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Huel Version 1.1 – The Changes

In June 2017 Huel was launched in the US. Always innovating, we felt there were changes we could make to further improve Huel and to bring some of the ingredient choices in line with our European formula. Now we have Huel v1.1 (US) with a few important changes, although the main ingredients remain unchanged: Huel is primarily oats, pea protein, flaxseed, brown rice protein, MCT from coconut, and sunflower oil powder.

1) Higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids – further improving the omega-3:6 ratio

We've tweaked the main ingredients of Huel so as to give higher levels of omega-3s in v1.1. Omega-3s are essential for cardiovascular health, and we've increased the amounts in Huel to 15g per 2,000 calories (1), giving an omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of approximately 1:1.

2) Now using natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate as our additional vitamin E source

Some of the vitamin E in Huel comes from the main ingredients, and we’ve topped this up using additional vitamin E. Huel aims to incorporate as many natural ingredients as possible, so we’ve changed from synthetic DL-alpha tocopherol acetate to natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate. Moreover, D-alpha-tocopherol acetate is the most bioavailable form of vitamin El, meaning it’s better absorbed and utilised than other forms (2, 3).

3) Changed to retinol acetate for vitamin A

Previously we used retinol palmitate as our source of vitamin A which is derived from palm oil. Our suppliers couldn't be sure that the palm oil was from sustainable sources so instead, we have switched to using retinol acetate, an alternative form that continues to provide optimal levels of vitamin A. Even though only a tiny amount of retinol palmitate was used, we felt it was the right thing to do; as they say, every little helps.

4) Increased level of vitamin B12

Studies have indicated that an intake of vitamin B12 higher than that of the US Daily Value (DV) may be beneficial long term as it’s involved in helping to prevent cognitive degeneration with age and reducing symptoms of depression in the elderly (4-9).

We have increased the amount of vitamin B12 in Huel v1.1 to 4μg per 2,000 calories (167% of the DV), which provides plenty to cover essential requirements as well as to help prevent the loss of age-related cognitive function. As there is no upper safe intake limit for the amount of B12 you can consume, if you’re having large amounts of Huel you won’t be taking too much vitamin B12.

5) Now includes plant-based vitamin D3

The benefits of a good vitamin D intake are well known, and evidence over the past few years has demonstrated that we need a higher intake than was otherwise thought (10, 11). The US DV for vitamin D in adults was increased in 2010 to 20μg per day (9, 12).

From the launch of Huel v1.0 we’ve included 20μg of vitamin D per 2,000 calories, but we could only fortify Huel with vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), as vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) was only available from animal sources. Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D3 that we synthesise from sunlight, and it also has higher bioavailability.

For v1.1 we have sourced and trialled a plant-based form of vitamin D3. The D3 we’re using is derived from lichens and is certified vegan. We’ve added vitamin D3 at a level of 10μg per 2,000 calories, and we’ve also included 10μg (per 2,000 calories) of vitamin D2. In v1.1 Huelers are ensured of a good intake of highly bioavailable vitamin D from sources that reflect a varied diet.

References

  1. Mozaffarian D, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: effects on risk factors, molecular pathways, and clinical events. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011; 58(20):2047-67.
  2. Kiyose C, et al. Biodiscrimination of alpha-tocopherol stereoisomers in humans after oral administration. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997; 65(3):785-9.
  3. 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.
  4. Tangney CC, et al. Vitamin B12, cognition, and brain MRI measures: a cross-sectional examination. Neurology. 2011; 77(13):1276-82.
  5. Walker JG, et al. Oral folic acid and vitamin B-12 supplementation to prevent cognitive decline in community-dwelling older adults with depressive symptoms--the Beyond Ageing Project: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012; 95(1):194-203.
  6. Vogiatzoglou A, et al. Vitamin B12 status and rate of brain volume loss in community-dwelling elderly. Neurology. 2008; 71(11):826-32.
  7. Tiemeier H, et al. Vitamin B12, folate, and homocysteine in depression: the Rotterdam Study. Am J Psychiatry. 2002; 159(12):2099-101.
  8. Skarupski KA, et al. Longitudinal association of vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin B12 with depressive symptoms among older adults over time. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010; 92(2):330-5.
  9. U.S. Food & Drink Administration. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 2018 [Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=101.9].
  10. Holick MF, et al. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011; 96(7):1911-30.
  11. Linus Pauling Institute; Oregon State University. Vitamin D [Available from: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-D].
  12. Ross AC. The 2011 report on dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Public Health Nutr. 2011; 14(5):938-9.

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