Flaxseed = phytoestrogens = acne = gutted!

I’ve been using Huel and recommending it to all and sundry for the past year or so, but have only just pinpointed that it is contributing to my acne. To say I am disappointed is an understatement.

Recently I decided to go 100% Huel and noticed that I was breaking out even worse than normal. I am 33, Female and have PCOS.

Having done a ton of research, the only possible reason I can find for the acne is the large volume of flaxseed in the recipe. I was shocked to discover that flaxseed is one of the most potent sources of phytoestrogens. Way stronger than Soy.

As PCOS is already a hormone imbalance, I can only imagine that it screwed my hormones up even further. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has had a similar experience.

I also wonder whether the high phytoestrogen levels worries anyone, particularly the gents?

Many thanks

Hi, yes the oestrogen worries me too. I have hormone related migraines (never more than one per month and they are short lived) and have been told not to take the combined pill or hormone based contraceptives as these will increase my migraines and also increase my risk of stroke. I tried Huel for breakfast only for three days and I had a three-day migraine that affected my vision quite severely. I haven’t noticed any change to my skin but the migraine was alarming as when I get them they usually only last up to an hour.

That coupled with the severe gastric disturbances mean that Huel is not for me! And anyone, particularly women, with hormone imbalance issues should be very wary of using it. I’ve been off it for four days and I still feel like crap.

Hey there,

Literally just made an account to comment on this haha.

phytoestrogens shouldn’t really cause much of an issue to be completely honest as they have a much lower affinity in the Estrogen receptors compared to actual Estrogen, therefore usually not causing much of a problem, even in men too just to add.

I’m a 22 year old guy and I suffer from hypogonadism and have become quite knowledgeable about this kind of stuff from basically having to do my own research since the NHS are not the best when it comes to hormones as I’m sure you are well aware of, I’m also on TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) so I have to get blood work done for both testosterone and Estrogen, Huel made absolutely no difference as shown in my blood tests both before and while on TRT in fact my Estrogen is normally on the low end which is odd for a TRT patient and that’s how guys on gear get Moobs usually, so yeah for me it’s made no difference at all, but again I’m a man so it could be different in women but I doubt it is to be fair.

I don’t know if perhaps it’s the higher protein intake which is possibly rising your IGF1 that could be casing your acne, which might also be being augmented by the fact you have PCOS that will mean higher Androgens therefore adding to the acne from raised T and IGF1, perhaps it’s just adjustment thing?



Thanks for the post Olly. I gave up Soya products because of Estrogen content so it’s good to hear I don’t have to worry about Huel potentially giving me moobs!

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Seems to always be a ‘thing’ us guys worry about, I’m not convinced soya as part of a varied diet consisting of other sources of protein is bad, I’ll try and find a few studies later when I get chance. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I have been on high protein diets in the past and never noticed that it affected my acne. But I don’t suppose I will ever know specifically what ingredient caused it, sadly.

I do find it interesting that it caused a migraine in someone with hormone imbalance.

I have seen so many studies saying phytoestrogens are beneficial and just as many saying they are not. I guess it depends on your specific hormone profile.

What a minefield it is! :see_no_evil:

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could it be possible detox symptoms instead?

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I did wonder that, but I also noticed a worsening of my acne when I was only having it at breakfast. Then when I went 100% my face exploded.

Also when I went 100% after 5 days I had a random and very short bleed, which makes me think it must be affecting my hormones.

So gutted. There don’t seem to be any alternative meal replacements that don’t have flax or soy either. :pensive:

Jake doesn’t seem to have either flax or soy: https://jakefood.com/compare/

Oooh thanks! Have just ordered a sample. :+1:t3:

This is super weird, my acne has always been pretty awful but it hasn’t become more awful since I’ve been consuming a lot of Huel. As said maybe it affects women/people who have feminine hormones differently.

Hi, how was the Jake? I too am getting bad Acne due to Huel and so am looking for an alternative.