Anemic after 3-4 months on 2.0; anyone else?


#1

I’ve consistently been drinking about four bottles a day, and otherwise eating pretty healthy high-protein vegetarian stuff. But I was feeling weak and achy a lot of the time, so I went to see a doctor, and blood tests showed an iron deficiency and anemia.

That was a surprise - I’ve been vegetarian for a decade and never had this problem before, which makes me wonder whether the iron in Soylent might be particularly difficult to absorb. Is this a common experience? I’m finding the anemia pretty unpleasant, and even with iron supplements it’s apparently going to be at least a couple weeks before I fully recover.


#2

Or the food you replace with Soylent had more than 14.4mg of iron.

Iron from plant sources is harder to absorb and some plants have a compound in them that makes it even harder to absorb the iron they contain. So before blaming Soylent you should look at the non-Soylent part of your diet and make sure it has enough to cover your needs.


#3

I think you’re off base here. Before: No iron problem. Replace some food with Soylent: Iron problem.

Seems logical that the first thing to look at here is whether or not the iron in Soylent is being absorbed, not the stuff that philigan was eating all along.


#4

We don’t know how much iron was in the food philligan replaced with Soylent. We don’t know how much is left in what is left. We don’t know how long philligan has been drinking Soylent. We don’t even know if philligan is male or female. All we know is he/she has a diet know for having iron absorbency issues.

Also since iron deficiency isn’t rampant in our community the evidence still points at the non-Soylent portion of the diet being the issue.


#5

First off: No one needs to get defensive on Soylent’s behalf here. I love Soylent! Just interested in whether it could be made a better source of iron.

As the title says, I’ve been on this ~80% Soylent 2.0 diet for 3-4 months. Before that I was consuming Soylent at much lower levels - maybe 15% of my calories - because I didn’t like the powdered version nearly as much. And on the whole I was definitely not eating well prior to 2.0 (lots of pizza and burritos while finishing my dissertation). Can’t say what my iron intake was like during that period, but I was basically making no effort to get proper nutrition; and as I said, I’ve been vegetarian a very long time with no anemia before I started drinking Soylent at all. (By the way, I’m a 180 pound 31-year-old male.)

Of course it isn’t conclusive evidence, but it’s pretty striking that I went from A) having normal iron and red blood cell levels while making no effort to maintain them to B) anemia on an 80% Soylent diet. That’s why I wondered whether other people have had similar experiences.


#6

I’m always a bit iron deficient, and I noticed back when I started Soylent that it doesn’t have enough iron for a woman. So I make sure that my non-Soylent foods have added iron.

Maybe you just need a bit more iron than the average guy, in which case you’d also need to supplement your iron. Luckily, a lot of processed foods have added iron, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Or you may just need to take an iron supplement.


#7

I don’t think I’ve seen anyone report iron issues, and several people have posted blood work, for example.

But it could just be that you need more iron than others or for some reason don’t absorb the type that in it. Soylent is 1-size fits most, but not all.


#8

Now I think we got something. I would expect the 14.4mg of iron you are getting from Soylent would be more than enough for a guy. Do you by chance donate blood? Have a bleeding ulcer? Bleed a lot?

I would expect Ferrous Gluconate to be very easily absorbed. I was under the impression that gluconates in general were very well absorbed by the body.


#9

I think the simplest solution (at least in the short term) is an iron supplement, regardless of what the cause is. I would assume the doctor you visited would have mentioned that though.

If you were just posting to see if this is common amongst Soylent-consumers, then the answer is no it is not.


#10

I get anemic without enough iron, so I take a multivitamin with iron every night of my life. This is also why I never buy the “Men’s Multivitamin” you see in stores, as the manufacturers don’t think Men need iron for some reason.


#11

the manufacturers don’t think Men need iron for some reason.

The reason is that men don’t menstruate.


#12

No, we don’t. Some of us still need supplemental iron, though.


#13

Most of us men are already getting too much iron and adding more in a multivitamin would be even worse.

They try to do what’s best for the average, not the exception.