Huel for longevity

In terms of longevity, I’d agree with you there.

This is a really good question! We have studies (study 2) on satiety but there are studies that show no effect on weight loss. It may be more about energy density. In other words you swap fat for protein and because you’re getting less calories but the food weighs the same you eat less.

What is interesting, particularly for weight loss, is a higher protein diet is better at preserving muscle mass so the weight you’re losing is mainly fat and not muscle.

Yes it does look like there’s good evidence that protein can help with satiety, I think that’s even my personal experience :slight_smile:

I did come across this study suggests increasing protein from 0.8g/kg to 1.3g/kg “did not increase LBM, muscle strength or power, physical function, HRQOL, well-being, affect balance, or fatigue in functionally limited older men” this is in an older population, but one that you’d be particularly concerned about frailty.

There is another interesting review of the potential issues with high protein diets here: unfortunately its paywalled

Another problem is that most protein shakes just taste better than Huel shakes…and Black Edition is more palatable both regarding the taste and texture…I mean getting the macronutrient split exactly right is one thing, but you also have to at least “tolerate” your diet…at least if you want to stick to it in the long term…

Yeap a good study! I didn’t link because it’s most likely below the protein % you asked about.

That review isn’t great. I remember looking at it when I wrote the excessive protein section for this article:

I find most protein shakes absolutely disgusting and many give me a gag reflex. In fact it was that that made me hold off trying Huel for the first time.

There are a couple of protein powders that are palatable, but most are gritty and powdery. I’ve only used vegan protein not whey.

I think it would be brilliant if Huel could launch an edition for longevity, ideally optimized for maximum lifespan.

I fully agree there is no reason to live to 100 if you spend the last 20 years confined to a bed. That unfortunate outcome, however, cannot be known with certainty. You could also ask whether you would want to live for thousands of healthy years if it means you have to spend 20 years of the late 21th century confined to bed waiting for emerging breakthroughs in biotechnology and rejuvenation.

But whether optimized for healthspan or lifespan, I would still welcome this new edition of Huel.

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I think that there is too much contradictory literature on longevity to make a product like that - at least if one does not want to promise something that it is impossible to guarantee. If you believe that something causes longevity you are free to add it to your shake.
If you believe in antioxidants Huel already contains much more of them than other meal replacements.

So how bout u dring the regular Huel and take extra supplements for the stuff u think will make u live loonger?!

I think the problem is that he believes in a high-carb diet, which is why he doesn’t like the macro-split of Huel…neither that of v3 nor black edition…

It’s a really interesting idea Åke! What ingredients would you like to see in this product?

That’s a very interesting question, Dan! As I am neither an expert on nutrition nor longevity, you should not place too much weight on my thoughts but … here we go!

First, as the overarching design principle, I would try to obtain as much of the nutrients as possible from actual plant foods rather than supplemented vitamins. This principle was introduced by the late Roy Walford and is followed by the CR Society. Their members tend to be very knowledgeable about nutrition and a search in their forum reveals the following rather unfavorable comment about the year 2016 standard Huel:

No soy (pea protein instead), and carbs and fiber from Oats, rather than carbs from maltodextrin. Otherwise pretty crappy ingredients + a multivitamin.

Second, I would look over the macronutrient composition. This is a vast literature and I have not followed it closely, but my impression is that the current standard Huel contains too much protein for optimal longevity.

Third, I would see whether the new formula could be fine tuned at the micronutrient level for longevity. This includes possibly including polyamines, which can be obtained (together with Vitamin K2 and the enzyme nattokinase) from the dirt cheap, though soy based, ingredient powdered natto. An alternative, non soy-based source for polyamines is wheat germ. I would also look at the ratio of branched chain amino acids to other amino acids.

To help readers understand the examples in my third - and probably least important - point, I end with providing two references that can hopefully help to elucidate the potential longevity implications of dietary polyamines and the ratio of branched chain amino acids to other amino acids. And yes, I know the evidence for the latter is currently weak but some ratio needs to be chosen in the final product.

Madeo, F., Eisenberg, T., Pietrocola, F., & Kroemer, G. (2018). Spermidine in health and disease. Science , 359.

Solon-Biet, S. M., Cogger, V. C., Pulpitel, T., Wahl, D., Clark, X., Bagley, E. E., … & Perks, R. (2019). Branched-chain amino acids impact health and lifespan indirectly via amino acid balance and appetite control. Nature Metabolism , 1: 532-545.

Don’t worry we haven’t. What a load of nonsense.

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Adding enzymes won’t produce any effect, as they are not properly absorbed or broken down before reaching their target tissue.

If you want to increase the carb content you can add your favorite carb source to your shake - and replace the vitamins and minerals you don’t get by a supplement (at least if you use less Huel powder then). If you don’t want to use supplements you can get your vitamins and minerals from other additions, like camu-camu powder (for vitamin C), maca, MSM etc.

Huel already uses mostly plant sources for its additions. And for a high-carb powder the market is just not big enough.

And you have to keep in mind that a high-protein shake keeps you full for a longer period, so calorie restriction is much easier - and the amount of studies supporting a link between a low-calorie diet and longevity (via the SIRT1/mTOR signaling pathways) is much higher than for any other “strategy”

Yeap I get where you’re coming from with this.

Unfortunately they’re not very knowledgable. They missed off the brown rice protein and flaxseed also provides a significant amount of carbs and fibre. I’m not going to go into the multivitamin comment but we have a great article that tackles that here.

Personally, I wouldn’t put too much concern into this. If you’re after high carb for example you could just eat a tonne of sweets. Think of diet quality instead.

I don’t know much about them in terms of longevity so I’ll have a look into this for you.

Yeap I’d agree with this!

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The efficacy of orally administered nattokinase is well demonstrated in animal studies. There are to date 10 published clinical studies and the results from one larger trial (NCT02080520 on will hopefully be published soon. I only mentioned nattokinase in passing, but if you are interested in learning more about this enzyme I can recommend the following recent review:

Chen, H., McGowan, E. M., Ren, N., Lal, S., Nassif, N., Shad-Kaneez, F., … & Lin, Y. (2018). Nattokinase: a promising alternative in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Biomarker Insights , 13 , 1177271918785130.

This is a good suggestion that I should maybe think about, but obviously it would be easier if I didn’t have to do this. I am not sure what exactly I should add and in which amounts. I am not even sure what the best macronutrient composition would be.

I very much appreciated the plant-based nature of Huel and realize that the market may not be big enough for one more version.

Indeed, this is why I am uncertain of the right macronutrient split.

I do two 36 hours water only fasts per week for exactly the reasons you mention.

Rapamycin therapy may be a close competitor to a low-caloric diet in terms of increasing longevity through the mTOR pathway but the evidence - though mounting - is probably still less strong and it comes with its own drawbacks. Moreover, it is not currently available in Europe, as far as I know.

This is what I am currently doing, with Huel for lunch. I think it is a fairly good solution and I do think that Huel is overall fine as a meal replacement. If there were a version of Huel that was optimized for longevity and/or derived even more of the nutrients from actual plant foods I would, however, switch.

While I do take extra supplements, I think it is a minor thing for longevity compared to diet quality (as @Dan_Huel stressed) and restricting calories (as @mbs mentioned). I would not like to live in a constant state of hunger so I fast twice a week instead as a less well-researched alternative.

Jimmy Joy or Next Level Meal shakes are higher-carb than Huel…you could mix it 50:50 with Huel. That way you would not even have to add micronutrients. At least if you’re still convinced that going higher-carb was beneficial with regard to your goals.

Absorption of enzymes still seems too error-prone to me. There are no specialized intestinal transporters for it. Having too much fiber (as from Huel) in your diet might interfere with absorption. It has to pass your first-pass metabolism in the portal system. Accepting that many question marks for something that would make Huel much more expensive than it already is? You see the problem.

While this is purely anecdotal on my part, what t have always found curious about overall public health patterns is the generational gap.

Back in the 1960s and 70s in the previous generations, almost nobody cared about carbs, macros, organic, non-GMO, etc. They ate food daily that by modern convention would be considered an atrocity. And yet, the incidence of chronic disease related to obesity was a mere fraction of what it is today.

What changed? Portion size and availability. People grew accustomed to eating more and rapidly prepared food became the norm on every street corner. Western society became progressively fatter as a result. A trend which continues to this day.

What this leads me to believe is that caloric restriction is the most valuable tool in our arsenal to promote health and wellness. Other aspects of nutrition play a role without question, but none are as impactful as caloric energy balance IMHO. My 2 cents.

Exactly that, and with regards to availability…ready made meals are often too high in the wrong things: sugar, fats, salt etc. Low nutritional value and too calorific.

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Perhaps not all of them…depending on the price. Everything is a question of the price.