Secretsoflongevity's disapproval of soylent


#1

For those unfamiliar, you need only Google it and the title is “soylent is bad long term.” Can’t copy paste with shitty android smartphone, or not sure how.
I probably should have waited but I impulsively cancelled my subscription. That talk about calcium was also pretty scary and is arguably my biggest point for cancelling soylent. If somebody could actually engage these points I’d love to listen to them.


Deconstructing Soylent - is this accurate?
#2

The video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO_BYIgd2Lo
It’s been brought up on this forum before, and was generally ridiculed. I’m watching it again and will list his claims here, filtering out the claim-less sensationalist content that makes up most of the presentation. I won’t address the claims now because it’s way too late at night, but I might in the morning, or someone can point @JCDBionicman to other threads where these topics have been discussed.

I am writing the below from his perspective; much of what he says is factually wrong and I don’t want anyone quoting me as saying these things.

4:30 - No protein source has the exact ratio of amino acids that our bodies need, so you need to supplement Soylent with other protein sources so your body doesn’t get "tired’ or “intolerant” of the one protein ratio it provides.

5:30 - The wikipedia page lists only 14 minerals that Soylent provides, but the human body requires more than that (he says 60). Even trace minerals like aluminium can cause serious long-term effects on the human body if left out entirely. He claims Soylent is missing the necessary: aluminium and choline and (at 8:30) inositol.

7:20 - The RDA is not applicable for everyone at all times. A majority of people have a problem absorbing B12, so the RDA is inaccurate (explaining why so many supplements have >1000% RDI). Since the RDA is defined to be the amount required for a person with average body weight, anyone with lower requirements than the average will get too much of any nutrient and anyone with higher requirements than the average will get too little. The macronutrient ratios will likewise only be appropriate for the “average” human being.

11:40 - Maltodextrin is such processed crap that people will not function well on it. Some people even develop allergies to maltodextrin.

12:40 Engineers (Rob) like to break down complex systems (the body) into small components to figure out how they work. The body is too complex to be understood that way. Looking at the macro-level big picture is what has worked best for health in the past (e.g. traditional chinese and tribal medicine). “You are exhibiting these symptoms; it must be because you are missing a general category of foods”.

15:00 - The calcium in supplements (and Soylent) is often calcium carbonate, which is not usable by the body. Clacium carbonate is also used by some microorganisms in the body to build up constricting calcium deposits around the body. The only sort of calcium our bodies can use is organic calcium from food sources. (Can I just interject here really quick to laugh at the completely ridiculous idea of “organic calcium”?)

17:20 - He didn’t even try to justify it, but said that canola oil is terrible and causes well-documented health problems. Olive oil would be better, but saturated fat is the way to go.

18:00 - “Better living through chemistry” is just not correct. We know whole foods are better than synthetic supplements. There’s more to foods than just the chemicals contained in them. Whole foods also have the (direct quote) “undeniable bioelectric quality of life force from the living thing.” It will be more life-sustaining to live off that than a synthetic chemical created in a laboratory.

19:50 - If you eat only a liquid diet for too long, you will become unable to eat solid food.

21:45 - He recommends Beyond Tangy Tangerine 2.0, a multivitamin containing only whole-food extracted ingredients. It has all sorts of micronutrients which have amazing effects (he cites selenium as one cancer-curing solution)


#3

You should have started with that gibberish first, nothing else needs to be addressed with such immediate loss of all credibility.


#4

That is so inspiring, it deserves to be in haiku form:

From the living thing
The quality of life force
Bioelectric


#5

Yea I’ve seen that one too. I actually stopped watching when he started talking about the calcium. Seriously little bits of living coral in supplements being absorbed by the body and harming you. If you think that’s real please research it and post some links when you can.


#6

That one blew me away. Anybody who thinks Chinese or tribal medicine is better than medicine that was actually tested and found to work, is an idiot. There are many good things in alternate medicine but there is no way you can make a general statement that it is better. Well, I guess you can make the statement, you just lose all credibility.


#7

Stop, you can’t refute something that fits so eloquently into a haiku.


#8

And, the only way we can know if some alternative medicine actually works is by scientifically testing it. If it does prove to work, then guess what? We call it medicine.


#9

@AgentSpiff: The haiku was great. I humbly apologize if you thought I was attacking your wonderful haiku. :smile:

@malachi: Yep. Most people don’t get that. If it actually worked, given time, it would be tested and just be medicine. I just don’t get the logical disconnect people have.


#10

Haikus are the cornerstone of ancient Japanese wisdom, which we all know is superior to science. You people and your logical phalluses, when will you learn?


#11

He may be right in claiming that calcium carbonate is not the best choice, a quick google search yields that Calcium Citrate is better but it appears to be much more complicated than how the chemical is absorbed in absence of other nutrients. this study for instance, shows that calcium carbonate, when taken in correlation with vitamin D (which it most certainly is in soylent) is as bioavailable or more bioavailable than milk-which is widely accepted as a good source of calcium. Interestingly, this study seems to show that the different ways of preparation (and here we are getting beyond my knowledge of the subject) significantly effect the bioavailability of calcium carbonate, which makes one wonder which preparations the previous two studies used and how that may effect the outcomes, and also which preparation is used in soylent


#12

I read the link, not the full study, but I am immediately curious what it means by “preparations”. Because if it’s suggesting the same molecule, produced by different reactions is somehow different, that’s ridiculously. Maybe in the future quantum mechanics will discover some difference, but at this point there is no evidence of such. Anyway, alternatively, preparation may refer to purity, in which case… Duh?
Or am I missing the point, in which case, enlighten me.


#13

Lifeforce. Is it one Yoda talked about? :stuck_out_tongue:


#14

when you buy anything in pill or powder form, its rarely just the chemical. What that study seems to imply is that calcium carbonate’s absorption is at least somewhat dependent upon what it is consumed with. at least thats my guess


#15

Indeed it is young padawan.


#16

Sure. But that’s been an obvious stump in science. Pardon the russian proverb


#17

The 18:00 comment is the one from which many other objections flow. Here it is:

18:00 - “Better living through chemistry” is just not correct. We know whole foods are better than synthetic supplements. There’s more to foods than just the chemicals contained in them. Whole foods also have the (direct quote) “undeniable bioelectric quality of life force from the living thing.” It will be more life-sustaining to live off that than a synthetic chemical created in a laboratory.

If you read that closely you see he is saying that whole foods are best, no matter what. If that is true then it’s game over and the rest of the discussion is just details.

But think about what such a statement is saying. Suppose we had perfect knowledge of nutrition and about how the human body works and about the infinitely many potential substances that we could put into the human body. And suppose we used this knowledge to rank the substances from what is best to worst for humans to consume. Remember, this list is infinitely long because it not only contains everything we’ve invented for consumption so far, it also contains everything anyone could ever potentially invent.

Saying that whole foods is best no matter what is equivalent to saying that whole foods are #1 on the infinitely long list. Wouldn’t it be the most incredible coincidence ever if the #1 thing on this list just happened to be the foods that are growing here now?

This is the “appeal to nature” fallacy. The idea is that nature knows best. The fact that life expectancies thousands of years ago when everything was natural was about 30 doesn’t seem to occur to these people. Nor does their irony meter kick in when they’re telling us how natural is better while communicating over the totally unnatural Internet.

There’s a lot we don’t know about nutrition and there may well be some things in naturally grown foods that are beneficial that we don’t know about yet but I think part of the idea behind Soylent is to update and adapt as new knowledge comes to light. That’s the way science works in general. There is no Final Answer that we dogmatically defend, rather we are constantly updating our knowledge. That approach seems to work pretty well with everything else.

BTW, while there may be some things in naturally grown foods that are beneficial to us that we don’t currently know about, there may also be some things in naturally grown foods that are harmful to us that we don’t currently know about too. That angle doesn’t seem to occur to folks. These foods after all weren’t designed to be optimal for humans, rather they are just plants living out their lives.


#18

Fantastic post, yngh.


#19

I always trust random YouTube assholes.


#20

Secretsoflongevity also has a video on the superfoods that will detox chemtrails. You can see the crowd he’s marketing to.

No, I’m not kidding.