Phytic acid and minerals

After reading the discussion on the Huel v2.2 post regarding iron overload issues I decided to look into it myself, and most of what I found supports @JamesCollier claim that the large amount of iron isn’t a problem because of phytate in oats [1] [2]

(summary of [1]: oats alone reduce iron uptake by 1/3 - only 67% of intake absorbed and this fell down to 20% if other food is present too. I’m not sure pea protein etc. counts as “other” food, but even 67% absorption would make the 70mg intake through 2000kcal Huel safe)

However, the general concerns and studies suggest the opposite - that mineral update could become far too low because of phytic acid. In that regard iron is fine as there’s a large amount, however, I’m worried about the other nutrients. PA reduces the uptake of other things too (including Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn and Zn).

Multiple studies have shown that the binding capacity of phytic acid is far greater for Zinc, Copper and Manganese than it is for Iron (see: “the chemistry of phytic acid” in [2] - it’s lots of chemistry, not central to the point).

If Huel suggests that the large amount of iron is brought to safe levels due to phytate, then clearly for Zinc and Copper, for which there is only about 100% of minimum value, will become far below the minimum required value. Further, considering the greater binding capacity, there will be an even larger reduction.

There is no way around it, if the other minerals are absorbed just fine at ~100% level, then there is an iron overload (highly unlikely seeing as absorption is reduced). And if the iron is safe, then the other minerals are dangerously low (the actual uptake could be 20% DV chronically for those who take other food with Huel).

All the evidence suggests that Zinc and Copper need to increase significantly (well over 300% of the required intake level) and Potassium and Magnesium by a smaller amount. The Manganese is okay as it is at 447%, and intake decreases significantly. I would like to see this change in future versions.


Hi @Rodie - You raise some good points and valid concerns, but there are further factors to consider. For instance, the amount that phytic acid affects the other minerals is different to iron. And there are also factors that inhibit the effect of phytic acid, eg vitamin C. I am compiling a report and the reason that it’s taking me considerable time is because I intend to be thorough.


Is there a follow up to this on another post maybe?

Nothing useful. I believe @JamesCollier is still compiling an article but last I heard he was still awaiting data…

Thanks for reply Hunzas. Seems to be an important point for Huel consumers who get a significant portion of their calories from huel. Be good to get an update from @JamesCollier

Hi guys

We put two articles on this issue on the website in September:

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Oops, sorry James missed them…I don’t really look at the website…apart from the shop.