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


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.


This is something different. You really can’t say that this an example of the appeal to nature fallacy. This is about molecules that are unknown to the human body, and molecules the human body is adapted too. There is nothing wrong with synthetic vitamins, as long as they are chemically identical to the natural form. If they are not identical, there is a good chance that they are metabolized differently. You can’t conclude that this will cause problems. Maybe some in nature unknown isomer of vitamin E will once cure prostate cancer. But in most cases, such unnatural isomers are less effective, and have a risk to cause undesirable effects.

Scientist always try to mimic the natural form of vitamins . Not because they are some tree hugging hippies, but because they understand biology.


In this case we know the relative bioavailabilities of RRR-alpha-tocopherol and dl-alpha-tocopherol and can say with confidence that the synthetic form effectively meets the DV at the levels used.

In the case of vitamins you are right, synthetic vs natural vitamins often refers to whether the same chemical was produced industrially or biochemically, to which end there is no difference in efficacy. I was arguing against the general case. In the case of different isomers we need to test, which has been done.


This isn’t about comparing magnesium glycinate with magnesium gluconate. In the end, both forms will end up as magnesium in your body. With vitamin E, it is not that simple:

(this is from the conclussion from the following study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20026030)

I have not been arguing that the synthetic form doesn’t meed the DV at the levels used. I’ve been arguing that it is always your safest bet to choose the vitamins that are chemical identical to the vitamins found in food. I must admit that there is little evidence avalaible that clearly shows that the biological effects of synthetic alpha-tocopherol are inferior to the natural form. It is only been shown that there is a difference in how both forms of vitamin E regulate gene expression (which has been shown to be an important property of the molecule, both in vitro and in vivo).

So what I mean, with “your safest bet”, is this: Do you want your genes to be regulated by a molecule that has done this job for thousand of years ? Or do you want your genes to be regulated by a molecule that is new to your body, and your body hasn’t got a chance to adapt to?

Anyone that studied evolution, will choose the first option.

I’ve been restudying this subject, because I couldn’t find the answer of the following questions:

  1. Does the natural form of alpha-tocopherol also deplete gamma-tocopherol ?
  2. Is there increase risk of prostate cancer of the dosage of dl-alpha tocopherol found in soylent 1.0 ?

The question of the first question is, yes. So both the natural form and the syntehic form deplete gamma-tocopherol. And the prostate cancer link has only been shown in dosages more than 10 fold the dosage in soylent. When I started this topic, I thought the answers of these questions would be different, so I wanted to clear this up for everyone (including myself).

Canola oil may increase lung inflammation due to gamma-tocopherol

I thought of this early on, and I’m glad that others are bringing up the issue of which forms of vitamins and minerals are being included in Soylent. Since it is meant to be used as a dietary staple, it becomes much more important to ensure that the BEST forms for bioavailability are used. It’s not enough that they’re safe, or common - they should be the best option for health, not just for price or availability.


I just got my Soylent and this topic was posted 5 months ago. Has there been any changes in the form of vitamins and minerals in Soylent? Thanks.


If what you desire is the best form then perhaps soylent isn’t for you in the first place. One of soylent’s main functions is to be optimally cost effective. If the form of vitamin e and the amount used is sufficient for ones daily value then the product succeeds in its purpose.