Too much Iron in official soylent for men and people with hemochromatosis


I am concerned about the high level of iron in official soylent recipe (last I checked it was ~18mg). That’s probably sufficient for the average woman, but I’m a man, and that’s too much iron for me. WebMD recommends 8mg for the typical man.

It’s possible I may have hemochromatosis, as one of my parents has it, so I tend to be especially concerned about avoiding stuff fortified with iron.

Perhaps the iron (and other vitamins/minerals as well?) could be added in separately as a powder or solution? This would allow both men and women to get the proper amount, and would also satisfy the needs of people with a special condition like anemia or hemochromatosis.


This could also be complicated by people needing different calorie amounts, if the iron is premixed.


My understanding is that the high iron comes from the choice of rice protein. It may not be possible with the current recipe to separate the iron into a separate powder.


While the DRI / RDA for Iron for most males is 8mg vs most females 18mg, the UL, upper limit, is 45mg.


I agree with Frankz, there is no danger for the vast majority of men. In fact the men’s RDA is the amount needed to prevent deficiency in 97.5% of people and therefore, the amount for optimal health may be higher. Unfortunately, if you do have hemochromatosis, this does not apply to you. But there are other factors to consider. Firstly, I think the rice protein is the main iron source. That would mean that the iron is nonheme and therefore significantly less absorbable than the heme iron in say, a steak. However, official Soylent probably has the vitamins mixed in, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) improves the absorption of nonheme iron significantly.

Second, there will be separate formulas for men and women. Not sure if this helps though when the iron is not added in pure form but is part of the rice protein.


I think you’re right. Looking at the blog 9/8 weekly recap, they have a picture of the vitamin mix label, and I see no added iron.


Actually, according to the 0.8 alpha release notes, iron is being added to the main mixture (i.e. not in the vitamin mix) as ferrous gluconate. That’s what I’m concerned about. If the iron were just part of the rice protein, that would be more acceptable.


My bad. It does certainly appear that version .8 had added iron. However, I expect this to change. Remember, that version .8 ingredient list was posted in late June. The most recent blog post with regards to this was on 9/17. It stated this:

“On Tuesday, one of the nutritionists we are working with brought a possible issue with Soylent’s iron content to our attention. The amount of rice protein we are using, combined with the iron content in a few other ingredients, led to an unacceptably high amount of iron in the formula. We are working to manage the iron content by reducing the amount included in our custom vitamin/mineral blend, as well as blending different rice proteins (80% protein rather than 90%) that have lower iron content.”

I guess we will just have to wait and see.