Just went Vegan. I drink two servings of Huel (two scoops each) per day and cook a Vegan meal for dinner. Should I take any supplements or are 4 total scoops of Huel per day enough for my vitamins and whatnot?
I’ll officially defer to Dan the man @Dan_Huel for his final word on this. But, as someone who went from Omnivore to vegan in Jan 2019 and have been consuming Huel one dose daily most days since early 2018, and based on the reading I’ve done on the subject (Dr. McDougall’s book and articles), I’m gonna say you probably don’t need to supplement with anything more. Probably.
The only supplement that is universally recommended for all Vegans is a vitamin B12 supplement. B12 is made by microbes, not in any animal cells. Animals get it inadvertently from the microbes they ingest (since they don’t wash their food like we do) or some get B12 absorbed from their intestinal flora. And then some farm animals are given B12 supplements. B12 then bio-accumulates in the flesh of these animals. So while eating an omnivore diet, it is very easy to ingest B12. Eating a pure antiseptic vegan diet can be a problem after a few years. (Your current B12 stores in your liver should last a year or two.) However, many vegan milks intentionally fortify their product with B12. I am seeing other vegan foods where they sneak in B12. Huel contains 100% of the recommended RDA of B12 if you eat roughly 2000 calories of it. In my opinion (and I am not a nutritionist), there is probably enough B12 in 800 calories of Huel per day to meet your absolute minimal needs. The RDA numbers are inflated such that most people don’t actually need 100% to actually prevent a deficiency.
However, if you were to continue this type of diet over a period of a long time, only doing 800 calories of Huel, and not having any B12 fortified foods, you might develop a slight B12 deficiency after a few years. But just do like I do, take a once weekly Cyanocobalamin 1000 mcg tablet. It’s easy, cheap, and more than you or I need. Our liver will store it, so this should be all you need, considering the daily recommended amount is like 2 micrograms. But this is averaged, since the liver stores it and you don’t need to actually eat 2 micrograms per day.
Note that patients with low intrinsic factor who need B12 injections can be managed on once monthly B12 1000 mcg intra-muscular injection (once their B12 stores are normalized).
Please note that a real, true B12 deficiency can cause serious problems, although it’s very rare to actually see a patient with true megaloblastic anemia in the United States.
Huel is nutritionally complete and provides everything you need at 2000kcal. So 4 scoops will be 800kcal.
It will depend on what meal you are having in the evening but I agree with Deron a B12 supplement is a good idea. Other key nutrients you may want to watch out for and asses are iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin D.
Deron is right, but I recently read an interesting post by rival company Jimmyjoy on why they put 8x the amount of Vitamin B12 in their products.
Summary: They claim that you only process a small portion of your intake. Vitamin B12 form Cyanocobalamin.
I haven’t had time to look into it; but from a quick glance they are the “only” company taking this approach.
Huel gives 0.8ug per 100g (400kcal)
In Europe is 4 to 8ug.
Curious to see your take on this, too @Dan_Huel
In the nicest way possible I think they have got a bit scared looking at studies and have been overly cautious.
Jimmy Joy state that ~40% will only be effectively absorbed but the RDAs assume that only 50% of vitamin B12 consumed from food or supplements is absorbed anyway. I think JJ think the RDAs do not account for bioavailability. It’s important to note that absorption of B12 will vary from individual to individual and we don’t know much about this, few studies have been conducted.
Also in a study they reference it’s stated “It is thought that 1.5–2.0 µg of synthetic vitamin B12 saturates the IF-cobalamin ileal receptors, but other studies have shown higher absorption rates” so by adding nearly 30µg per serving I don’t see how even 40% will be absorbed.
It’s not a problem to have loads of b12 as there’s no upper limit but I just think it’s a waste to add that much, there doesn’t seem to be any benefit. The amounts in Huel are more than sufficient.
My thoughts are going in a similar direction.
Thanks for the comment!
only thing i would suggest would be to make sure that you are getting a good balance of fruits in your diet, and that if you still felt the need to add a supplement adding a multivitamin wouldn’t hurt. the extra minerals and nutrients from a multivitamin will just flush out of your system with adequate hydration.
Check out hippo7 if you’re still going with a supplement.
Thanks to all of you for your replies! I really appreciate it. You are awesome.
I’m vegan. I have like 5 scoops of Huel everyday from mon. To Friday. I stopped taking supplements because I thought that what Huel would provide me would be enough. I used to take ferritin and b12 as supplements because my blood analysis said I needed it. So far, after one year like this and a couple blood tests more, the analysis are perfectly good without any supplements