Is there a plan to add probiotics to a future version? If so when, if not why? It seems like a logical upgrade.
Probiotics are great but are only present in foods where they’ve been added or cultured. Huel contains prebiotics which enhance the natural flora of our gut naturally.
Thanks @Teresa_Huel for the response! I understand there’s a good bit of fiber and that’s helpful for the bacterias that are already in our gut, but I feel a decent amount of the science recently is suggesting that a varied diet is something to desire. Now that I’ve decided to use Huel for almost all my meals I’ve clearly given up on true variety and that’s why I think adding probiotics would be useful. I’m currently supplementing with a brand called Good Belly and they make an oat based probiotic supplement. It’d be better for me if i didn’t have to incur that separate expense.
Since probiotics are natural and you’re already adding vitamins, minerals and the like I just feel probiotics would be the next logical step.
Obviously just my opinion! lol
Hi @jobiegermano - we’ll certainly look at this
There is some research that suggests probiotics can be dangerous or even deadly if they leak out from the gut into the rest of the body. I don’t know how accurate that is, but it’s why I stopped taking them. I started taking papaya digestive enzymes instead, which sorted me out way better than probiotics ever did.
In fact, that might be something worth adding to Huel, since digestion starts with chewing and we don’t get a whole lot of that from Huel. I’m totally fine leaving probiotics and digestive enzymes out though. The formula seems pretty great as it is.
I’d prefer you not add probiotics or anything else that doesn’t come from a naturally occurring fruit, vegetable, grain, nut , etc.
Okay, well I don’t think there is any such thing as artificial probiotics. I mean, it’s live bacteria essential to the proper mechanism of your intestines. Possible sources: Peas! (So there’s an easy one right there) yogurt, dark chocolate, green olives, pickles and cheese.
Although none of that matters because if it was added I assume it would just be strains of bacteria that was cultivated and then added in a form that could survive the stomach acids to get to your intestines.
The other things probiotic proponents should consider is the shelf-life implications. Huel is advertised as shelf-stable for a year. Probiotics (as I am familiar with them) have a much shorter shelf life and are instructed to be refrigerated.
The grocery store generic version of Align I have in my hand right now has a “best by” date of 4/19
Align is a freeze-dried bacterium which does significantly help shelf life. However it is probably also in sealed blister-pack capsules which ensures the bacteria stay dry and inactive, this is a very different storage situation that a bag of Huel. This is not to say it cannot be done, but it certainly places restrictions on what sort of probiotics are possible and could impact packaging and shelf-life. Here is the Align FAQ indicating that you should not store the pills outside of the blister pack.
This is not to say it is a bad idea (though I don’t personally feel a need for them), I just wanted to make clear that it is also probably not as simple as “add another powder to the mix.”
Be careful on the marketing on probiotics. First, check the claim. I’ll be willing to bet your package has a little asterisk or some kind of other mark that leads to a foot note that says “at time of manufacture”. This is VERY different from other claims for things like Vitamins and the like. All other such claims on your label must meet 100% of claim at expiry of the package (If you can manage through the legalese and the science speak, FDA regulation 21 CFR § 101.36 is a very good read for anyone who takes dietary supplements). Probiotics are currently not regulated quite so tightly. Because the claim is at time of manufacture, they may be effectively zero at time of consumption.
Also, vossad01 is quite correct. Refrigeration is very necessary for stability of probiotics, and the shelf-life, even then, isn’t what one would call particularly robust, at least for an honest marketer (see above statement about claim).
As far as efficacy of probiotics, you need at least 10 billion CFU to have any hope of getting a reasonable dose through the stomach, which is a bacterial death chamber.
Enteric coating is another option, but the coating process is detrimental to the bacteria as well, unless you have some other type of barrier in between. That said, you can’t do enteric coating in a liquid medium, so it’s kinda moot for Huel.