Shilajit is a popular supplement used for enhancing general health and wellbeing. According to Corpina supplement resource, Shilajit occurs naturally and is long believed to possess ‘supernatural’ healing attributes.
The substance also goes by other names, including Wu Ling Zhi, Black Asphaltum and Arkhar Tush. Shilajit is primarily harvested in the Himalayan and Tibetan Rocky range as a thick, gluey substance with a coloring and composition that eerily resembles a tar. Experts believe the substance is created by an amalgamation of decomposed plants that grow in the mountain regions. With its 80 plus minerals that are said to offer various health benefits, Shilajit has long been a key component of the Ayurvedic medicine. The advances made in medicine have made it easier to buy Shilajit in various forms, including capsules, tablet and powder. In the US, the substance is readily available at online retail stores; however, it has not been approved by the FDA.
Shilajit Benefits and Effects
Manufacturers of pure Shilajit often pride in presenting it as a substance capable of revitalizing the body, sharpening focus and fighting cognitive degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s. Shilajit has also been shown to be useful in the treatment of Epilepsy, obesity, genitourinary disorders and fertility issues. Several studies have been conducted that support these claims. According to a popular supplement resource Superfoodly, a fertility study conducted in 2010 and published in the First International Journal of Andrology showed that men treated with Shilajit resin experienced improved sperm count, higher testosterone levels and reduced anxiety. In the study, a total of 28 men with low sperm count were each given 100 mg Shilajit capsule, taken twice a day for 90 days.
After treatment, the men recorded a 61.4% increase in sperm count. The infertility experienced by the subjects was primarily caused by excessive Oxidation Stress in the testicles and the presence of abnormal levels of testosterone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone. Another study conducted in India showed that consuming Shilajit effectively increased the level of free and total testosterone. Some 75 middle aged men took part in the study. Out of these, 38 men were each given 250mg of Shilajit capsule, taken twice a day. The remaining 37 men were each given placebo pills. As of now, there is no firm evidence showing Shilajit being addictive. This is perhaps the reason Shilajit is recommended for people with anxiety and addiction.
There are also several Ayurveda uses that tout Shilajit ability to treat chronic renal failure and kidney stones, but no scientific evidence has been released that support these claims. Concerning the treatment of Alzheimer’s, the disease is yet to be fully known, but scientists believe it arises due to tangles of tau protein. A study conducted by researchers in Chile claimed that Fulvic acid, the active ingredient on Shilajit can aptly block tau self-aggregation, which is useful in developing an Alzheimer’s therapy. Other studies suggest that a combination of Shilajit and B complex vitamins can help preventing Alzheimer’s, but studies are ongoing.
How it works
Nootropics like Shilajit are widely used to promote brain function, and this includes supporting memory, cognition, reasoning and overall health and well-being. Shilajit is made from a mixture of several minerals, including Fulvic Acid, the main bioactive compound. According to Examine, Shilajit also contains the following compounds; Di-benzo-alpha-pyrones (DBPs) 4-methoxy-6-carbomethoxybiphenyl and 24 (Z)-3/3-hydroxytirucalla-7. The compounds present in small quantities include Glutamic Acid, Glycine and Aspartic Acid. It is an important point that the Shilajit mechanism of action is yet to be fully understood by the scientific community, but it is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties, longevity benefits and antioxidant abilities.
The Fulvic component is also believed to have neuroprotective properties. The most widespread scientific research conducted on Shilajit is the repeated double blind clinical trials with and without placebo. The studies indicate that consumption of Shilajit can result in an increase in superoxide dismutase as well as the Follicle Stimulating Hormone. Modest increases of HDL-C have also been detected after the consumption of the substance. In fertility studies, researchers have established that consumption of Shilajit played a role in improving the sperm quality. Another study indicated a 23.5% increase in testosterone levels in infertile men. So far, no notable changes in blood pressure and weight have been recorded in people who consume Shilajit.
The amount of Shilajit that is prescribed is largely dependent on the expected effects on the body and brain. According to Nootropedia, the daily, standard Shilajit dosage is 200mg. This dosage typically contains 50% standardized Fulvic Acid. The dosage may be divided into two 100mg and can be taken with food. Overally, studies show that dosages of up to 2000mg do not come with any serious toxicity issues.
The Side Effects
The safety of any Nootropic substance is largely controlled by the type of supplement consumed. Shilajit is generally seen as safe when taken in its purified form. The supplement has several side effects just like any other supplement or drug, and this is often the case when consumed in its impure state. According to Super Foodly (2), the side effects include watery stools, stomach upset and lead and heavy metal poisoning. The other side effects are lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels, even though these are yet to be proven via a clinical study. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are prohibited from taking the supplement because it effects are still being studied. Children should also not be given the Shilajit because their brains and bodies are still growing and developing. A child’s body may also be susceptible to the negative effects of toxic heavy metal found in impure Shilajit.
Where To Buy
Shilajit can be purchased from an online or on-store vendors spread across the US. When choosing a Nootropic supplier, you need to take time and study the vendor to establish aspects like quality control, amount of inventory, shipping, pricing and discount offers. Reliable Nootropic vendors usually guarantee convenient purchase, prompt shipping and assurance that the substance being sold is safe and fit for human consumption. Most drugs and supplements sold in the US and Canada usually undergo tests such as research backed safety profiles and testing to gauge potential interactions with other drugs before approval is granted by standards organizations.
Nootropics are becoming mainstream, and this is the reason students, workers and professionals are increasingly turning to the supplements. As a safety strategy, you need to carefully study the Nootropic you want to consume. Shilajit is safe when taken in its purest form. Impure substances may expose the user to risk factors like oxidant agents, free radicals, heavy metal ions and mycotoxins. Because of these risks, Shilajit should only be purchased from a trusted, certified vendor.
Just as other Nootropics, Shilajit should only be consumed as needed. It is also advisable to be realistic about your expectations and restrict your intake to the recommended dosage. Overally, Nootropics have been used for many of years in various societies, thanks to their ability to promote vitality and cognition enhance mood and memory and reduce anxiety. Laboratory studies are ongoing to establish some of the health claims advanced regarding Shilajit and other Nootropics.