Why You Shouldn't RELY on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Very interesting

As ive been learning more about nutrition it is slowly making me question things like huel

If you take one vitamin it stops or slows absorption of another etc and in huel your body is getting blasted with every mineral and vitamin in one go. Therefore if you think about it obviously its impossible for them to be absorbed due to the natural process of one mineral or vitamin stopping another from being digested etc

Which leads to the question how much nutrition are you actually getting from these drinks

Has anyone reliable done huel only for 3 months or so and got their vitmin and mineral levels checked ?

I feel something like this needs to be done

This person lives on Huel and has regular blood tests and posted their experience. I developed folate deficiency (V2.3 contains more folate than in April 2017)

On the website there are also 1 month clinical trials funded and ran by Huel. That’s all I’m aware of.

You get blasted with vitamins if you eat eggs, or beans, etc. Does the same apply there? Why eat anything other than food with what, 3 micros? Or should every meal focus on a single vitamin/mineral (so 26 meals a day)?

Not attacking anyone but this sounds nonsensical

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Firstly regarding the actual thread title, the vitamins and minerals in Huel shouldn’t be considered in the same way as supplements, because they aren’t really the same. Supplements are generally not great because they are taken in isolation from fibre and fat, whereas that isn’t the case here. They’re also necessary in Huel for those wanting to go 100%, else deficiencies would arise. I haven’t watched the video, but in this case it is incorrect to assume micronutrient fortification is the same as supplementation.

There’s a leap here to the “impossible” statement. So yes, certain micronutrients compete for absorption, but the reason this happens is because there’s a limited amount of each specific type of digestive enzyme responsible for the absorption of micronutrients. So for example, calcium and magnesium can slow down the absorption of each other because they both require the same digestive enzyme, and as there’s a limit to how much of that enzyme is available at any given moment in time, only a certain combined amount of calcium and magnesium and calcium can be absorbed.

So why is this not an issue in Huel and similar products? Because we replenish our levels of those enzymes very quickly, and because individual meals of Huel are low enough to not be overly affected. When you consume multiple meals throughout the day, you have enough time to replenish some of these enzymes between meals, so earlier meals don’t inhibit absorption from later meals.

In cases where nutrients in Huel can and do inhibit absorption, steps are taken to mitigate this issue (eg phytates inhibit iron absorption, but a) more iron is included, and b) vitamin C is included at above RDA levels because this encourages iron absorption). So while some interactions can be problematic, they are accounted for and countered by steps taken by the formula of higher-quality meal replacements like Huel.

Worth noting for those seeing the folate deficiency that since this thread was posted, the Huel formula has increased the folate content from 200 micrograms per day to 400 micrograms per day.


Good point. I have amended the thread title to show that there was an improvement made to the formula off the back of that thread.

It’s interesting that you say magnesium and calcium slow down each others absorption as they are often sold as one in supplement form.

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I think it all comes down to the dose. This article touches on the competition between the two: https://www.naturalhealthresearch.org/calcium-magnesium-mortality/

“If there is a small amount of calcium but an abundance of magnesium in the contents of the intestine, the magnesium gets more actively absorbed. However, a high intake of calcium can reduce the absorption of both calcium and magnesium. The amount of calcium or magnesium absorbed depends on the dietary ratio of calcium to magnesium.”


I started writing an answer along the same lines yesterday, but stopped because I was too lazy. I agree with this statement.

While the minerals can be synthetic, they do not come in isolation but packed with other nutrients that can help deliver, digest and absorb other nutrients. E.g. there’s fats in Huel that are quintessential for vitamin absorption.

I very much doubt that the ingredients in Huel have been researched solely in isolation, but more in conjunction with each other as @IcyElemental stated.

Not only that, but Huel uses methyl folate, which is the one the video encourages to use. I cannot personally say which is better, since I have not done enough reading on the topic.

Similarly with Calcium, a lot of the data provided is about calcium supplementation (aka, using calcium supplements on top of your diet). With Huel you are having the calcium that you should have for that set meal. Thus, while it is true that there have been increasing concerns about the negative effect EXCESSIVE calcium supplementation might have (Calcium supplementation and cardiovascular risk: A rising concern - PubMed, The good, the bad, and the ugly of calcium supplementation: a review of calcium intake on human health - PubMed, Vitamin D, Calcium, or Combined Supplementation for the Primary Prevention of Fractures in Community-Dwelling Adults: Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force - PubMed) this often look at calcium in excess and isolation. 1 day of Huel provides with 125% of the recommended, which is higher than recommended for adults 25+ according to the European Food and Safety Agency (but ok for youg adults). However, other organizations like WHO have set the recommendations higher than what Huel provides. https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4101

It is worth noting that these are Reference intakes and not upper limits. Upper limits for europe are 2.5 g or 2,500mg Tolerable Upper Intake Level of calcium | EFSA

I think I’m ok with drinking Huel. But if you are concerned, do your research ask James the specific questions you have or your personal nutritionist.

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Very interesting topic you linked

Full of great nutritional information, i find it VERY odd why @JamesCollier decided to take it upon himself to lock such a topic ?

@rikefrejut, how is the bloodwork these days ?

The amount of folate in Huel was doubled in the next formula change. Likely at least in part due to that thread. As action was taken to resolve the title of “folate deficiency” keeping a thread alive with that title probably wasn’t helpful as the thread referred to an older version of the formula. As the OP said his folate deficiency was no more I don’t personally see an issue with closing the thread. The fact the product was changed because of that thread shows they engage with people, not try and censor them.

Not true, as someone else posted in the topic about also having low folate and James came along and locked it off a few days later.

The thread had a wealth of good information. Shouldnt have been locked, there was absolutely no reason for it

Quite underhand i think

Everybody can still find these threads and the ‘wealth of information’ though.
Locking a thread doesnt affect its visibility - it’s still all there for everybody to read. It just ‘closes’ it.

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Of course it effects its visibility what a strange thing to say

Having the ability to bump it up to the top and continue the discussion stopped, instead locked and disabled for it to forever fall down the rankings of the board blatantly affects its visibility

Luckily a vigilant forum member had the topic to hand which is the only reason its seen the light of day in over a year

There is a very good search function here so no problem.


There are literally thousands of threads on this forum.
Only a handful are ‘at the top’ and visible if you have your filter set to ‘latest’.
All the other threads are there for everyone to read - you just need to use the search function or set your filter to ‘nutrition’ or ‘recipes’ or ‘weight loss’ or whatever your topic of interest is and then have a browse through.

I have no idea why it was locked - it was locked long before I became a member on this forum. But I found it and read it easily, before anyone ‘linked’ to it.
However, I agree that linking to it again was useful for lots of people who hadn’t seen it.

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Hi @Hugh_Ler

The thread was locked at the request of the OP

To any mods, perhaps best to lock this thread now? It discusses an older version of Huel, and the newer versions have fixed the issue for me.


All is great. Are you after any specific results?

I am still Huel U/U powder for 100% of my calories, still donate blood, etc.

And yes, that thread was closed at my request because it was attracting new comments long after Huel has improved its formula to address that issue.

If anyone has specific concerns regarding folate or other micronutrient levels in Huel, please create a new thread.