Effect of humic substances on mitochondrial respiration and oxidative phosphorylation

Sci Total Environ. 1987 Apr:62:347-54. doi: 10.1016/0048-9697(87)90521-3.


Fulvic and humic acids extracted from a podzol were shown to stimulate respiration in rat liver mitochondria, when present at concentrations of between 40 and 360 mg L-1. Low molecular weight fractions induced a more significant increase in respiration than high molecular weight material. Humic substances, at concentrations of between 40 and 400 mg L-1, normally also increased the efficiency of the process of oxidative phosphorylation in vitro, particularly after contact periods with the mitochondria of over 1 hour.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzopyrans / pharmacology*
  • Humic Substances / pharmacology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mitochondria, Liver / drug effects
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation / drug effects*
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects*
  • Rats


  • Benzopyrans
  • Humic Substances
  • fulvic acid