Scientific Studies, FDA Approval, Etc


#1

Are there any scientific studies into the health effects of Soylent, or information about getting FDA approval or anything else related?
I know Soylent is somewhat too new to have super long-term health studies, but is anything being worked on scientifically, rather than just anecdotally with the users in the forums?


#2

They do not require any further FDA approvals to sell the product. They have undergone FDA-compliant testing for their nutrition label to be able to sell the product in the US.

There has been anecdotal evidence and individuals posting blood panels and things showing improvements, However, I do not believe there have been any large-scale studies yet showing evidence to the effectiveness of Soylent. I wonder how much it would cost to fund a 2-year mouse study or something?


#3

First of all we’d probably need some R&D to develop teeny-tiny Takeya pitchers.

“After two years and three million dollars, we determined that mice weren’t very good at shaking the Soylent enough to mix it properly.”


#4

The FDA does not “approve” food products. Soylent is not FDA-approved nor is it required to be, in spite of Rosa Labs’ incorrect assertions to the contrary. All FDA approvals are indexed here.

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/ProductsApprovals/default.htm


#5

There’s been plenty of studies about the individual ingredients, which is how Soylent chooses it’s ingredients in the first place. (Cost and sustainability being the other factors).

Nothing on the final product. Though plenty of personal success stories and individual health reports.


#6

I never claimed that they needed to be.

Food products do need to undergo FDA-compliant testing for their nutrition labels. That is all, though.


#7

Wrong again.

"N30. Can I use “average” values derived from databases to determine the nutrient content of my product?

Answer: FDA has not stated how a company should determine the nutrient content of their product for labeling purposes. Therefore, there is no prohibition from using “average” values for its product derived from data bases if a manufacturer is confident that the values obtained meet FDA’s compliance criteria."


p. 31

This is why commercial soylents in the United States are springing up like mushrooms after a rain. There are no regulatory entry barriers.


#8

What exactly are you looking for? There are a few stories here about people’s experiences with Soylent. While they are anecdotal as inquirerer stated, they aren’t completely without merit.

My own experience after being on Soylent for >90% of my diet over the last year is that I have lost some weight (not massive) and more importantly have dropped my blood sugar A1c values from 6.5 to 5.8 and had one of my Diabetic medications removed by my Dr.

This is a sample size of 1 and is not a conclusive study, but it at least illustrates the potential. There is a good post by @mtandy outlining a more dramatic positive benefit of Soylent as well here on the forums.


#9

I think @TalDrakkan made it fairly clear what he’s looking for: scientific studies into the health effects of Soylent.


#10

Yes, fair point. I should have asked:
“Why are you looking for this?” or
"What information are you trying to find from these studies you are looking for?"


#11

I never made a claim that you disagreed with the first time, so it is impossible for me to be wrong “again”. (In fact, you agreed with me that they did not require any FDA approvals to sell the product.)

You edited out the entirety of the response. Reading the full response, it is clear to me what the FDA is concerned with is accuracy in labeling. If a company is very sure that the accuracy is correct, then they may use the average value. However, the burden of being accurate is still on the company.

N30. Can I use “average” values derived from data bases to determine the
nutrient content of my product?
Answer: FDA has not stated how a company should determine the nutrient
content of their product for labeling purposes. Therefore, there is no
prohibition from using “average” values for its product derived from data
bases if a manufacturer is confident that the values obtained meet FDA’s
compliance criteria. Regardless of its source, a company is responsible for the
accuracy and the compliance of the information presented on the label. Use
of a data base that has been accepted by FDA affords a firm some measure of
security in that the agency has stated that it will work with industry to resolve
any compliance problems that might arise for food labeled on the basis of a
data base that the agency has accepted. A manual entitled FDA Nutrition
Labeling Manual: A Guide for Developing and Using Databases is available
online.
N31. How many samples of each product should we analyze for nutrition
labeling?
Answer: FDA has not defined the number of samples that must be analyzed.
It is the responsibility of the manufacturer/packer/distributor to determine
the variability of their product(s) and the number of samples needed to
provide accurate nutrient data. The FDA Nutrition Labeling Manual: A
Guide for Developing and Using Databases, available from FDA, may be of
assistance in this area. FDA will use a composite of 12 units when performing
enforcement analyses. 21 CFR 101.9(g)

What I take away from that is that they are very concerned with the accuracy of labeling and that a company better make sure that they are labeling accurately.

I will admit that I was inaccurate in strictly saying that FDA-compliant testing for nutrition labels is required. I was going off of a past article I had read on it which apparently was inaccurate as well. I am not above admitting when I am wrong. However, the larger point I was making about accuracy being a requirement on nutrition labels by the FDA is correct.


#12

Soylent is pretty homogeneous, so i don’t think there will be much variation in the samples.


#13

You don’t really need a mouse study once humans are already using it. We should just do a human study now. They can shake the pitchers and everything!


#14

Haha, true!

I meant more along the lines of lifespan. A 2-year mouse (lifespan) study would seemingly be easier than an 80-year human (lifespan) study.

Although, your point probably was that there are certain bio-markers that can be tracked in humans to indicate health/longevity from a diet. I agree with this as well.


#15

Family has expressed concerns about the lack of studies into long-term health effects. A lot of my family works in health and medicine and were upset because its not tested (to the point of a family member possibly falsely promising/swearing to have an uncle whos some sort of executive at Bayer have any studies peer reviewed and published).


#16

Have them look at the ingredients.


#17

Does any other food go through that kind of testing though? I mean, did mankind rigorously test bacon before we started wrapping everything with it? I’m guessing no.

Hmm… bacon wrapped Soylent? But how…?


#18

Understandable, although how many things are tested for long-term health effects before we start using/eating them? Life is an adventure!


#19

I wonder if it would be possible for us to set up our own study here on discourse.

Gather a dozen or so newbie volunteers who haven’t tried Soylent, everyone pays for his/her own blood panel (before and after), keeps a daily log of exercise and such, buys his/her own Soylent, and follows some general guidelines on how much to drink and whatnot. Then someone here with a solid knowledge of statistics can write up a pretty report about it for us.


#20

Three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D.

The average daily sodium intake for Americans age 2 years and older is more than 3,400 mg. The Institute of Medicine’s Tolerable Upper Limit for sodium is 2300 mg.

The average dietary potassium intake of the U.S. population aged is 2640 mg per day, 25% less than the FDA’s Daily Value.

Approximately 70% of the United States population consume less than the DV of both calcium and magnesium.

Physician, heal thyself.