Iron levels in Huel

So it seems I may have to give serious consideration to giving up Huel which I really don’t want to do. I recently had some blood tests done and my iron levels are abnormally high. Specifically:
Ferritin - 428 ug/L
Iron 34.95 umol/L
Transferrin saturation 57.72%
Looking at the %RI for Huel it seems to be pretty high (57% for a 100g serving)
I need to check further but I don’t think the rest of my diet is particularly high in iron. I have red meat on average twice a week and don’t really eat dark leafy greens as I’m not a fan. I’ve been having one 75g serving of Huel Powder a day for nearly a year and this is the first time I’ve had my iron levels tested since I started using Huel. They’ve always been normal previously. I’m asking the question as apparently persistently high iron levels can lead to organ damage.

I’d like some feedback on the %RI as it seems very high if a serving of 1/5th daily calories = 57% RI.
@Dan_Huel, @JamesCollier is this something you can give me some feedback on?
Anyone else had something similar?

1 Like

I am doubtful that the high iron that the blood test found was related to a single 75g serving of Huel a day. I consume 2000calories of Huel every day for the last coming up to 2 years, i also consume an additional 1500-2000calories of solid food on top. My last blood test in October said Iron was 13.6 umol/L with a range of 5.8-34.5. My Ferritin was 78.3 ug/L with a range of 30-400.

The point is more that I’ve been advised to stop taking any iron supplements as my iron levels are high. I don’t take any supplements or have anything like fortified cereals in my diet.

I wanted to understand why the iron levels in Huel are so high (2000kcals would be 279% of RDI). Regardless of the reason for my high iron levels I’ve been advised to reduce dietary sources and stop all supplementation and I really don’t want to cut out Huel but it looks like I may have to based on the extremely high iron levels.

Hey Carly, we have a really good article that explains why this amount of iron is not high:

Summary is Hueligans would be absorbing 5% of the iron in Huel, i.e. 2mg per day (based on 2,000kcal of Huel Powders). Compare this to someone consuming the NRV of 14mg per day based on a mixed non-vegetarian diet; this person, would be absorbing around 2.5mg per day.

The article explains why this is and how we arrived to that figure.

Iron absorption is lowered by the presence of calcium in the same meal. Perhaps if you mix your Huel with a fortified plant milk your iron levels will go down due to lower absorption?

1 Like

Thanks Dan.

I think I’ll retest in 3 months and see how I’m doing. May just be a one off odd result. I was debating upping the amount of Huel I have but I think I’ll stick with what I’ve been doing.

I’ve been back on IF 16:8 after a much less disciplined December and it’s working well. Huel is my first meal of the day at 12pm, then some soy yoghurt or fruit mid afternoon and a cooked meal with a Huel bar around 7pm. I’ve lost 10lbs since 27th December.

1 Like

I think Huel does have a massive effect on ferritin levels, mine in April before I started taking Huel was 72, now in august it’s 250, all this BS that Huel day about it being a non haem iron is just rubbish … stopped Huel and will check my bloods again in a month

I’m not an expert in Nutrition, but doing some Google search, I found that says normal ferritin levels are:

  • For men, 24 to 336 micrograms per liter
  • For women, 11 to 307 micrograms per liter

Based on that, 250 micrograms per liter will still be in the healthy range, so I don’t think it’s something to worry about.

1 Like

How much Huel were you taking daily?

For years it’s been 70-75 … I was just shocked that it shot up that high to 250

I was taking 3 servings a day, I’m going to stop
It for 4 weeks and get retested

Could you send us the results? I am very interested in the experiment as a consumer.


Hey Shazad, I’m not really sure why you’re worried. Your ferritin levels are well within normal levels.

The iron in Huel is non-haem iron. If that iron was haem iron with no antinutrients your ferritin levels would likely be far higher.

Please keep us updated.


Also one of the unlucky ones – my ferritin levels are also high from Huel. It’s 353 - taking about 1-1.5~ servings (2-3 scoops) a day. I will adjust huel consumption and see if it goes down in a few months.