Antioxidants in Huel

I’m becoming aware of the need for antioxidants in the diet thanks to briefings like this one that de-mystify nutrition research.
This chart in this video suggests we need 8-11 ‘antioxidant units’ per day to keep oxygen in the body down to healthy levels. I know Huel is boosted with phytonutrients but I’d be interested to know where Huel scores in terms of this Antioxidant scale.

I know this is going to sound confusing but I’d be careful with some of the stuff Dr. Greger says. Even using the term “RDA” in quotations is super misleading because there’s simply not a way to determine this accurately based on health effects.

Even the study that he uses to determine these antioxidant units states “However, without further long term clinical studies, one cannot necessarily translate increased plasma antioxidant capacity into a potential decreased risk of chronic degenerative disease. Preliminary estimates of antioxidant needs based upon energy intake were developed.”

What Dr. Greger fails to say is that antioxidant consumption has not been translated into better health outcomes, the foods consumed as a whole are much more important. Also, prooxidants and reactive oxygen species are important at low levels in the body, particularly for a functioning immune system.

I don’t even know where to start with working out the antioxidant units in Huel. What I can say is several vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants such as vitamin C and E which are included in ample amounts in Huel.

The lycopene in Huel, together with the lutein, is also a strong antioxidant.

I agree with @Dan_Huel, more antioxidant are not always better. It’s not as simple as that. An overabundance of antioxidants can make the antioxidants themselves act as reactive oxygen species, causing oxidative stress. Some papers where they supplemented i.e. smokers with high doses of antioxidants because they thought it would be beneficial, reported that the antioxidant group fared far worse, even to the amount that in some cases the experiments were stopped prematurely.

Also, our bodies make the most active and best antioxidants themselves, i.e. SOD, super oxide dismutase. Although antioxidants from an external source are surely very important, our bodies themselves are amply equipped to fight of normal ROS generated by our metabolism.

(not bragging here, just to say where I’m coming from, I did my PhD on antioxidants and metal pollution)


Thanks for the good answers. I fully accept this is work in progress but would expect at some point an “RDA” will emerge from the further research that is advocated…as has happened for other nutrients.

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Some of the most important dietary antioxidants already have an RDA, i.e. vit A, C and E. Which other ones are you referring to?

Thanks Roag.
I didn’t realise the body made its own antioxidants, but am not altogether surprised either…one of the many miracles going on regardless of our awareness.
Still, there’s enough advocates of taking on anti-oxidants that triggers the research that one day will yield an RDA or equivalent…including the possibility that it’s zero.


I think what you want to say is reactive oxygen species, not oxygen itself. Ingesting anything that would trap oxygen would be quite, eh, detrimental. :slight_smile:

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Well yes, for Vit A, C and E I think they already have quite solidly backed RDAs. If you get those, I think you’re already on a very good way!

Interesting tutorial on antioxidants and free radicals…but the article really let’s itself down with the very misleading title

I think the title refers to the study on lung cancer that I also mentioned, where the people in the supplemented group got more lung cancer than the placebo group and they stopped the experiment.

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Exactly. I read the article quite closely, and the others quoted.