Why is the synthetic version of vitamin E used in soylent 1.0?


I can’t believe that nobody has told you guys that the vitamin E that is now used, is the worst possible form of vitamin E you can use. I’m on my mobile now, otherwise I would have come with reference, but just by googling you can easily verify this. There is a big difference between the dl and d version.

Also, vitamin D2, is inferior to vitamin D3. And why in earth would you use magnesium oxide?



I think we need a bit more than that.


Perhaps a more reputable source is in order.


From: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminE/

The isomeric form of alpha-tocopherol found in foods is RRR-alpha-tocopherol (also referred to as “natural” or d-alpha-tocopherol). Synthetic alpha-tocopherol, which is labeled all-rac- or dl-alpha-tocopherol, has only one-half the biological activity of RRR-alpha-tocopherol (see Supplements). Often vitamin E-fortified foods contain synthetic alpha tocopherol, and the amounts are given as a percentage of the daily value of 30 IU. Throughout this article, amounts of alpha-tocopherol are expressed in both international units (IU) and milligrams (mg).

So, the vitamin E used in soylent, is the synthetic form of vitamin E, not the natural form. It is always your safest bet (if there is not any evidence available) to choose the natural form over the synthetic form. As our body is evolved for thousand of years on those natural forms, common sense tells us, that your body is better adapted to the natural form.

But now the evidence:
The bioavailability of RRR-alpha-tocopherol was greater than that of all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate.
The results indicated that natural vitamin E has roughly twice the availability of synthetic vitamin E.

You may think that this is not a problem. Just increase the dosage of this synethetic form of vitamin E! I’m not sure if that is a good idea. Is has also been shown that this synthetic form of vitamin E depletes an other form of vitamin E in the body. see this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3998871

This form of vitamin E is called gamma-tocopherol. And is inversely associated with the incidence of cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer.

Some human and animal studies indicate that plasma concentrations of γ-tocopherol are inversely associated with the incidence of cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer. These distinguishing features of l and its metabolite suggest that γ-tocopherol may contribute significantly to human health in ways not recognized previously. This possibility should be further evaluated, especially considering that high doses of α-tocopherol deplete plasma and tissue γ-tocopherol, in contrast with supplementation with γ-tocopherol, which increases both.

No wonder that 400 IU daily of this synthetic version of vitamin E increases the risk of prostate cancer with 17%.


Now that is citation that works for me. Thank you very much for posting this.

I’d be interested to hear what @rob and @JulioMiles thoughts are here. Obviously they won’t be able to change the current production, but maybe consider it going forward. They may have already considered this or evaluated it, and in that case they could provide their reasoning for selecting dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate.


Also, B12 is missing from the ingredients list.


It is indeed. Also, why in the world would they post an image of the ingredients list that was too hard to read, forcing people to download the pdf, which is a pain in the ass. Take a proper screenshot, guys. Ctrl+prtscr , and you can even use microsoft paint to crop the result into a useable image. Now’s not the time to slack off!

Or even better, just copy the actual text into a blog post.


In the 12/12 micro post,

Magnesium (400mg) from Oat Flour - Magnesium has also been found in all forms of life due to its crucial interactions with phosphate. Over 300 enzymes require Magnesium, including all that interact with ATP. Originally Soylent used Magnesium Gluconate, though presently the oat content provides enough.

What happened?


Didn’t they say they had to reduce the amount of oat flour during the final bench sample tweak? This may have lowered the level of Magnesium, forcing them to add it separately.


Yes, but magnesium oxide has a very poor bioavailability (fractional absorption 4%) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11794633

And many people report that they get diarhea if they use magnesium oxide (search the internet). As they have placed magnesium oxide higher in the list then vitamin C, they must have included more than 90 mg of magnesium oxide in soylent 1.0. Magnesium oxide is also not water soluble. I just don´t get why you would ever want to include more than 90 mg of this crap to soylent.


I totally agree on the D2 vs. D3, and the citations are numerous. This may be the final straw for me. It sounds like a nod to the Vegans. But it’s just not the best form of Vitamin D, and D is extremely important.



That is slightly concerning since my initial DIY mix had too much magnesium and the end result was not desirable.

I was anxious to try Soylent, and now I am more anxious than ever for completely different reasons. :wink:


This is the exact kind of evidence we like around here. My sincere congratulations on the effort and thanks for brining this up.


I can only hope that in the end, this is the biggest issue you have with Soylent.


Really, Juliomiles? Of all the relevant Soylent questions in this thread you take the time to respond to one about graphic design? @rob how about having someone actually read and respond to what’s been brought up here? I mean this isn’t a new kind of laptop you’re building, people are going to be trusting their lives to your product.


The IU measurement standardized by the IOM and USDA accounts for the differing bioavailabilities of RRR-alpha-tocopherol and dl-alpha-tocopherol. DV of vitamin E is measured in IU, not mg, so even though the natural isomer RRR-alpha-tocopherol does indeed have higher bioavailability, including the same IU of dl-alpha-tocopherol ensures that the body is getting enough.

The benefits of gamma-tocopherol are in the early stages of being understood. Correlational studies on supplements are weak. If there is a proposed mechanism of action or the evidence for strong correlation continues to mount we will likely include it in a future revision.

As an aside, assuming nature is safe and synthetic substances are dangerous is an example of the appeal to nature fallacy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature. One could argue that our bodies have evolved over thousands of years to be eaten by panthers and die of cancer.

Canola oil may increase lung inflammation due to gamma-tocopherol

I completely agree. :stuck_out_tongue:


From the panther’s perspective, people is Soylent!


Probably should have mentioned in that post that I had also forwarded this thread to rob.