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About the Vitamins & Minerals in Huel

Vitamins and minerals, also known as micronutrients, are necessary for good health, and 26 of them are essential for humans to include in their diets to, at least, minimum levels. We’ve designed the Huel formula so it contains at least the EU recommended daily amount (RDA), or nutrient reference value (NRV), of every vitamin and mineral required in the human diet at a 2,000kcal intake of Huel.

Over half the vitamins and minerals in Huel are naturally occurring from the food ingredients. The remainder has been added as part of a bespoke micronutrient blend, designed to reach the appropriate NRV of each micronutrient or, in some cases, we’ve added more where we feel a higher intake of a particular micronutrient provides nutritional support in healthy individuals. The micronutrient blend also contains some phytonutrients – substances found in plant foods which, while not essential, may also provide nutritional support for healthy persons.

Some micronutrients interact with other constituents in food. In some cases, the actual amount absorbed can be reduced by these anti-nutrients. To account for the presence of anti-nutrients we’ve added more of some nutrients to compensate for this.

How Much of Each Micronutrient in Huel is Natural?

The following table shows the percentages of each micronutrient and the main phytonutrients in Huel provided by the food ingredients compared to what we’ve added from our bespoke micronutrient blend. In addition, the table shows the approximate total percentage of each micro- and phytonutrient in Huel that’s from natural sources (figures based on Huel European v2.3).

Micronutrient  % from food ingredients  % from VM blend  % natural
Vitamin A <1% >99% >99%
Vitamin D2 0 100% 100%
Vitamin D3 0 100% 100%
Vitamin E 9% 91% 100%
Vitamin K1 12% 88% 12%
Vitamin K2 0 100% 100%
Vitamin C 0 100% 0
Thiamin 100% 0 100%
Riboflavin 24% 76% 24%
Niacin 13% 87% 13%
Vitamin B6 34% 66% 34%
Folate 37% 63% 100%
Vitamin B12 0 100% 0%
Biotin 40% 60% 40%
Pantothenic acid 25% 75% 25%
Choline 18% 82% 18%
Sodium >99% <1% 100%
Potassium 40% 60% 98%
Chloride 0 100% >99%
Calcium 64% 36% 64%
Phosphorus 100% 0 100%
Magnesium 100% 0 100%
Iron 100% 0 100%
Zinc 100% 0 100%
Copper 100% 0 100%
Manganese 100% 0 100%
Selenium 100% 0 100%
Chromium 0 100% 0
Molybdenum 100% 0 100%
Iodine 0 100% 0
Avenanthramides 100% 0 100%
Ferulic acid 100% 0 100%
Lignans 100% 0 100%
Tocols 100% 0 100%
Lycopene 0 100% 100%
Lutein 2% 98% 100%
Zeaxanthin 0 100% 100%
Total 46% 54% 74%

About the Vitamin Sources in Huel

Vitamin A

Almost all of the vitamin A in Huel is added in the natural form of retinol acetate, which has equally good bioavailability as any other supplementary form of vitamin A.

Vitamin D

The vitamin D in Huel is present in two active forms: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Ergocalciferol is naturally produced from the fermentation of plant sources. The cholecalciferol we use in Huel is plant-derived form lichens and is vegan-certified (most sources of vitamin D3 are animal sourced). Vitamin D3 is the more bioavailable form, but the action of both D2 and D3 once absorbed is efficient. The amount of vitamin D in Huel is 300% of the NRV to ensure there’s plenty of this vital nutrient.

Vitamin E

Some of the vitamin E in Huel is naturally occurring from the food ingredients and we’ve added the bulk of the extra in the form of D-alpha tocopheryl acetate; this is a natural form of supplementary vitamin E derived from vegetable oil. D-alpha-tocopherol acetate is the most bioavailable form of alpha-tocopherol, meaning it’s the type that it is better absorbed and utilised than other forms[1, 2].

Vitamin K

Huel contains both vitamin K1 and K2. About 12% of the K1 is from the main ingredients; the remainder is added in our micronutrient blend and is synthetically produced from plant sources. Vitamin K2 is naturally produced from bacteria and refers to several variants of the vitamin. MK-7 is often preferred due to its stability[3] and it’s the form we’ve used in Huel.

Vitamin C

The ascorbic acid – the name for vitamin C – is synthetically produced in Huel’s vitamin mineral blend. Vitamin C helps promote iron bioavailability and decrease the anti-nutrient effects of phytic acid on iron absorption, which is why we’ve included it in a high amount.

Thiamin

All the thiamin in Huel is naturally occurring from the oats and flaxseed.

Riboflavin

Some of the riboflavin comes from the oats and flaxseed ingredients, and the remainder is the same type of riboflavin you get in most vitamin supplements.

Niacin

Some of the niacin in Huel is from our natural ingredients, but a bulk is added in the form of niacinamide, a synthetic form approved for food fortification.

Vitamin B6

About one-third of the B6 in Huel is from the oats and flaxseed, the remainder is added in the form of pyridoxine hydrochloride which is a synthetically made, approved form.

Folate

The folate source in Huel is natural L-methylfolate calcium which has a higher bioavailability than the more common supplementary form, folic acid.

Vitamin B12

As vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal products and Huel is vegan, all the B12 in Huel is added in our micronutrient blend in the form of cyanocobalamin. ​Although this form is artificial, other forms are either not as well absorbed by the body or are not stable in food products over shelf-life, so nutritionally cyanocobalamin is the superior form of B12.​

Biotin

Just under half of the biotin is from the main ingredients and the rest is D-biotin added as part of the micronutrient blend.

Pantothenic acid

Some of the pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5, in Huel comes from the natural ingredients; the rest is added in the supplementary form of calcium-D-pantothenate.

Mineral & Trace Element Sources in Huel

Sodium

99% of the sodium in Huel is provided from the food ingredients. There is a tiny amount in our micronutrient blend which is there to help the stability of some of the other minerals.

Potassium & Chloride

40% of the potassium in Huel is provided by the food ingredients. The remainder is added as part of the micronutrient blend in the forms potassium chloride and potassium iodide. Potassium chloride is non-synthetic and also provides all the chloride in Huel, only a release agent in this ingredient is synthetic (less than 1%).

Calcium

The amount of calcium we’ve included in Huel is higher than the EU NRV as we feel the minimum requirements for many people should be nearer 1,000 mg per day, inline with United States guidelines. Around 64% of the calcium in Huel is from the main ingredients and the rest is added in the form of calcium carbonate.

Phosphorus

The phosphorus in Huel is all natural provided by the oats, pea protein and flaxseed powder.

Magnesium

Oats, flaxseeds and brown rice protein are all rich in magnesium meaning that no additional magnesium needs to be added.

Iron

Huel needs a high iron content as the phytate from the oats as well as the high calcium content of Huel can reduce the amount of iron that’s absorbed. As the pea protein, brown rice protein, oats and flaxseed are all rich in iron, there is a large amount of non-haem iron in Huel naturally, ensuring that adequate amounts are absorbed. The additional vitamin C also helps to promote iron absorption.

Zinc

The zinc in Huel is all naturally occurring from the oats, pea protein and flaxseeds.

Copper

The copper in Huel is naturally occurring from the oats and flaxseed ingredients.

Manganese

There is a high level of manganese in Huel, and it’s all naturally occurring mainly from the oats (which are very manganese-rich) and flaxseeds.

Selenium

All the selenium in Huel is naturally occurring from the main ingredients.

Chromium

The chromium in Huel has been added in the form of chromium (III) chloride.

Molybdenum

All the molybdenum in Huel is naturally occurring from the main ingredients.

Iodine

The iodine in Huel is added as potassium iodide which is synthetically produced.

Phytonutrients in Huel

The phytonutrients in Huel, from avenanthramides to zeaxanthin, while not essential may support the maintenance of health in the general population.

Avenanthramides

This group of compounds are uniquely found in oats and, as oats are the largest ingredient in Huel, there are high levels of avenanthramides in Huel.

Ferulic acid

This substance is provided from the oats and flaxseeds.

Lignans

These are compounds present in the flaxseeds.

Tocols

These are naturally present from several of the ingredients in Huel.

Lycopene

The lycopene in Huel is naturally obtained from tomatoes and maize and added as part of our micronutrient blend. It is responsible for the red flecks you sometimes see in Huel.

Lutein

A small amount of lutein in Huel is present from the flaxseeds, and we've also added additional natural lutein extracted from the Mexican marigold plant.

Zeaxanthin

The zeaxanthin in Huel is provided as part of the addition of the natural lutein extract

References

  1. Kiyose C, et al. Biodiscrimination of alpha-tocopherol stereoisomers in humans after oral administration. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997; 65(3):785-9.
  2. Burton GW, et al. Human plasma and tissue alpha-tocopherol concentrations in response to supplementation with deuterated natural and synthetic vitamin E. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998; 67(4):669-84.
  3. Sato T, et al. Comparison of menaquinone-4 and menaquinone-7 bioavailability in healthy women. Nutr J. 2012; 11:93.

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