My wife is going to get pregnant. What should we do?


#21

I refuse to weigh in on the ethical side of things, but we need to get something straight from a technical view. Soylent is not experimental, it is certified food made from 100% certified food-grade components. When you are doing risk analysis, you’ll find that there is little to no evidence of adverse effects from any combination of the ingredients in Soylent in the amounts it contains, other than specific allergies or the gas issues documented on this forum. Technically, the risk factor is no greater than any known diet (or lack thereof).

What you’re really facing here is the ethical dilemma of “testing” this on a fetus, simply because it has never been done before. It is a scary proposition for sure, but it is also a milestone in an amazing new school of thought on nutrition. If you decide to proceed, then do so with frequent batteries of tests for health markers. If an uncomfortably negative trend emerges, then discontinue Soylent and turn to nutritious whole foods.


#22

All three - fiber, fat, protein - will reduce the uptake rate of simple carbs and therefore reduce blood glucose spikes.

Protein and fats are also associated with satiety and you’ll tend to be satisfied a little longer when there’s enough of them in a meal. Fiber may be filling in the short term, but it’s not usually very satiating long-term.


#23

The reason I said fat and protein would reduce sugar spikes is because a smaller percentage of the consumed soylent would be carbs, assuming similar consumption volumes. less carbs, less sugar spike


#24

Input from my OB/GYN friend, unedited:

I don’t know a lot about Soylent, but I read through the FAQs. I had a hard time finding the actual breakdown of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. While I do have some questions and concerns about the production of Soylent and what is used to make it (not all protein is created equal… what amino acids are there?), I don’t feel I know enough to comment on that. I will say though that the description of an item that “includes protein, carbohydrates… without undesirables such as sugars” is very confusing. What are the carbohydrates? Monosaccharides? Disaccharides? Oligosaccharides? Polysaccharides?

Anyhow, here are my biggest concerns based on what I know.

  1. Consuming minerals and vitamins at the same time. If Soylent is always made of the same ingredients and it is meant to provide everything you need in your diet, this presents a major problem: our bodies were not made to process all the vitamins and minerals we need at the same time. Consuming calcium at the same time as iron decreases your iron absorption. So you might be consuming 100% of your recommended daily allowance as a pregnant woman, but you’ll only be absorbing 50% (that’s a random number). The same goes to zinc and copper, which also compete with each other, and which are also affected by iron and calcium absorption. It doesn’t make sense to consume all these things at the same time. Pregnant women who take iron supplements are always told to take it with orange juice since vitamin C helps absorption and to avoid milk, since calcium decreases absorption. While Soylent may theoretically provide you with everything you need, taking everything your body needs at the same time does not allow your body to actually process and absorb everything. Consider this article http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/72/1/280s.full (scroll to Multinutrient interactions)

  2. Toxicity of fat-soluble vitamins. Especially concerning since pregnancy is a hyperlipidemic state. Foods that claim to give you all the vitamins that you need often give you much more than you need. Your average person can deal with occasional excesses in vitamins, especially the water soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins are more of a problem. Vitamin A specifically is a teratogen at high levels (it also causes other major problems like high blood pressure, liver toxicity, alopecia, vertigo) so excess consumption or supplementation is strongly discouraged in the first trimester of pregnancy. I’m not sure how much Vitamin A is in Soylent, but this is something to pay attention to. Example research article, although there are many many more on this topic http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199511233332101

  3. Folate or folic acid. Pregnant women need more than normal people and this is the main reason we give pregnant women prenatal vitamins. The average pregnant women who has had no children with birth defects requires 0.4mg of folate, daily. If she’s had a child with a previous neural tube defect, this goes up to 4mg, daily. Does Soylent provide this?

  4. Iron levels. Anemia in pregnancy is very common so pregnant women are often encouraged to increased their iron consumption. I’m not sure if there is sufficient iron in Soylent to accommodate for this increased need. Also, in reference to point #1, if there is calcium in Soylent, then whatever iron you’re getting isn’t being fully absorbed, since your body will preferentially absorb the calcium, so you may still be iron deficient even though you’re technically consuming all the iron you need (you’re just excreting a lot of what you consumed).

In general, I would hope I don’t need to say this but really, anyone who is pregnant should realize that their vitamin and mineral needs change. Caloric needs may only increase by 300 calories, but the RDA for calcium increases over 100% (just one example). Make sure that what you’re eating covers your body’s changing requirements and needs.


#25

All your points, while totally valid, are not unique to Soylent and also apply to a diet of regular food.

As far as the nutritional info for Soylent.

And as for her changing needs during and after pregnancy.

http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/interactiveDRI/

I can almost guarantee Soylent won’t meet her needs all the way through and after pregnancy. At some point there will need to be some additional supplementation.


#26

One thing you can do is create a custom DIY recipe and start with two ingredients - “Official Soylent powder” and “Official Soylent oil blend” - and then you can increase or reduce the amount per day and add other supplements to view the overall profile.


#27

I like that idea. Though still, I would add a bit of fruits and veggies daily


#28

You can add those to the recipe too, nutritional data is available for just about any produce.


#29

Don’t mess with pregnancies. Stay away from Soylent and eat what you ate for the first pregnancy. If in doubt, ask what your mother ate, after all you’re still here and are good enough to use a computer.


#30

If she does decide to keep using Soylent while pregnant, and decide to supplement… just make sure you don’t overdose on anything… that is just as bad.


#31

While basic information is available for produce, I don’t see things like acetone, arsenic, formaldehyde, and various other toxins listed on produce. I’ve always wanted spectrographical analysis posted on nutrition facts… http://io9.com/what-if-natural-products-came-with-a-list-of-ingredient-1503320184


#32

Unrelated to nutrition but something I listened to just recently, talks a lot about children and babies learning: http://www.npr.org/2013/04/25/179010396/unstoppable-learning


#33

This is fascinating! As someone mentions above; it’s good to have a varied diet so the kid can have an equally diverse palette, and chocolate == happy baby.


#34

Im not one to believe anything without scientific evidence… chocolate for some reason does lead to happier babies. though, I would be inclined to you ordering pure cocoa from bulletproof executive.

Disclosure, I have no affiliation with bulletproof executive and I intact strongly dislike what dave asprey stands for, with respect to sustainability, but I support his biohacking.


#35

Post must be atleast 20 characters.


#37

Perhaps look up each ingredient (I know, its a chore) and see if any of them are not to be consumed while pregnant?


#39

There’s no harm taking the prenatal vitamins, right? So your wife might as well take them, just to be safe. Prenatal nutrition is really important!

With Soylent, we don’t yet know what the long-term effects are on adult health, let alone on prenatal development. The issue has never been studied directly, so nobody can give you an answer. You might come to your own answer by reasoning about nutrition, but it would be best to ask an expert in the nutrition of pregnant women rather than a forum of people who have read Wikipedia articles about nutrition.


#40

That is such a weird way to phrase that.
Do you have no part in the process?


#42

I’ve had two healthy children and read what I could on eating right during pregnancy, so that’s the extent of my expertise. Personally, I wouldn’t consume soylent at any time during pregnancy. But I’m hyper cautious during pregnancy and I cut out all caffeine, sushi, soft cheese, artificial sugars, alcohol, etc. Babies have been born healthy for what, 10,000 years?, on whole foods. I’d stick with that. In 20 years after Soylent has shown that human bodies thrive on soylent then I’d be all on board, but it’s in its infancy. Remember in the 60s and 70s doctors told Moms that baby formula was better than breast milk- more nutritionally balanced and free from any contaminants that could be in breast milk. Of course, they then reversed that advice after a decade of tests and studies.


#43

Dont forget to cut out tuna too :smiley: