Polyphenols? Magnesium oxide? Vitamin D2?


#1

Hello, I’m interested in Soylent and I’d like to know what types of polyphenols are included in it, and how you synthesize them or where they come from. I’d like to try Soylent but I would never wish to get cancer in a few years, you know.

Also, I’d like to know if there are any plans to remove sucralose. Fair enough you keep the amount much much below the safety limit, but I wouldn’t be happy if next year a PMID came out stating that ANY amount of it is correlated to cancer. In general, I don’t like to introduce in my body molecules that would never be there if I had a traditional diet. Why can’t you just use sucrose to sweeten? My body can totally bear 100 or more extra calories a day for the sake of taste, really.

Last but not least… why on Earth are you using magnesium oxide instead of magnesium citrate? And why vitamin D2 instead of D3?

Thank you.


#2

Have you checked out the FAQ page?

All your questions and more can be answered. Personally I use water and fat soluble antioxidants regardless of what I’m eating, just for this reason.


#3

Actually the FAQ doesn’t address any of a71104’s questions. Unless I’m missing something? I don’t know much about the specific nutrient complaints, but putting aside my addiction to the convenience of Soylent, I share the gist of his concerns here. It’s a bummer that Rosa Labs toned down their transparency policy.


#4

Hi @tingrin3, thank you for your reply.

Yes, I tried to search in the FAQ articles but I couldn’t find anything explaining why Soylent provides magnesium in a virtually unavailable form (I am relating to PMID 2407766 published in February 1990, maybe you have a more up-to-date source stating differently?).

Also, despite all my research I couldn’t find ANYthing about polyphenols in Soylent, which really misses the point of “not worrying about food again” if you still have to supplement them as you say.


#5

You will have to add your own phytonutrients. If you look at the latest ingredient list you will see there is no more sucralose. Magnesium oxide absorbs just fine when consumed with food. Your body will convert D2 to D3.


#6

Hi @horsfield, thank you for the reply but unfortunately it is not clear to me yet. My comments follow:

You will have to add your own phytonutrients.

Which really misses the point of not worrying about food again. We are told we could survive on Soylent entirely and that any other food could be “recreational”, which is a great idea but it’s simply not true as long as I am going to get cancer in 5 years because Soylent is all I ingest. I would survive longer even if I lived on Burger King. Please, note the use of “survive”.

If you look at the latest ingredient list you will see there is no more sucralose.

I am confused. I’m looking at the nutrition fact sheet version 1.4, sucralose is there (last one): http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0421/5993/t/14/assets/files_Complete-Soylent-Nutrition-Facts-1p4.pdf?2850945328223203203

Magnesium oxide absorbs just fine when consumed with food.

As I said, I am relating to a PubMed article. Most of magnesium oxide coming from food will not be absorbed by the human body. Do you have any other reliable, perhaps more up-to-date, source? Can you please provide it?

Really, it’s not like I am challenging, I am genuinely interested in a practical, easy & quick source of nutrition as long as I know it works. With so many million dollars of venture capital I don’t think replacing magnesium oxide with magnesium citrate would be difficult to Soylent, and I would be more than happy to pay double the current price of Soylent to have an actually healthy source of nutrition.

Your body will convert D2 to D3.

It sure will, but this process seems to be much less effective than simply absorbing D3 in the first place: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3349454/

Which leads me to the conclusion that Soylent is not a good source of vitamin D.

Actually, this is a really minor issue since vitamin D is not generally found in food and it is mostly synthesized by the human body, but I would love to hear that Soylent is also a good D3 supplement.


#7

You got me on the sucralose. I didn’t see it at the end there.

The below quote is referring to an older version of Soylent but it still applies. Magnesium oxide isn’t the sole source of magnesium in Soylent.


#8

Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols:
http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n3s/fig_tab/ejcn2010221t1.html

Flax and soy contain a lot of polyphenols, although I can’t speak for their presence / bioavailability in Soylent. But seriously, if you’re worried about it, just have some green tea or coffee or something. Or, flavor your Soylent with cocoa or spices.

As for “not worrying about food again,” keep in mind Soylent is an iterative product; it will continue to evolve with new research, but there will always be some gap between research, product updates, and your receipt / consumption of said product.


#9

Something like this could happen with any ingredient, any food in existence.


#10

I think this needs clarification. I believe what Horsfield intended to say, was that if you want want the phytonutrients you’ll have to add them. Current science does not recognize them as essential, and I don’t think there is even much conclusive research on whether they do much at all (the second part is purely conjectural and mostly based on my not having seen any studies on it).

Soylent is designed to meet the scientifically recognized standards of nutrition. Should phytonutrients reach that level, Soylent will probably integrate them quickly. If they don’t, they’ll probably never add them.


#11

Thank you for this quote @horsfield, but… it’s crazy! You add weird molecules “just to be safe”? Magnesium oxide has been shown dangerous to ingest (see PMID 1920938), why can’t it just be removed from the formula? I am very relieved that magnesium is provided by other sources in Soylent but there’s no point in keeping the oxide whatsoever, removal would make Soylent both cheaper and healthier.


#12

Something like this could happen with any ingredient, any food in existence.

No, it can’t. Some ingredients are actually shown to be associated to cancer prevention. Guess which ones?


#13

Flax and soy contain a lot of polyphenols, although I can’t speak for their presence / bioavailability in Soylent.

Thank you for noticing this, my research wasn’t good enough and this information is useful to me. I would like a more in-depth study of these molecules by Soylent, they say flax and soy in Soylent are sources of omegas and proteins and blah blah, but why don’t they say anything about polyphenols?

But seriously, if you’re worried about it, just have some green tea or coffee or something.

I do it everyday man, but back to the point: how can I not worry about food again if I still have to worry about drinking tea or coffee once in a while?

As for “not worrying about food again,” keep in mind Soylent is an iterative product; it will continue to evolve with new research, but there will always be some gap between research, product updates, and your receipt / consumption of said product.

Really good point, and I therefore hope Soylent is going to pay much more attention to this class of molecules in a (very) near future.


#14

There are too many conflicting studies about phytonutrients to classify them as essential, let alone healthy.

Sucralose and MgO are perfectly safe and have been studied extensively. I’m surprised you actually prefer sucrose to sucralose, considering your health concerns.

As for worrying about cancer, it’s best to remember that most cases are entirely random and have no connection to lifestyle or genetics.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t take care of yourself but should you ever be diagnosed with cancer, don’t go blaming Soylent or a food additive you may have seen a damning study on.

I would survive longer even if I lived on Burger King.

Perhaps, but your energy would be sporadic and the damage you accumulate (in extracellular aggregate for example) would lead to a far inferior quality of life.

Your health concerns are perfectly valid, but do not expect perfection when the company is only advertising a superior product.


#15

There are too many conflicting studies about phytonutrients to classify them as essential, let alone healthy.

Let’s be clear: I am not a chemist or a biologist and I don’t know what studies you are talking about (although I would love to see two examples of conflicting studies about polyphenols on PubMed), but I think they are also called “antioxidants” for a reason.

Sucralose and MgO are perfectly safe and have been studied extensively.

As I have previosuly reported, PMID 1920938 states exactly the opposite about magnesium oxide: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1920938

I would never recommend having an ice cream to any Soylent user. :slight_smile:

I’m surprised you actually prefer sucrose to sucralose, considering your health concerns.

Wat? We are talking about sugar, aren’t we? The only health concerns from sugars I am aware of are related to excess, but I don’t think one tablespoon per day is an excess for my body.

Perhaps, but your energy would be sporadic and the damage you accumulate (in extracellular aggregate for example) would lead to a far inferior quality of life.

Of course. It was a rhetorical device. :slight_smile:


#16

That article is about a single patients that had milk-alkali syndrome. Which is caused by taking in too much calcium and absorbable alkali like magnesium. Any form of absorbable magnesium would cause the syndrome. Soylent does not have excessive amounts of calcium.


#17

Dude, you’re way behind on that one… Sugar is addictive; it alters dopamine pathways in the brain. Sucrose is particularly hard on the pancreas and causes insulin spikes and crashes, even in small amounts (which is way fruit sugar, fructose, is healthier than table sugar). Sucralose has no effect on insulin, only on the tastebuds (and controversially on gut bacteria according to a single study, done on mice, with poor research practices [I’ll find a link if you ask]).

Here’s a nicely written article with links to real research:


#18

The study you are referencing has nothing to do with the health risks of MgO.

Unless you have chronic constipation or plan on popping some Molly later, don’t take 2g of MgO. Problem solved.


#19

Most if not all foods you eat contain carcinogens. Most if not all “natural” foods you eat contain carcinogens. The definition of “natural” is nebulous and arbitrary and it could be argued that nothing we eat is natural but regardless, since carcinogens are everywhere we’re eating them no matter what we eat.

Of course, some of the stuff we eat has chemopreventive things in them too. And a bunch of stuff that we don’t know what it does too. So if you eat a fruit or vegetable you’re eating stuff that prevents cancer, stuff that causes cancer and stuff that we don’t know what it does. So it’s not like Soylent is competing against conventional food that is perfect and that we know everything about. There’s uncertainty with everything, not just Soylent.


#20

Dude, you’re way behind on that one… Sugar is addictive; it alters dopamine pathways in the brain. Sucrose is particularly hard on the pancreas and causes insulin spikes and crashes, even in small amounts (which is way fruit sugar, fructose, is healthier than table sugar).

What’s the problem with wild variations in insulin? That’s the way the human body works, insulin is supposed to go up and down based on the metabolized carbohydrates. This phenomenon is totally regular and its only problem is excess, which can be caused by any type of carbohydrates (including fructose), not just sucrose. But I don’t think 1 tbsp of sugar is an excess.

We can still discuss about addiction though, I didn’t know about it (although I don’t see many problems with it, it’s like being addicted to, say, proteins; ok, I strongly need to consume proteins, so?).

I read the article you posted, two considerations:

  1. the described experiments were done on mice, just like the one you disapprove;
  2. the article is merely educational as opposed to methodical research, which indicates it is not reliable to me; you said it links to the real research but I couldn’t find it, can you please provide a link?