Added Vitamins & Minerals: good, bad or indifferent?

#1

There has been a lot in the press over the last few days about the ineffectiveness of vitamin and mineral supplements. Does this mean Huel is not really providing me with a complete spectrum of vitamins and minerals. The science in the articles seem to be reputable and conclusive about vitamin supplements.
I’ve only purchased once and have been agonising about using Huel twice a day instead of real food, these articles make me think I was right to be hesitant. I love the idea of Huel but reality seems like it could be a backwards step in terms of overall nutrition (convenience aside). What do other users think?

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#2

Most of the vitamins minerals and nutrients come from the ingredients (can’t remember the exact percentage but it’s around 80% I think), so it’s not like taking a multi-vitamin supplement, you’re actually eating real food, just powdered.
Also most of the issues around supplements not being absorbed is due to some being fat soluble. Huel contains fats and fibres so the added vitamin complex can be absorbed.
There are some vitamins that reduce the bio-availability of others, but the Huel nutritionists have increased the levels of certain vitamins to compensate for this.

Personally I think the science behind Huel seems sound. But I also think a natural healthy varied diet of fresh whole foods is ideal, at times when it’s possible.
But if you’re replacing your morning toast, and lunchtime sandwich with Huel, there isn’t really any competition in regards to nutrition.

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#3

Thanks for your reply, I get what you mean about replacing toast or breakfast cereals but that’s not where I’m at.

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#4

The press releases are based on this new scientific paper: https://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/2730525/association-among-dietary-supplement-use-nutrient-intake-mortality-among-u

I know it isn’t open access but there’s some great expert commentary on it here: https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-nutrient-intake-dietary-supplement-use-and-mortality-in-the-us/

Essentially, supplements are different from Huel. They are generally taken once, and as the studies are correlational people may be taking such supplements because of a health condition or to make up for a poor diet, skewing the results (especially the mortality outcomes)

Some supplements give you super high doses, in fact, the link above mentions that concerns are raised (not new ones I might add) for calcium supplements providing a dose of 1000mg plus of calcium in a single pill. A 500kcal Huel meal provides 250mg, 65% of which comes from calcium carbonate and 35% is provided by the main ingredients. The US DV is 1300mg. However, supplements can also play an important role for some people particularly in iron and vitamin D deficiencies.

What I’m trying to get at is the concerns raised by this new paper is nothing new, what it does well is pull together a lot of the current information we have on supplements. Huel is a great alternative to unhealthy and expensive food choices such as a meal deal. It’s food, not a supplement and you can find out a bit more here: https://uk.huel.com/pages/about-the-vitamins-minerals-in-huel

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#5

Thanks for the detail it’s really interesting, I thought ‘meal replacements’ were supplements, good to know Huel is not a supplement.

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