Bad Science - Bypassing digestion is a bad idea


Digestion triggers the regulation of gene expression. Eating liquid based foods means you’re going to bypass that causing your body to not produce the right kinds of enzymes that are needed to use those nutrients properly. If you stomach isn’t doing the work that it’s supposed to do then how do you expect it to produce proteases, lipases, carbohydrases, and other gastric enzymes which are needed to break down those nutrients into something that your body can use.

Looks like you guys need to actually get some biochemists and medical professionals involved in your project. Right now it’s all hype with very little science behind it and you’re going to be putting many people’s lives in danger with your carelessness.


While this might be all good and true, naturally as an inquisitive group, we’d like to see your sources, please.


Also, just in case this bloke is scared off by being a little challenged, guys - we should look into this. This is a concern I have heard from others as well. While Soylent Corp. is working on acquiring several medical professionals to its staff, it would be nice if we had several publications available to us on this topic today.


Right now your post has very little science behind it. Your post is full of speculation and very little facts.

You may compare soylent with milk/egg yolks. Human breast milk can be absorbed almost entirely without any digestion at all. Soylent is a little bit like that. Those proteins of whey protein, almost need no digestion. Carbs from maltodextrine almost need no digestion. Those vitamins/minerals are very well studied, and Rob has picked those that are absorbed well by the human body.

I actually think it is the other way around, people with digestive problems (like myself) may do much better with soylent. I always had problems digesting carbs. I can’t digest bread, I can’t digest patotoes, all those carbs give me diarrhea. Therefore, I ate a diet with much vegetables/proteins. Those foods I can’t digest without problems. No, for the first time in my life, I’m at a normal carb diet, as I have no problems with digesting dextrose/sugar/maltodextrine in soylent. Since I switched from low carb diet to soylent, I’m feeling much better.


Sorry to be the one doing all the talking here - but just another point I’d like to bring up - what would be interesting is to find out what studies exist regarding long term usage of liquid diets, on both people who need them and people who don’t. Anyone?


Well, babys are drinking only liquids for around 12 months, and I think you can find enough studies that they are usually healthier than adults. Of course this doesn’t prove anything.


I’m a simple little fresher, but your own science might need some examination here. Why would the liquidity of the diet affect production of any enzymes? As people have said, most mammals subsist entirely on milk during infancy, and as far as I’m aware there’s no dietary triggers for any dietary enzymes (digested amino acids inhibit pepsin production, but it’s already been digested by then so it’s not really important).

Can you cite any sources backing up any of your claims?


Babies are different from Adults. To make that comparison is poor science.


There’s a series of nerves in the stomach that play a significant role in production of hormones and neurotransmitters.

If you guys want to compare babies with adults then it’s clear that you have no idea what you’re talking about.


@aeufemio77 Bad science right back at you, impolite, hostile and disagreeable person – as if behaving like that in a forum that has up until now been distinguished for its politeness and general good humour would somehow get a good hearing for your unsubstantiated opinions,

So I guess according to you, soups, stews, bouillabaisse, gazpacho, broth, consomme, sauces and gravies of all kinds, milk, kefir, liquid yoghourt – all of these, being “liquid based foods”, must be deleterious if not downright dangerous to the human system, somehow escaping digestion and “bypassing” the regulation of gene expression, blah blah blah – according to you. And what kind of authority do you presume to be? Go back and get yourself some sources and some scholarly journal references to back up what you’re saying, but before you come back here with them, also find somebody with some kind of connection to polite society to take you by the hand and tell you how to approach a group discussion and not come off sounding like a hyena.

While you’re away doing that, you might also consider that liquid in the stomach is the normal state of affairs, whether it starts out solid on the dinner table or not. Mastication, mixing of saliva, secretion of gastric juices, all turn whatever is swallowed into a liquidised slurry called chyme. If our food didn’t become a liquid suspension the gastric enzymes you mention would not be able to mix and work on it. But pardon me for trying to tell you anything, I forgot – you already know it all.

I offer my apologies to GodRaine, and to any others of our goodwill group of folks here who may read this post, for getting a bit stroppy myself – but this guy pi—d me off big time. :frowning:


That article just says that there’s a nervous system in the GI tract, it doesn’t support anything you’re saying at all. Unless you can provide some way in which adults differ to babies that would affect this system then our point is entirely valid.

How do you expect the body to tell a viscous liquid you drink from the viscous liquid produced when you chew and swallow food, wash it down and mix it with stomach acids? The body doesn’t care what state of matter the nutrients arrive in because it doesn’t matter. Doing that would require additional energy in order to actually reduce survivability, from an evolutionary perspective that’s six different kinds of stupid.


You beat me to my point because I went back and edited my post to be more polite, I feel cheated now.


I’m sorry, Henry. I expect we all had the same thought! I’m not sure he deserved your effort to go back and edit for politeness, though, starting off with a boorish post like that with no provocation whatsoever.


Once again my friend … you are achieving nothing by being snarky and insulting other people. How is that working for you in general in life?

Just because we’re asking for sources does not mean we don’t accept it. It means that before we start repeating what you’re saying, we’re doing it with proof.

Is that really so hard to ask or am I out of line here?


I’m not going to argue with people who lack biochemistry background. Believe what you want but don’t claim that it’s scientific because it’s not.

This is nothing new. Ensure, MetRx, etc…


More references to things without sources.

You’re not very good at making a point.

I’m done talking about this. Other users, recommending not to engage.


doesn’t this article say it is okay to live on liquid diets?


From that article, @jross (emphasis mine):

Jay Mirtallo is a professor of pharmacy at Ohio State and the immediate past president of American Society for Parental Enteral Nutrition, which focuses on the science and practice of providing food to patients through both intravenous injections and feeding tubes.

But if you’re just drinking the stuff, none of those are concerns. “The liquid still keeps the gastrointestinal secretions stimulated, and so gastrointestinal function is normal,” Mirtallo says. “There used to be trouble maintaining normal bowel movements, but now that they have formulas that have fiber, so that gets normalized as well.” Indeed, many nutrient bars you see in convenience stores use the same techniques as medical food for jamming in nutrients. Chan notes that there’s no evidence that the consistency of food, be it liquid or diet, affects health or nutrition.

I asked Mirtallo if I could live a healthy life just drinking medical food from here on out. “You can completely,” he says. “But I don’t know why you’d want to. There are so many social aspects to food in what we do.”


This discussion raises some concerns I’ve had about soylent as well. One medical student on reddit for example raised the possibility that a liquid diet wouldn’t give proper exercise to your gastrointestinal muscles. For that reason, he thought it might cause atrophy.

Some people responded that, since most soylent users are consuming normal food (I almost said “muggle” food) a few times a weeks, this is probably enough to keep your gi muscles “in shape” so to speak. The other possibility is that, since we’re getting a lot of fiber (in fact, if we’re following the dri, more than the typical person), it’ll make the mush in our bowels thick enough to exercise those lazy gi muscles. I’ve also been thinking about reducing the water content of my soylent, and just drinking my water between meals like I normally do, to achieve the same thickening effect.

But it’s still an unresolved problem, and I wish I could find some good scientific data to answer it.


I suppose that in the absence of any real studies, those (especially Rob) that consume Soylent nearly exclusively for long periods of time will give us enough data as to whether or not this happens. However, in this age of medical knowledge, I would find it odd that such studies do not already exist.