Soylent and Gut Flora

Anyone worried about this running just Soylent?

I think some have decided to start taking probiotics.

That makes sense. I wonder if you just need to do it every once in a while since I suppose it should maintain in your gut unless there are problems. I don’t know.

The idea behind regular probiotic use is that you’ll (in theory) maintain a higher level of gut flora than you would without regular supplementation. Your system can only support so many, so most of them will die, but they’ll do some work before they do, and new ones will arrive regularly. Some probiotic supplements also claim to include substances that help keep the gut bacteria in your body alive. Beware of grandiose claims, though. Although there’s been a lot of research on probiotics, manufacturers tend to exaggerate and over-sell.


Any more, up-to-date info on soylent and gut flora? Findings linking gut microbiota to general health and cancer prevention are increasing by the month it seems like.

Any recommendations for good reputable probiotics?


I haven’t done as much research as I’m sure a lot of people have here but most of the increasing links appear to be related to specific strains as well, and ‘more’ is not the same as ‘better’ - like with most things quality seems to matter more than quantity - where most store shelf probiotics seem to take a more scattered ‘more is better’ approach or at least aren’t keeping pace with the findings. I’d be interested in products that are claiming to follow some of the specific studies and focused on replacement rather than augmentation.

1 Like

Soylent is just food, so if everyone should be taking probiotics, so should Soylent users. I took probiotics for a few months with no notable results.

I agree with the idea that probiotics shaped for certain conditions might be useful; I think that their time has not yet come.

@geneven I would tend to disagree with your first paragraph.

As a medical student (but not a nutritionist) I can confidently say that food doesn’t equal other food.

If you are eating a proportionally high diet of veggies, light on mammal meat and products, light on natural carbs and grains, medium on poultry, medium to high on fish, almost no sugar, chances are your gut microbiota wont need supplementing. You’ll be in the best shape for having a good healthy colony, as far as current science understands.

If you replace 70-90 percent of your diet with nearly sterile food isolates, I’d bet good money that your gut microbiota is going to shift significantly. There seems to be no clear research on HOW it would shift. Unless someone can point me to that info.


How would taking microbiotics help you if there seems to be “no clear research” on how your gut microbiota would shift? Should you just take any microbiotics that are at hand? And is the typical American consuming the diet you recommend? If not, how is that diet relevant to anything?

1 Like

@geneven First of all, I can refer you to my original question, to answer your first two questions with a question. I came here to ask about those two things. I was also seeking answers, if anyone had answers to give.

Secondly, I’d bet good money that the “typical American” is not eating a diet similar to what I referenced. I’m not particularly interested in mimicking the standard of the “typical American” or even most Americans. The typical American has a poor diet and is at higher risk for developing metabolic syndrome than me.

Thirdly, I didn’t recommend anything. I just loosely referenced a relatively general outline of what I remember from learning about maintaining healthy gut flora in school. By the way, I think I misspoke, the amount of natural carbs and grains one would eat would be a bit higher, more similar to the amount of veggies consumed. The diet is relevant because there is a growing body of research that shows that consumption of a greater amount of vegetables and grains supports a more healthy subset of microbiota, whereas eating a lot of meat and more sugar promotes growth of more volatile gut microbiota.

Research has shown definitively that colonies of microbes in your gut are very sensitive to the foods you eat. The current trend in research is also demonstrating that these colonies have a greater effect on our health than we previously thought.

The 2000 calorie diet and %DV recommendations of the FDA are guidelines but they also don’t account for the appetites of your gut flora. With Soylent you have a really unique scenario where people are relying heavily (up to 100%) on a singular food source. We know that there are things that we don’t understand about nutrition, gut flora included.
Soylent does not directly address the needs of gut bacteria, which play a role in preventing infection, inflammation, cancer, and creation of some nutrients like vitamin K ( the list grows with current research efforts). If they have released statements or research about this, I would love to hear it. That would help to satisfy my original curiosity.

Soylent is a progressive forward-thinking product. I would hope that the Soylent engineers would spend time looking into its effects on gut flora since many people are replacing such huge portions of their diet with Soylent. Additionally, I hoped someone on here may have some good information. I appreciate your opinion that probiotics aren’t necessary. It’s possible that you are right but its also possible that you’re wrong.


My opinion isn’t that probiotics aren’t necessary. My opinion is that considering the current stage of our knowledge, we can’t use probiotics optimally.


Above you said that you believed the usefulness of probiotics has not yet been realized. You also asked “how would taking microbiotics help if there is no clear research on how your gut microbiota would shift [when changing to a primarily Soylent diet]?” It sure seems like you are suggesting they are not necessary.

Assuming your most recent post is sincere, I’ll rephrase my original question because I agree that probiotics cant be used optimally:

In the context of a primarily Soylent diet is it better to use them sub-optimally or not at all?

Saying that how to take advantage of something is unknown is not similar to saying it is unnecessary.

I really don’t know whether using probiotics in the absence of scientific evidence that they would be useful is better than not using them. That goes for people using Soylent or people using Taco Bell. I prefer to wait for scientific evidence.

You said they weren’t useful yet, not that we don’t know how to take advantage of them.

The Taco Bell analogy is just bad, for a number of reasons. If you don’t understand why, I’m sorry. It’s not worth taking the time to explain.

I don’t feel the need to wait for scientific consensus. Most people eating Soylent can relate. No scientific evidence supports improved health or quality of life for Soylent users over others who eat a healthy balanced diet.

1 Like

There are many words that have been written about probiotics. Not just here, but in the scientific community.

Having said that, my theory is that by drinking Soylent, I have given a competitive advantage to the part of my microbiome that prefers Soylent. Any tiny amount of probiotics I take are going to be at a competitive disadvantage when they meet the VAST ARMY OF BACTERIA FUELED BY SOYLENT (unless they can also digest Soylent).


I hope we can get some more info on Soylent’s impact on gut flora down the road. The statement “unless they can also digest Soylent” is very important for the probiotics dispute.

Interesting report on gut biom in this week’s Vice on HBO…

I take home made yogurt and kefir and it works for me and not much of an effort to make the stuff.