Hey guys, new to the forum, been drinking 2 Huel meals a day for the last week or so and pretty happy with it. Skin is clearing up, energy seems quite even, and so far none of the digestive problems some people have mentioned.
I was just curious about the high Iron content in Huel and whether this could pose problems. I previously supplemented with iron with positive effects but stopped when I started using Huel. Just wondered if anyone a little more knowledgable could put my mind at ease about the 300% of RDA.
40.6mg per day is certainly on the high side but should pose no problems for two reasons:
The Institute of Medicine in the US sets both the US DRIs (which are their recommendations for intake), and also the Upper Tolerable Limits. Upper Tolerable Limits are defined as the maximum level of chronic intake that is likely to pose no health risks at all to 97.5% of the population. The Upper Tolerable Limit they have set for iron is 45mg, which is above the 40.6mg in Huel.
All of the iron in Huel is from vegan sources. Vegan sources of iron are referred to as non-haem, whilst meat sources are haem. Haem iron has a far higher bioavailability (basically the proportion of a nutrient that is actually absorbed) than non-haem iron, meaning less of the iron in Huel is actually absorbed than if some/all of it was from animal sources. Therefore it is less likely to cause toxicity at a given intake level.
So overall, there’s no reason to worry unless you happen to have a lower intake requirement than most men (men require a lower amount of iron than women, so will likely compose almost all of the 2.5% who will experience issues at 45mg/day. The easiest way to be sure you’re not getting too much is to have blood tests done, but you should be absolutely fine.
You should be able to get all the iron you need from your daily diet.
What happens if I take too much iron?
The side effects of taking high doses (over 20mg) of iron include:
Very high doses of iron can be fatal, particularly if taken by children, so always keep iron supplements out of the reach of children.
I remember seeing a poster suggesting bloodletting on https://diy.soylent.com where most recipes have excessive iron, and it instantly put me off the idea of making my own. I’m concerned to see it suggested here (even unofficially) as a way to make Huel safer to consume.
Bumping up close to the “Upper Tolerable Limit” recommended in the US is also concerning.