altitude sickness on top of its ability to increase the blood’s oxygen carrying capacity also likely have to do with its mineral content. The readily absorbable forms of copper and iron likely help to activate the body’s iron recycling system by releasing stored iron from the ferritin proteins back into the bloodstream
Best Sources Of Shilajit:
Because the majority of people cannot source shilajit directly from the source of the high altitude mountains, shilajit is most easily attainable in supplemental form. Shilajit generally comes in three forms:
- Compressed Powder
There’s unlikely to be a large difference in absorption between any three of these sources, but it’s possible that the capsule could interfere with some of its effects. The most important factor when consuming a source of Shilajit is what’s not in it. Due to its synthesis in the high elevation mountains it’s very possible that the shilajit contains relatively high levels of heavy metals that can be very detrimental to your health or at the minimum counteract some of the benefits of shilajit. To avoid these heavy metals ensure that the company you purchase from performs heavy metal testing on their products.
My personal recommendation is the mitolife Panacea Shilajit tablets which you can find here (no affiliation).
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