26 or 27 vitamins?

I noticed that the USA page vs EU general has mentioned a different amount of vitamins, any reason why so?

Good spot! @Dan_Huel might be able to add some more detail but essentially (pun intended):

  • In the USA there are 27 essential vitamins and minerals
  • In the UK/EU the regulations only consider 26 vitamins and minerals essential
  • The UK/EU don’t consider choline essential (over to dan to explain why that is the case)
  • But at Huel we like choline a lot. So both our UK/EU and USA products contain choline
  • But we can’t say on the UK/EU sites and adverts that it contains 27 essential vitamins and minerals because only 26 are considered essential in the UK/EU, even though it does contain choline too

So here we are, changing all our assets and website and everything to say 26 or 27 depending on where it is placed. Woe is us (jk).

Hope that helps explain somewhat!


I think its more about the verbiage/semantics - they do consider it to be essential but don’t consider it to be either a vitamin or a mineral right?

Hmm I’m not sure. In this article from the nutrition team it says:

Interestingly, the UK does not recognise choline as an essential nutrient[5]. Consequently, choline is not included in UK dietary food bases or government recommendations and as such recent calls to the UK government have been made requesting the re-evaluation of their position[5].

So you may well be right on the vitamin/mineral bit.

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It’s only the UK, the EU (EFSA) also considers choline essential, or at least provides an RDA for it, unlike the UK. It’s the way different policymakers interpret the data. There’s a good article on this if you want more detail.

You could ignore government regulations and instead use science.

It goes above the 26 or 27 listed by Huel.

unfortunately on food packaging - you have to comply with government regulatory bodies :slight_smile:


I’d take the government to court if they claimed that carbon is not an essential nutrient for carbon-based lifeforms.

well, theres no need to regulate that as it occurs in all know life on earth and we get it from every where, from the food we eat - even the air we breathe :slight_smile:

Huel should get away with saying it contains 45 essential nutrients, because it’s the scientific truth.

2 fatty acids:

  • alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid)
  • linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid)

9 amino acids:

  • histidine
  • isoleucine
  • leucine
  • lysine
  • methionine
  • phenylalanine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • valine

13 vitamins:

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin K
  • vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • vitamin B7 (biotin)
  • vitamin B9 (folate)
  • vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

14 minerals as usually listed in RDAs:

  • potassium
  • chloride
  • sodium
  • calcium
  • phosphorus
  • magnesium
  • iron
  • zinc
  • manganese
  • copper
  • iodine
  • chromium
  • molybdenum
  • selenium

1 additional essential nutrient:

  • choline

6 elements that are essential but are contained in sufficient quantities in the previous nutrients:

  • carbon
  • hydrogen
  • oxygen
  • nitrogen
  • sulphur
  • cobalt

For a total of 45 essential nutrients.

Can we add H20 to that list?

Huel doesn’t contain sufficient H2O though. The ready-to-drink versions come close however.

Looks like European Food Safety Authority (EU) does not consider chromium to be essential either, yet Huel counts chromium towards the 26 essential nutrients advertised.

Strangely enough, on the UK site:

It says “26 Essential Vitamins and Minerals” but lists 27 separate nutrients or 28 if you consider sodium and chloride two separate ones (which you should).

It’s a really good point @rikefrejut and we’ve had this discussion amongst the Nutrition team a few times.

As you said because we have no problems getting those 6 elements from the diet we settled on 39 as an agreed number of essential nutrients. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see that claim in the future!

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