Clinical trials?

Have any clinical trials with a Soylent diet been completed yet?
Probably a good idea to tag @rob and @JulioMiles


Going by the date on the blog, Rob’s been doing this for less than a year; any clinical trials couldn’t have taken place in that amount of time (based on my knowledge of the process of trials involving human subjects). Additionally, without any manufacturing support (which is in part what the kickstarter campaign was for), it would be intensely difficult to supply consistent soylent for a test group with a large enough number of participants to warrant statistical significance in any results.

Considering this, perhaps it’s more useful to ask @rob and @JulioMiles if there are any clinical trials coming down the pike, and what those trials are looking to assess.

After that, do you have any suggestions of things to look for specifically in clinical trials? Anything you’re particularly curious about?

[My suspicion is that any initial trials would focus largely on quantitative data such as blood serum levels of various substances (micronutrients, fats, etc.) and qualitative data such as perceived cognition, mood, and so on. There’s been a fair amount of concern about the long-term effects of a primarily liquid, powder-based diet. Unfortunately, until and unless there are people willing to participate in a long-term longitudinal study, we cannot with certainty know what will happen for several more years. This is a start-up, after all.]

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I work in the food industry. I’ve sold products that require FDA approval, i.e. fish oil for use in food. That type of fish oil is different than the fish oil supplements.

The company I worked for spent 8 YEARS before they got FDA approval.

What Rob has done is get various ingredients that are all FDA approved and then mixed them together. Maltodextrin is one.

All of his claims, are just that. CLAIMS. He has no proof that this stuff works as he claims.

Would you buy the “perfect” food that your from your neighbor down the street developed, who says that it’s done wonders for him?

Rob also claims that the company who puts this stuff together for him, did research on the product. That’s extremely misleading. The company is simply a company that manufactures things for others. While they employ food technologists, the company does not employ dietitians and no one from that company has supported Rob’s claims.

What you’ve got is a bunch of food ingredients that are mixed together and may, or may not have any real value as a 100% food replacement.

Buyer beware.

Except the many many people that are using his product for months now.

I would if it where a food item like apple pie ( or Soylent) sure I would.

If the ingredients of your food are safe doesn’t that imply that the food itself is also safe?

I seem to remember that Rob does.

Just like another food manufacturer. The people at the Fritos plant don’t necessarily eat the product they make or think its good for you.

Just like any other food sold today.

Thank you for the warning.


Same is true for nearly every diet consumed though. I mean really, has any dietician ever evaluated the oatmeal breakfast meat and cheese sandwich lunch spaghetti dinner diet? And then what if you don’t eat exactly the same each day. I think very few people have their diets evaluated by dieticians. Yes, some would (especially if there’s special diet considerations or very low calorie intake) but mostly we eat what we eat and we don’t have it evaluated as an overall diet. Seems even without FDA approval much more thought has gone into Soylent than the typical diet of “what sounds good for dinner?” Could more be done? Sure.

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What they said! Every time you cook, every time you go to a restaurant, you’re having “food ingredients that are mixed together.”

So, okay. Better stop eating.

I agree with @asympt, but I like your wordplay:

What you’ve got is… a 100% food replacement.

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I trust Soylent more than my old diet. Besides, your body is a decent indication of how good or bad food is for you. Not talking about taste of course, but how it makes you feel afterwards, or after consuming it on-end for days or weeks.

I highly doubt that Soylent is more dangerous than replacing 2/3rds of my normal diet that consisted of heavy fast food, snacks, and other sugary substitutes.

The scary thing is that maltodextrin is the first item on the ingredients list. Like some kind of Houdini trick, they managed to slip that in there without anyone noticing. What’s next, dihydrogen monoxide?

Rob, I demand answers.


I’ve been warning everyone about dihydrogen monoxide for years. It’s everywhere you know. In all our food and everything we drink. :smile:

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I believe @AgentSpiff was being facetious.

I know! They even put the stuff that horses eat! What are we… ANIMALS!?

Horse food? This is an outrage. Of all the different ingredients in the world, that is definitely one of them.

Seriously, to get back on topic: Clinical trials are not necessary, as no medicinal or therapeutic claims have been made about Soylent. The only claim is that they are making food, which is exactly what they are doing.


Maltodextrin is a sugar. So if you like HFCS, you’ll like maltodextrin. You really want the first ingredient in your 100% food to be sugar?**

So what if he’s had hundreds, or thousands of people using his food? He’s claiming that it can replace everything in your diet and live off the stuff 100%. He hasn’t PROVEN that. It’s called clinical trials.

There’s a difference between having a piece of apple pie and replacing 100% of your food with anything. Try eating steaks and nothing else for a few months.

If the ingredients . . . Your right. That’s what I said.

It being safe is one thing. He’s gone WAY beyond that and said that you can live on Soylent without consuming anything else. That’s an outright lie. He’s got NO proof.

I’ve gotten into conversations with Rob. He does NOT, and never has employed any dietitians. His initial claim was that the company that manufactures the stuff for him employed dietitians. I’ve sold that company ingredients and I know their President/CEO. Absolute lie on Rob’s part.

He was supposed to be connected with some PhD type maybe at the first of the year. He gave the guy something like a million dollars to prove Rob’s claims. Have no idea where that stands.

Frito doesn’t claim that you can live on potato chips alone and survive. Rob claims that you can live on Soylent and nothing else and survive. Non sequitur.


I was selling products to Quaker when they applied for the heart health claim. They spent five years in clinical trials with placebos and oatmeal and had to PROVE that their claims were true. If you read the label, you’ll see the exact claim. Rob’s only testing is on his consumer guinea pigs. One dies and Rob’s in a whole lot of trouble.


No medical claim? He isn’t claiming it’s just food. He’s claiming you can live on Soylent and eliminate all other food.

Rob’s a snakeoil salesman.

I’m curious as to where he’s made this claim? The marketing materials on the website do not. The video explicitly states that the goal in creating Soylent, “wasn’t to replace food, but to provide a better alternative to what we usually eat.”

Given that people have individual needs for nutrition based on many factors, I doubt a single food for everybody could ever be made. But, it seems to me that Soylent is a great base for individuals to start from and then supplement as needed.

Personally, I plan on using it for about 2/3rds of my meals. I want to keep some variety in my diet.

The facts are that his product is 100% legally compliant, and a large number of people have demonstrated that it can sustain good health. with the bloodwork to prove it. Now the burden is on you to prove anything that you’ve said.

Wait, he’s claiming that you can replace food with food? What a charlatan! Seriously, that isn’t a medical claim.

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I lived off of the same set of 3-4 meals for nine months. It was all fast food.

Nobody makes any claims about any food. There is no board stating that what I pick up in a grocery store is safe to live off of 100%. There is no warning to the college students out there that ramen 100% can cause issues.

Food is food. Soylent is absolutely no more dangerous than any other food out there, and there’s a ton of reasons to believe it’s much better than a lot out there. Most importantly, by trusting our body, its cravings, and how we feel on a Soylent diet versus anything else.

There are obviously people out there who can’t live on Soylent 100%. Their bodies tell them that. Most people, I imagine, do not use Soylent in such a manner but rather as a quick, easy replacement to food which is typically MUCH worse to consume.


If only every single sandwich ever made had extensive double-blind peer-reviewed studies conducted on them for us to determine if they are safe to consume.

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Some do. It’s called McDonalds. And if you want to talk logical fallacies, comparing a steak with minimal nutrition to a food with far higher nutritional profile is silly.

Also, can you back up your claims about Rob and working for all of these companies? Why should we believe you? Got any facts to back it up?

As for HFCS, research shows that there is no difference between HFCS and regular table sugar. HFCS and the “organic” market are both food industry scams that tend to work. Are they going to kill you? No, but forking over 3x more money for the Jam made with “organic strawberries” and sugar rather than HFCS is a waste of money. Obesity is blamed on HFCS and non-organic foods but it to do with caloric intake, activity level, age, and genetic predisposition to illnesses.

There is nothing to guarantee people that eating beans, lentils, potatoes, chicken for their daily meals will give them everything they need yet that is the diet of many people yet they seem to be living just fine.

With Soylent, you have individual ingredients. You look at those ingredients individually and based off current nutritional science data ask whether this particular ingredient can absorb into your body. Does it absorb into the body? Yes or no? If yes, congratulations, you are eating a nutritious meal.

If you want to convince anyone of anything your good to have to prove them wrong not just say they are wrong. It might be helpful to you to provide links to sites that backup what your saying.

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