BCAAs / mTOR / Hyperphagia

Has Huel made plans to fix the balance of BCAAs or offer an edition that is balanced according to recent studies? As a long term user, I desperately do not want to give up on the product.

  • Elevated branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are associated with obesity and insulin resistance.
  • Negative health and lifespan outcomes are associated with BCAA imbalance as a consequence of hyperphagia and obesity
  • BCAAs interact with mTOR affecting lifespan
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Aminoacids, and particularly the BCAAs are part of food. Huel is powdered food. I think BCAAs supplementation risks are not the same:

Also the testing model was on mice, not humans.

And the same author, up to now, studies the effects of caloric restriction (CR) in longevity. But even in that case there are some studies with monkeys, but no human studies.

But I would also like to hear team Huel opinion on this.

There’s nothing to fix, the balance of BCAAs in Huel products is ideal and we have other Hueligans who want a higher amount of BCAAs.

The study you cited looked at varying BCAAs as a ratio to other amino acids in mice. The macronutrient ratio used is not similar to any Huel product “18% total protein, 64% carbohydrate, 18% fat”.

When you look at the diets of the mice one possible conclusion is that an imbalance of BCAAs in a highly processed Western diet could contribute to overeating and the authors suggest this is because the mice are trying to get enough non-BCAAs in their diet. Such a diet could be achieved in humans is by eating a poor diet and supplementing with BCAAs.

This is the complete opposite of what was reported in the paper. “Despite no increase in hepatic mTOR activation” and “Our results suggest that the negative health and lifespan costs of long-term high BCAA: non-BCAA diets are a consequence of hyperphagia and obesity”. The affect on mice lifespan was due to overeating and calorie excess.

I haven’t seen a study which has shown these results in humans or with a healthier diet. If you look at the amino acid profile of Huel: https://uk.huel.com/pages/the-huel-powder-formula-explained#protein or even just the ingredients that make it up you will see that the study isn’t relevant to Huel.

There are also several benefits to BCAAs such as muscle anabolism (building muscle). Let me know if you have anymore questions.

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The regular Huel version is high in protein, and now there’s Huel Black that’s even higher in protein. High protein stimulates mTOR and over the long term has negative health consequences. A lower protein version would be better for those who are interested in longevity versus weight loss.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/ebiom/article/PIIS2352-3964(19)30239-7/fulltext

I realise Huel is using mostly plant protein and this article refers to animal protein, but for some reason the high BCAA content in Huel matches the animal protein profile more than plant protein.

There’s a good thread about longevity here: Huel for longevity

Let me know if you’ve had any questions once you’ve read it.

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I doubt that taking out a single factor explains anything in complex systems like metabolism. You have to get a systems perspective, where there are various cross relations and feedback loops that have to be taken into account.

In my opinion psychological factors are not sufficiently taken into account here. With lab mices it’s easy, they can just eat what they are given. For humans it may be the best strategy to aim for avoiding being hungry or inducing “bad” cravings. With more protein this is easier, leading to a lower calorie consumption. Which is a much-celebrated strategy for lonevity with various studies “demonstrating” its positive effects.

Maybe the best “strategy” is just trying what works for you and then stick to it. Reading a scientific article is one thing, but doing what feels best, feeling good is something totally different. Maybe we just have to get a good intuition on what works best for us, and not more publications “demonstrating” X with equally as many studies “demonstrating” non-X…

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