Amazing Benefits of Shilajit

Amazing Benefits of Shilajit

Shilajit is one of the most highly valued ingredients in Ayurveda, used in a variety of traditional remedies. The blackish brown substance is not a herb, but it truly is a natural product. It is literally created by Mother Nature, probably over millennia. The resin-like substance is found as an exudate primarily from Himalayan mountain rocks and has been used for at least 2,000 years as a rasayana or rejuvenator in Ayurvedic medicine.  Traditionally, the ingredient has been used to enhance physical strength, improve health and wellbeing, and fight the effects of aging. 

This traditional perspective of shilajit has also been validated in modern studies, which point to wide ranging health benefits. Scientists describe the natural product as a phytocomplex that is incredibly rich in fulvic acid, other humic substances, and compounds like selenium. Not surprisingly, they regard shilajit as a potent nutraceutical or natural supplement that can help promote health and fight a number of diseases. We’ll take a closer look at some of these proven benefits of shilajit.

Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Shilajit

Improved Weight Loss & Muscle Gain

Shilajit is frequently used in Ayurvedic bodybuilding and fitness supplements, along with herbs like Ashwagandha. This is because of the strength boosting benefits of this tar-like substance. Studies now show that shilajit supplements can improve your body’s response to exercise, promoting greater gains in strength and endurance, while improving weight loss outcomes. Of course, these benefits are only available if you maintain a disciplined exercise routine, eat healthy, and consistently use shilajit capsules.

Immune Support

Shilajit isn’t most popular for its ability to boost immunity or support immune function, but this is one of its many benefits. From modern research into the therapeutic potential of shilajit, we know that the natural exudate contains a variety of minerals and compounds that can protect against certain viral infections. In fact, shilajit was found to fight and destroy a number of viruses, including some strains of HPV or the herpes virus. 

Energy Boost

This is actually one of the most popular uses of shilajit in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Aside from using it to raise endurance levels in exercise, shilajit is also often prescribed as a treatment for fatigue or low energy levels. Some studies suggest that shilajit supplementation may even help to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) by restricting mitochondrial dysfunction. Theoretically, any boost to the body’s mitochondrial function would raise energy levels, making a shilajit a potent natural energy booster.

Anemia Relief

A recent study found iron deficiency anemia to have a prevalence rate of 23.2 percent in men and 53.2 percent in women. This is because non-heme iron from plant-based foods is not as easily absorbed, making it important to ensure balanced nutrition and a good intake of iron fortified foods. This is a serious problem that can cause a drop in hemoglobin levels and symptoms like fatigue, headaches, coldness in the hands and feet, and so on. Shilajit is proven to help relieve the condition, most likely because of its high iron content. 

Anti-Aging

Shilajit has long been prized as an anti-aging ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine, but how effective is it really? Apparently, there is some truth to these claims. Recent investigations have found that shilajit has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects as it is rich in fulvic acid. This means that it can scavenge free radicals, reducing oxidative damage that causes degradation of cellular structures. While it will not prevent or reverse aging, daily shilajit supplementation is likely to slow or delay the process.

Testosterone Boost

Shilajit is often used as a primary ingredient in male wellness supplements to cure sexual dysfunction. Although this traditional use of shilajit is often dismissed by many, the practice is now supported by study findings. Research shows that shilajit supplementation can help to raise testosterone levels, making it an effective treatment for men who suffer from low libido, fatigue, and reduced muscle mass because of low testosterone levels. 

Improves Fertility

While shilajit’s effect of raising testosterone levels can help improve sexual health in men, it doesn’t directly affect fertility. However, there is evidence for shilajit as a natural and safe male infertility treatment. A study conducted on infertile men found that daily supplementation twice a day for 3 months led to an increase in sperm count among 60 percent of men in the group. 12 percent of the participants also saw increase in sperm motility, which again affects fertility. 

Promotes Brain Health

Degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s are one of the greatest threats to come with aging. In many of us, this process begins earlier in life, making it important to take steps to protect brain health as soon as possible. Shilajit is not classified as an adaptogenic supplement, but studies show that its molecular composition may help to delay or even prevent the disease progression. This is because fulvic acid boosts cognitive health by restricting tau protein accumulation, which is vital but known to trigger brain cell damage as it builds up. 

Cardio-protective

Shilajit is also showing promise as a potential treatment for heart disease, with one study finding that shilajit supplementation may restrict the severity of cardiac injury and offer protective benefits. However, it should be noted that shilajit can also lower blood pressure in some conditions and that most studies so far have been on animals. Individuals who already suffer from heart disease should speak to their doctor before starting supplementation. 

Cancer Prevention

Although there are many factors that can contribute to the onset of cancer and we cannot control all of them, we can take steps to lower the risk. Shilajit may be of help in the fight against some types of cancer, as researchers have found that it helped facilitate the destruction of cancer cells and stopped their proliferation in the liver. Of course, this is not a foolproof method of cancer prevention, but any additional support is helpful.

Keep in mind that the efficacy of shilajit can vary greatly depending on the sourcing and dosage strength. This makes it important to only purchase shilajit supplements from reputed brands that you trust.

References:

  • Das, Amitava et al. “The Human Skeletal Muscle Transcriptome in Response to Oral Shilajit Supplementation.” Journal of medicinal food vol. 19,7 (2016): 701-9. doi:10.1089/jmf.2016.0010
  • Surapaneni, Dinesh Kumar, et al. “Shilajit Attenuates Behavioral Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by Modulating the Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis and Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in Rats.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 143, no. 1, 2012, pp. 91–99., doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.06.002
  • Didzun, Oliver, et al. “Anaemia among Men in India: a Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Study.” The Lancet Global Health, vol. 7, no. 12, 2019, doi:10.1016/s2214-109x(19)30440-1
  • Carrasco-Gallardo, Carlos et al. “Shilajit: a natural phytocomplex with potential procognitive activity.” International journal of Alzheimer’s disease vol. 2012 (2012): 674142. doi:10.1155/2012/674142
  • Pandit, S et al. “Clinical evaluation of purified Shilajit on testosterone levels in healthy volunteers.” Andrologia vol. 48,5 (2016): 570-5. doi:10.1111/and.12482
  • Biswas, T K et al. “Clinical evaluation of spermatogenic activity of processed Shilajit in oligospermia.” Andrologia vol. 42,1 (2010): 48-56. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0272.2009.00956.x
  • Carrasco-Gallardo, Carlos et al. “Shilajit: a natural phytocomplex with potential procognitive activity.” International journal of Alzheimer’s disease vol. 2012 (2012): 674142. doi:10.1155/2012/674142
  • Joukar, Siyavash et al. “Cardioprotective effect of mumie (shilajit) on experimentally induced myocardial injury.” Cardiovascular toxicology vol. 14,3 (2014): 214-21. doi:10.1007/s12012-014-9245-3
  • Pant, Kishor et al. “Mineral pitch induces apoptosis and inhibits proliferation via modulating reactive oxygen species in hepatic cancer cells.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine vol. 16 148. 27 May. 2016, doi:10.1186/s12906-016-1131-z

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