Another "Soylent is going to kill you" article


Here is another article referencing the same study about the possible health consequences of Soylent:

I would really like to see some studies come out on the other side.


Upon request, here are some of the other articles referencing the same study:




…amongst many others…


No studies really can come out on the other side, yet. To determine how Soylent affects humans requires trials over an extended period of time (preferably decades). It’s easy to detect negative effects; much harder to detect a general “everything is the same or a bit better”.


Feel free to post this in the Soylent in the Media thread as well.


I love how it’s a study involving mice and no Soylent whatsoever, and yet scientists have specifically discovered consequences of long term use of Soylent. (facepalm)


From the policymic article

the researchers are pretty confident that the health effects were directly tied to mastication (chewing, or lack thereof)

If the health issues are indeed caused by chewing, or lack thereof, it may not be much of an issue. Many individuals on soylent and who have been lucky enough to have Soylent have recommended using chewing gum to keep up the strength in your jaw muscles. If said article does prove to be true in humans too, and the health issues do stem from lack of chewing, then the chewing gum would also mitigate any such health issues.


Agreed… the first time I saw this article I immediately just shrugged it off since chewing is such an easy-to-fix thing, even if you were on 100% Soylent only.


But much like FiveFingers was found to have misled customers about the health benefits of their shoes

This may actually be an incredibly apt analogy. I haven’t read into it at all, but as I understand the general picture, people have been going out running in FiveFingers, without reading up/training/etc on the necessary differences between running in shoes vs barefoot. Furthermore, Vibram didn’t really emphasize that this was a necessary step, leaving it assumed that those involved enough with barefoot running would understand that running the same way you’re used to can cause injury. I’ve gotta say… RL hasn’t really emphasized the whole gum option all that much.

FiveFingers (and, analogously, Soylent) isn’t inherently dangerous - but if you use it in a particular way, or leave something out of the usage plan, it could be. This is actually almost a really valid article. They lose it at the end with the “at best” snark, but there’s a clear point there - for anyone going on a 100% Soylent diet, Rosa Labs really might want to publicize more “hey, science suggests chewing could be pretty important - so pick up some gum.”

@rob and @JulioMiles - any thoughts on adding a health note on chewing (and/or a gum suggestion) to the product facts? Rare or not, information isn’t bad, and it would certainly cover bases in the event that chewing really does hold such an important role.


Yeah, fair point… anything can be used in a way that is harmful/dangerous. Someone could leave out any oil for example and unknowingly create an issue if they were 100% Soylent and on a strict calorie diet. There are certainly ways to hurt oneself with Soylent just as any food, and I’m sure someone is gonna manage to find out what they are first hand… unfortunately.


I’d be interested in doing the same research on the rat equivalent of fast food and other heavily processed food like hot pockets or instant noodles. This seems to be non-news to me, and the solution as others have stated would just be to chew gum or in my DIY case I have chia seeds in my soylent. Chewing unfortunately will not get you out of being malnourished or eating heavily processed foods.


I have TMJD, and I’m actually looking forward to chewing much less to ease the strain on my jaw. Would doing that be bad for me in other ways?


Maybe there is a difference that I don’t know about, but why is Soylent being treated so differently from what a coma patient would be given? Nobody complains about how they get their nutrients, whether it’s from a feeding tube or nutrients through an IV. Would Soylent be more socially accepted had Rob been a doctor?


A coma patient doesn’t really have other options. Being in a coma isn’t exactly the healthiest state to be in, and exercising and eating right isn’t possible.


The original paper actually explains it pretty well…to paraphrase:

“effects are probably related to the fact that powdered food is more readily digested/absorbed”

Meaning - what seems pretty obvious to me - when you don’t have to break food down as much it is easier to absorb, resulting in higher glucose levels due to rapid absorption. GASP

What the imbecile who wrote this article didn’t consider is the fact that the glycemic index of Soylent was carefully determined so as to make it suitable for as many people as possible. That, and to my knowledge there have been zero reports of hyperglycemia in beta testers or users so far.

So, I don’t think that anyone is in any danger of hyperglycemia due to their Soylent being powdered.

To claim that it must be related to mastication seems fairly daft to me. Even if that was the case, couldn’t we then bind Soylent powder into Soylent bars, convenient for chewing?

The lengths to which some folks go to hold onto their ideals sometimes astounds me…not to mention the absolutely horrible quality of the writing of this article and many others that hate on Soylent.


I would assume most people buying Soylent are not in a coma…


They aren’t, but the question was why soylent gets a different reaction from people than the diets they give to coma patients.


People frequently take great offense at someone consciously choosing something they disagree with. A coma patient has no choice so they are given a pass.


Former research employee here (not a researcher myself, just a flunky).

Something no one has seemed to comment on yet; the fact rodent research often doesn’t translate well to human research/studies. Rodents are used for something like 95% of all animal-based research. Small, easy to house and maintain. They reproduce quickly and are easy to modify and maintain genetically (known as “transgenic mice” and “knockout mice”) and inexpensive.

While they are also used because they share genetic, biological and behavior characteristics with humans they have some distinct differences. One of those if the fact their open-rooted incisors continue to grow throughout life. Malocclusion in laboratory mice is common. If they don’t chew to grind down their teeth, they get very distressed.

The original research to me is one of those “duh!” types of research. Of course mice will react poorly to only eating powdered food. They can’t grind their teeth down while eating and that makes for unhappy mice. The researchers probably had to trim the mice’s teeth by hand and again, that stresses the mice.


That is a great point that I hadn’t thought of. Obviously, it is not being mentioned in any of the articles about this study either. Pertaining to chewing, it definitely sounds like rodents would have a much tougher time than humans without it.


I’ve begun to e-mail the authors of the seriously bad reviews/write-ups and ask them why they would write such a thing when the FDA label clearly shows that it is safe. I’m not just pulling up a list of articles and then going to them, I just kind of do it randomly when I happen to see one of my own. I’ve gotten several responses back from some of the authors who thanked me and told me that they grew as a writer after having read my feedback. It sure helps when the writer is writing something based solely on past emotional experiences rather than logic and reason.