Theory on gastro problems with Huel

Morning guys,

I cam across something online last night and was thinking it might explain why some people have gastro problems when they start drinking/eating Huel… interested in feedback…

"The changes that might cause die-off are usually:

Switching from processed food to a real food diet (death of pathogens by starving)
Starting or increasing probiotic dosage (death of pathogens by good soldiers)
Starting or increasing dosage of antiparasitic, anti-yeast or antibiotic (death of pathogens by bombing)"

It would make sense to me that if you ate alot of processed foods then switched to Huel that it would cause an effect like this, what do you all think? Interested in any feedback from @JamesCollier too… :smile:

Here is the link to the full article

Thanks Guys x

@sarah_fallon I suggested this in a thread elsewhere yesterday, check out ‘In Defense of Food’ by Michael Pollan on Netflix, in the second half he talks about gut health and fibre. I definitely think there’s a correlation with Huel in there

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Thank you! I’ll have a look. I came across it as we’ve recently started taking a really good probiotic and both me and my son are in die off! He was on mass antibiotics for meningitis and I’ve just treated parasites ( yuck i know lol)

It doesn’t chime with my experience. I ate a very healthy, whole food abundant, diet before starting Huel.

Any time I stop Huel for a month or so, I get gas and bloating when I start again, which passes after a month.

My guess would be it’s down to a change in gut flora but this is purely speculative.

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Hi @Sarah_Fallon - thanks. @RebeccaOfficialHuel and I will have a look at this and give our thoughts.

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Hi @Sarah_Fallon,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you!

This is something that I’m sceptical of. There’s very little credible scientific evidence to support the theory of ‘die-off’, also known as the ‘ Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction.

The gastrointestinal problems you refer to with starting Huel is most likely due to changes in the gut microbiome and gut motility adjusting to a new regimen. Those who are starting out with Huel may experience some gastrointestinal symptoms due to the high fibre content of Huel. If you imagine your gut microbiome as a garden, fibre acts as a fertiliser which is necessary to keep your gut moving and digestive system healthy. But it can take time for your body to adjust in this change of environment.


I’m not sure but I’ve been using Huel pretty much everyday (maybe 2 days exception) since I began April 10th this year, usually either breakfast+lunch but also many days 100% Huel. Even though I was a (junk food) vegan prior, Huel makes me very farty (and smelly!). No improvements over time but I started taking Probiotics 3 days ago (10billion lactobacillus plantarum LP299V®) and it’s a LOT better now, almost entirely gone and smell is much better too. So it seems for me, introducing probiotics did a world of difference. Any theories as to why that counters Huel induced bloating possibly?


Thanks for getting back to me!

This reads as if Jarisch-Herxheimer might have been identified in connection with diet, which it wasn’t. A Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction does have a credible evidence base to do with an unpleasant reaction to treatment for conditions like syphilis and Lyme’s. I’m not sure I’m convinced it has any connection to Huel.

@davp yes, I probably could have phrased this a little better! I think the problem comes down to applying theories based on other areas of research to nutrition. Die-off being a perfect example!

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