Definition, Genesis and Benefits

1. What are humic acids’ benefits at livestock breeding? 

Humic matter is formed through the chemical and biological humification of plant and animal matter and through the biological activities of micro-organisms. The biological center, the main fraction of natural humic matter, are the humic acids, which contain humic acid and fulvic acid. Humic acids are an excellent natural and organic way to provide plants and soil with a concentrated dose of essential nutrients, vitamins and trace elements. They are complex molecules that exist naturally in soils, peats, oceans and fresh waters. The best source of humic acids are the sedimentation layers of soft brown coal, which are referred to as Leonardite. Humic acids are found in high concentration here. Leonardite is organic matter, which has not reached the state of coal and differs from soft brown coal by its high oxidation degree, a result of the process of coal formation (bog>peat>coal), and high humic acids content as well as higher carboxyl groups.

Compared to other organic products, oxidized lignite is very rich in humic acids. While oxidized lignite is the end product of a humification process of several million years, the formation period of peat, for instance, is completed within only a few thousand years.

2. Benefits of humic acids at livestock breeding

Humic acids applied in the sector of livestock breeding show many beneficial effects like antibacterial and anti inflammatory effects in animals, improvement of the immune system and the stress management, reduction of the odour in faeces as well as reduction of the mortality. 

Physiological effects:
The „fourpowers” of humic acids – effective uptake, biological effect, detoxication, natural product – surpass the traditional complex formers and feed supplements.

I.Effective uptake: Humic acids are organic complex forming molecules of exceptional vital effects that facilitate the uptake of microelements. Humic acids are natural ion exchangers and complex forming molecules. The specific complex forming capacity of humic acids is higher than the synthetic ion exchangers. This ability of humic acids is well known in the practice of plant nutrition. Humic acids form meta-stabile complexes with the metals and have importance in the plant and animal nutrition. The metals from these meta-stabile complexes can be absorbed easily in the intestinal system. This resoults in reduced nutrient loss and amonia emission through the faeces. 

Growth is controlled by the scarcest resource

II.Biological effects:

a. Antiviral: The systematic research for the antiviral effect of humic acids started when it turned out by chance that some peat preparations showed a healing effect against the foot-and-moth disease. Further studies proved the virus adsorption and synthesis blocking effect in case of several RNA and DNA viruses as well. Humic acids showed selective blocking effect against the following viruses studied: Herpes symplex, Coxsackie A9, Influensa A, Rhinovirus 1B, Cytomegalovirus, HIV-1, HIV-2.

The reason of the adsorption blocking effect is probably the interaction of humates with the positive sites of the virus protein cover. The humate virus complex cannot be adsorbed on the tissues.

b. Antibacterial: The antiseptic effect of the peat preparations is known for thousand years, there are references still from the ancient Egypt times. During the first world war for the healing of the wounds the best method was the peat bandage. Further studies proved that the real antibacterial and fungicide effect is related to the humic acids (5.). Many of the microbes were studies to consider their humic acid resistance. The following microbes proved to be sensitive against humates:

Staphylococcus epidermidis and aureus, Streptococcus pyrogenes, salmonella typhimurium, Proteus vulgaris, Enterobacter cloacae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The effect of humates on microbes can be derived form several reasons according to the experiments, first of all they can affect the catalysis of the metabolic reactions, but a definite blocking effect on the bacteria and virus bodies was also realized.

c. Anti Inflammatory: This phenomenon was registered in case of external and also in per os applications. In the veterinary practice good results were published in case of some tumours, swellings and skin injuries, eczema and stomach ulcer. Humic acids have an inhibitor effect on the lypoxigenase enzime which play an important role in the phlogistic processes.

d. Complex intestinal effect: Humic acids can form a protective cover on the intestinal wall, thus preventing irritation, diarrhoea and gastric ulcers. The oral application of humic acids increase the appetite and stop the desire of vomiting. In case of acute gastro enteritis humic acid stops the diarrhoea in some hours. In case of hyper acidity humic acid decrease while in case of hypo acidity increase the production of gastric acid.

III. Detoxication: Humic acids have a definite detoxifying effect against different cell toxins, mycotoxins and toxic heavy metals. The uptake of the toxins depends on the dose on the time and on the chemical adsorption circumstances of the stomach and intestine tract. Humic acids as strong chemical adsorbents are able to inactivate the toxins. Many toxic molecules was studied in animal tests where humic acids proved to be a very effective inactivating factor. Humic acids have an exceptional ability that cannot be observed at any other organic chelating molecule namely they form stronger complexes with the heavier molecular weight toxins. The toxins from these strong complexes cannot be taken up in the intestinal tract and are eliminated from the body. This mode of action does not have harmfull side effects like common mineral toxinbinders.

IV. Natural Product: Humic and Fulvic acids are produced naturally by the degradation through the chemical and biological humification of plant and animal matter and through the biological activities of micro-organisms.  They are complex molecules that exist naturally in soils, peats, oceans and fresh waters. Our products based on Leonardite are the end products of a humification process of several million years.

3. Ecological Benefits of Humic Acids:

The ecological benefits of humic acids are diverse and present profitable and effective solutions for livestock breeding, health and environmental problems and the preservation of the environment.

As humic acids are natural molecules, we can use the power of nature to ensure the wellbeing of aur animals.

They also help to produce more healthy foodstuffs of animal origin by reduceing toxic and microbial contamination and improving nutritional value.

Using humic acids to prevent diseases in livestock breedin, we can reduce antibiotic use, and the development of resistances. This way we can sustain a chance for future healing of our familys.

By improveing feed conversion, we can reduce nutrient loss and ammonia emissions thus promoting a healthy environment for ourselves.

The treatment of stored manure and slurry with humic acids also helps to reduce harmfull emissions and nutrient loss from manure. These manures and slurry also prowides a better soil fertilization, and the included humic acids improve soil condition.

4. Economic Benefits of Humic Acids:

The economical benefits of applying humic acids in livestock breeding are derived from the chelatising and immune strengthening effects of the molecule. The chelatisation of nutrients to a humic complex helps to utilise feed better. This resoults of a feed conversion ratio improvement of up to 5 %. The strengthened immune system has greater resistance to diseases.

On the end these result in higher liveweight or other production outputs of up to 5%.

In case of using humic substances for manure or slurry treatment, it helps to reduce harmfull gas emissions, improves manure quality and nutrient contents. In addition the manure with humic substances helps to improve soil structure when applied on land. This resoults in better plant growth.

Comparative scheme of light sandy, heavy clayey and rich-in humus soils

Humintech® offers a wide variety of products from powders liquids and water soluble granules to serwe farmers needs.

With the help of our solutions, farmers can improve the health and profitability of their animals and easier cope with the 21st century challenges.


  • German Organic Fertilizer and Humic Substance Producers
  • Humic & Fulvic Acids: The Black Gold of Agriculture?
  • The Humus Cycle: by Dr. William Jackson
  • Defintion of soil organic matter: by Jerzy Weber
  • Humus, Still a Mystery?: by Paul Sachs
  • What's Humus? What's the Funktion of Humus?: by Martina Rüthnick
  • Research regarding Arkansas lignite and its possible use as a soil amendment: by Dr.Kline
  • Humic Acids as Object of Environmental Research: by Heise, Karl-Heinz, Brendler, Vinzenz
  • A review of humus and humic acids: by T. L. Senn, A. R. Kingman
  • Röntgenmikroskopie von Huminkolloiden: by Jürgen Thieme, Jürgen Niemeyer